Project Scarlett to cost just US$499 despite 4x performance boost over Xbox One X

The next-gen Xbox could be priced at just US$499. (Source: Microsoft)
The next-gen Xbox could be priced at just US$499. (Source: Microsoft)
It was only a couple of days ago that Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said that the company would not “be out of position on power or price” with its next-generation Xbox console. According to a plausible rumor, that could mean a starting price of just US$499 which should really spice up the battle for next-gen supremacy with Sony’s PS5 if accurate.
Sanjiv Sathiah,

Microsoft is still smarting after being comprehensively outsold by Sony in the head-to-head battle between the PS4 an Xbox One series consoles. Determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past, Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently said that the company “will not be out of position on power or price” when it comes how Project Scarlett will stack up against the forthcoming Sony PS5. Thanks to tipster @PSErebus, who has a decent track record, Spencer might not be kidding with a US499 starting price on the cards.

When you think that this would be priced just US$100 above the current Xbox One X, which offers 6 teraflops of single floating-point performance despite offering up to 4 times the performance, it really does whet the appetite. Naturally, this rumor should be taken with a pinch of salt, but it does line up with Spencer’s comments. If Microsoft is serious about putting a dent in Sony’s global console dominance, it will need to get aggressive on pricing and US$499 seems plausible.

With both consoles running similar components that are expected to be based on an AMD Zen 2-based 8-core CPU with integrated Navi GPU tech paired to GDDR6 RAM of at least 8 GB, the most likely way to Microsoft gaining a sales edge will be to go ultra-competitive on pricing. It would not be unheard of in the console industry for a company to take a hit on upfront pricing in the hope that, much like shaving sticks and razors, high console sales will drive revenue through more games purchases. Holiday 2020 could be something to really look forward to!

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-11-21 (Update: 2019-11-21)
Sanjiv Sathiah
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.