Microsoft may get cable companies to subsidise $99 Xbox 720

Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox 720, may be subsidised by cable TV providers, making it more affordable for customers, according to an analyst.

Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox 720, may be subsidised by cable TV providers, making it more affordable for customers, according to an analyst.

 
Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, claims that TV will be such a big factor of the next Xbox console that cable companies will cover some of the cost of the device in exchange for a subscription contract.
 
“It's pretty clear to me that Microsoft intends to allow the Xbox 720 to function as a cable TV box, allowing cable television service providers to broadcast over the Internet through the box, with SmartGlass as the remote controller, and with the Xbox 720 using Windows 8 to split the TV signal into multiple feeds, allowing consumers to divert different channel feeds to different displays within the home.”
 
 Microsoft may get cable companies to subsidise $99 Xbox 720
 
Pachter claims that we could see the Xbox 720 selling for as little as $99, vastly cheaper than existing consoles and the expected low price of the Wii U, simply by locking customers into a two year subscription TV contract.
 
This might sound a little far-fetched at first, but there is already a precedent for this in the $99 Xbox 360 when gamers sign a two-year Xbox LIVE contract. This model has also worked extremely well in the smartphone and tablet markets, where expensive devices can be sold for little or nothing, providing consumers commit to a regular bill.
 
This would make the major selling point of the new console about TV rather than games, though an updated Kinect could help when it comes to competition with Nintendo's Wii U.
 
The Wii U has a year advantage, however, with the Xbox 720 not expected for release until Christmas 2013. However, Pachter believes it won't actually release until Spring 2014 and that it will only launch with a limited number of stock, making for a potentially low-key launch.
 
Source: GamesIndustry