Now that the Xbox One's online requirement and DRM have been vanquished, its $499 price point is its largest obstacle. Although the PS4 currently has the most competitive value in the industry, that could soon change if Microsoft deems it necessary.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter is confident that the Xbox One will sell well, but suspects that if consumers don't respond with high purchase volume then Microsoft will drop the price within the first 12 months. He stated to investors:
We are confident that with six months of focused messaging, Microsoft can fully level the playing field with Sony, and we expect the Xbox One to sell as many units as the PS4. If we are wrong, we think that Microsoft is prepared to lower price next year.
The Xbox One has a great lineup for its first year, and delivers functionality that could make it more enticing than the PS4 for non-gamers. As much as the next-gen looked like it was already over during E3, that's simply not the case. Microsoft has done a 180 on the policies which have made it controversial for over a month. It's not just going to roll over and take a beating from Sony.
Whether or not we'll see an Xbox One at $399 within the first year is entirely up to consumers. If the PS4 leads the charts Microsoft will retaliate appropriately. In other words, you can't go wrong with buying a PS4 at launch and forcing Microsoft to make its console more affordable.