Is $499 too much to pay for the Microsoft Xbox One?

The Microsoft Xbox One, the forthcoming video game console, will sell for $499, Microsoft announced today. 

The Microsoft Xbox One, pictured here, will ship later this year.

Half a grand. 

That's the price tag on the Xbox One, the new Microsoft video game console set to hit shelves later this year. According to Microsoft, which held a press briefing on the One earlier today at the E3 expo, the $499 bundle will include a 500GB hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi, a Blu-ray player, an upgraded Kinect peripheral, one controller, and a 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold. A lot of gear, obviously. But also a lot of dollars. 

A 32GB Nintendo Wii U bundle, for instance, is priced at $350. The deluxe version of the Xbox 360, the successor to the One, launched in 2005 for $399, but quickly saw its price dropped closer to three hundred bucks. In a lot of parts of the country, you can get a Sony PlayStation 3 for $160. By comparison, the $499 Xbox One seems quite pricey – especially when you consider you'll have to lay down around $60 to be able to play a game. 

Will consumers bite? Some onlookers aren't so sure. 

"Most users will wait until the price drops, or the machine proves itself in some other way — neither perspective is very helpful to Microsoft," writes Dave Thier of Forbes. "At $499, it is going to need hardcore gamers, and it’s going to have to fight to get them now. The ball is in Sony’s court. If it can beat that price, it will launch with a major advantage." 

Mr. Thier, of course, is referring to the Sony PlayStation 4, which is expected to drop later this year. At least one analyst, Arvind Bhatia of Sterne Agee, expects Sony to price the console below $400 – drastically undercutting the Xbox One on price. 

Our take: $500 won't be prohibitively expensive for some committed gamers. But many of us will be a little reluctant to drop that much dough on a video game machine, no matter how good. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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