A Chat With Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter – Xbox One X, Loot Boxes, Exclusives And More

Analyst extraordinaire Michael Pachter shares his insight into the trends of an industry in a state of transition.

Posted By | On 09th, Jan. 2018 Under Article, Interviews

The video game industry is in a state of flux and transition at the moment. Sony and Microsoft have launched all new iterative consoles that turn the paradigm of a console on its head, Nintendo has launched the Switch which is unlike anything on the market, experimental technology like VR seems to be taking off, and on the software front, games seem to be going through growing pains of new trends like games-as-a-service and microtransactions.

It’s almost too much to keep track of- trying to understand what the industry may look like going forward can be difficult when we barely have a handle on how it is currently in the first place. However, Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities has made a name for himself for his predictions on trends, games, and hardware in the industry- so when we had a chance to speak with him again, we decided to see what he had to say on where video games are headed. Here’s what he had to say.

My first question is, I want to talk about exclusives. In 2018, all three have big games, like Microsoft has State of Decay, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, maybe a new Gears or Halo. Sony has God of War, Days Gone, Spider-Man, maybe The Last of Us 2 or Death Stranding. Nintendo, Yoshi, Kirby, Fire Emblem, Pokemon, and Metroid. So, Microsoft’s slate definitely looks better next year than this year, but is it strong enough to go up against Nintendo and Sony?

You know, I think that people sometimes place too much emphasis on exclusives. I think this late in the console cycle, I mean, the consoles launched in 2013, who doesn’t own one of them yet? Sony is something like 70 million, and Microsoft is 35 million, so I guess they are two thirds of the way through. The only people who haven’t bought a console yet who will buy one are working people, or very young kid whose parents will get one for them. And, I guess, exclusives will bring some people back in who haven’t played Mario in a while, to the Switch, which is still new. But not something like Halo 6- if you like Halo, you got an Xbox One for Halo 5. Halo 6 will definitely sell a lot to its fanbase who already own an Xbox One, but it’s not gonna drive new hardware sales, it’s very different this late in the console cycle. So the reason Ij think the Switch is so popular is that they launched two giant games with Zelda and Mario, plus two really good games with Mario Kart and Splatoon. And that’s enough for Nintendo fans to say “I have to have this device,” which is why the Switch is sold out…

To answer your question, yes, any Microsoft lineup with Halo in it is better than any Microsoft lineup without Halo. But, for example, if they had had Halo this year, I would still have said Nintendo wins by a mile. Mario and Zelda in the same year? I can’t remember that happening, ever. This year Nintendo won by a mile, but I can’t expect them to to do that next year. Next year, Microsoft with Halo coming out, I think it’s coming out, looks strong. And, Sony’s lineup looks fine, I mean their lineup over the next several years looks good. But I don’t think either their line-up or Microsoft’s makes a difference anymore, people have already made their minds up, and it was probably driven by, “If I want early access to Call of Duty DLC, I’ll buy a PlayStation.”

Okay. So let’s talk about multiplatform games, then. The Xbox One X is Microsoft’s attempt to be able to say that games like Call of Duty and Destiny run the best on their console. The Xbox One X has seen great developer support, loads of developers are jumping on board to support the console with 4K and enhancement patches… but on the other hand, do you think that the Xbox One X getting so much support might inadvertently end up helping Sony and the PS4 Pro as well? In that now more developers who were previously not supporting it are now supporting it along the way with the Xbox One X as well?

I’m sure that that’s right. I think that the PS4 Pro also has the benefit benefit of being priced lower, and it seems to be selling a bit better, though that is a bit hard to tell with retail, because we don’t know exactly how many Xbox One Xs were shipped; they’re probably sold out for a few weeks. But yeah, I think that as opposed to the Xbox One X helping the PS4 Pro, I think the very low price of 4KTVs now is helping both. So if you’re going to buy a new TV now, say it’s time to replace your main TV, it no longer makes sense to buy 1080p TVs. The difference in price between 4K and 1080p screens is now negligible, literally a hundred bucks. So it just doesn’t make sense. So if you’re a gamer, and you’re playing on a 40 inch TV, the difference in price is literally negligible. So once you make the decision to get a 4KTV, you might as well get a PS4 Pro or an Xbox One X- and I know the Pro is not actually 4K, but that is how it is marketed. So, yes, I think all these things are connected. More 4KTVs lead to more sales for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, and more sales for those systems lead to more developer support for both. And you’re right, once you make a game enhanced for Xbox One X, you might as well do it for the PS4 Pro. So sure, you’re definitely right.

"“Once you make a game enhanced for Xbox One X, you might as well do it for the PS4 Pro.”"

Okay, I want to go back to the Switch, now. You talked about how Nintendo definitely won this year with their exclusives lineup. Will they be able to maintain this sort of momentum in 2018?

No chance. I think that Mario and Zelda are evergreen titles, so of course if you haven’t played Odyssey yet, and it’s a fantastic game, and if you haven’t played Breath of the Wild ever, it’s new to you. So there’s an audience out there who hasn’t purchased a Switch yet, and when they do, Mario and Zelda will be new games for them- so I think those two games will keep driving system sales for sure. So the answer is, they will keep up some momentum. But the reason I don’t think they can keep up this sort of momentum in 2018 is, I don’t think Nintendo can keep up this cadence of game releases. So, I don’t expect they will have any game of this profile- there probably is a Smash Bros. game coming some day, it could be next year. If that gets announced, then yes, I could see the Switch keep up its momentum. If Smash is a 2019 title, then I think there will be a while where Switch sales level of, but they will stay strong- but more like 15 million in the west and Japan, plus whatever they can sell in China, although I think a lot of people are overestimating what they can sell in China too.

So, for this year, we have the NPD numbers for December, which will be announced in January- would you like to guess which console comes out in top this month?

You know, I’d say that Sony will sell more PS4s in November and December in the US, but not by a ton, I think Xbox will be close. I think Switch is not supply constrained, but you know, it looks like PS4 outsold Switch by a healthy margin, and the Xbox as well. In December, I think PS4 wins again- I don’t think Nintendo has the capacity to ship that many units, Sony meanwhile can sell 3, 4, 5 million consoles in December alone. And I don’t think Switch will sell below 3 million, I think that’s impossible, I don’t think Nintendo would ship that few.

So in December, you think it will be PS4, then Xbox, then Switch.

Xbox, the problem is the Xbox One X is expensive and in tight supply. The Xbox One S is remaining discounted at $189, which I think works in its favour. If I am buying the first console for my household, it’s hard for me to justify buying a Switch for $300 plus two games for $120, when I can buy an Xbox One S for $189, and two older games for cheaper, and walk out the door for $250. It’s a significantly lower entry point. I just don’t know how I can tell someone with a straight face, ‘your 8 year old boy needs a $300 Switch with Mario and Zelda’; that’s a lot of money.

Okay, going back to Xbox, one thing you are getting at is Xbox’s larger appeal for the more mainstream crowd. But even for the core crowd, they have made some great initiatives this year, services like the Game Pass, cross platform play, backward compatibility, Play Anywhere, EA Access, so on… do you think all of these help the console’s appeal, or is it more about user base retention within the Xbox ecosystem?

I think it’s more about retention. It’s impossible to know how many people are sold on Xbox because of Game Pass or EA Access; when you walk into a store, and if you were a brand new console purchaser, and you ask for someone for help, I don’t think anyone will say ‘get an Xbox for EA Access,” I can’t imagine that. So I don’t think Microsoft is driving new purchases with these- the truth is, if you go to buy a new console now, you look at the price of the hardware, and the library of games. And both consoles, PS4 and Xbox, have pretty deep libraries. Just the idea that you can get 3-5 games at the outset for not that much money for both reinforces that.

I think one great Xbox feature os backward compatibility; the idea that a $5 copy of RDR for Xbox 360 will work on Xbox One as well is a good deal. So that might drive system sales, but the truth is, while Xbox has done a lot right with their services, most of these things are for the exiting install base, not for a new one.

Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition

"“I don’t think Microsoft is driving new hardware purchases with services like Game Pass.”"

Speaking of services in a different sense, one topic that has been in the discourse a lot lately is microsotransactions and loot boxes; some analysts say they are here to stay, others say that we need an increase in the base price of a video game- which of the alternative are likelier?

Higher priced games will never happen. Publishers seem to have accepted $60 price points as the right price points. And though we have had inflation, games have stuck to this price for a while. That’s not going up. I think that the problem the publishers have is, they want to make money, and the cost of maintaining a multiplayer experience has gone up. So when they used to make a single player game only, they had just a self contained experience on the disc, no obligation on the part of the publisher to provide ongoing content or maintenance. And once a game was sold to the consumer, the publisher had given the consumer everything they owed for those $60. Now, with multiplayer, you have consumers who have been trained to expect more content and ongoing maintenance, and that’s great, gamers develop relations with their games, you can see how they react when a popular game goes offline, for example.

So the publishers came up with DLC, by trying to sell them more content for $15 or $20 per download; but what happened was, on a big game, they would only achieve 30-40% sales on the first pack, 20-30% on the second, and 10-20% on the third, which didn’t help cover for ongoing costs, especially since DLC seems to have an in built cap of $20 that consumers will spend on it. So if you have a lot of money, and you will engage with the game a lot, you will still pay only the $20 that I will pay if I play it for a week. So what they came up with is like a free-to-play model, which started on PC in China, then spread to PCs all over the world, and now to consoles, where thy add micotransactions, going after the whale who will spend $100 a month. So instead of selling something for $20 every once in a while, they sell things for $100 every month. And EA has proven with Ultimate Team that that works, that there are whales out there- EA gets $600 million in microtransactions from Ultimate Team alone.

So yes I expect microtransactions to stay around- and I expect that if they do, they will try and keep their games alive for many years. I think the problem is in the implementation. I don’t think gamers are wrong to expect certain things as part of the package if they buy a game for $60; I don’t think publishers are right to lock away Darth Vader in a $60 Star Wars game, if you buy Star Was, you ought to get Darth Vader from the get go. But, I don’t agree that microtransactions should be eliminated, because that would basically mean we regress to single player games only. People like playing multiplayer- and when they play multiplayer, they spend far more hours on a game than they do when they play just single player, and you know that. So hypothetically you should pay more for the ongoing experience, too. And players say “I pay for Xbox Live and PSN’” and that’s great, but the publisher doesn’t get a dime of that. So the publisher has to have a way to monetize, and the publishers who are adored by gamers are the ones who don’t implement pay to win mechanics in their games- like Blizzard with Overwatch. Customization, people are willing to pay for. So EA made the mistake of locking up characters and progression, and I think the complaints were legitimate.

On the other hand, let’s be real, when you play a game, there are plenty of unlocks. I remember, one of the older Call of Duty games, playing and I got a weapon when I reached Level 30, and I was so psyched, and I saw a better machine gun, and I knew you get it at a higher level, and that gave me an incentive to keep playing the game. I just had to keep playing the game to get a better weapon- and that’s the kind of thing we are used to. We all understand that- it’s just locking away actual content…

There’s an art to microtransactions, where you present the gamer with a balanced opportunity to earn something by grinding it out, or cut to the chase and pay for it. An the art is in making it fair. If it takes 80 hours to to earn something, and costs 50 cents, then even at that price, that’s pay to win. If it costs $1000 to unlock, but it takes you five minutes to get it, no-one complains. It’s extreme as an example, but the art is in making something that seems fair.

So they will stay, but it comes down to implementation.

Oh, absolutely. Yes. And as I said, it’s too big of an opportunity, look at League of Legends or World of Tanks, earning hundreds of millions every year. But again, implementation- have you ever heard anyone complain about GTA Online? The reason is, GTA is a single player game, there is no expectation for additional content. But they give you multiplayer as an additional option anyway- you just have to pay. Take Two implemented it in a very smart way, to be honest. So GTA5 gives you an 80 hour experience for $60, and the multiplayer is a bonus- and people don’t mind paying for that bonus. Star Wars, who knows what the single player is like, people are buying it for the multiplayer, that’s the appeal- and it is contingent on EA to balance the microtransactions in the multiplayer family for there to not be a backlash.

Okay. So now I want to go back to games for a bit. There were a few I want to talk to you about- the first one is an apparently upcoming open world AAA RPG from Playground Games, the folks behind Forza Horizon 3. Do you have any insight as to whether this might b exclusive to Xbox, or if they are going multiplatform with this?

I have no idea, I’m sorry.

Okay. The next one I had was Ghosts of Tsushima on Sony’s side, which looks pretty cool, like a ninja-Assassin’s Creed kind of thing. And, the last time I talked to you, I asked you for your opinion on various games- what is your opinion on Tsushima? Do you think this has broad commercial appeal?

I don’t think anything that Japanese has broad appeal. They’re great gams and get high ratings, and the hardcore audiences love them. But, for the average audience, they’re hard games. They’re too hard for most people. I mean, I played Persona 5, one of the highest rated games ever, and I like it, but I can’t believe it went on to sell as many copies as it did. It’s just not the kind of game that seems like it has mass appeal, even though it’s one of the best games ever made, and probably wins Game of the Year. But… going back to Tsushima, no, I don’t think it has broad appeal either.

"“I think The Elder Scrolls 6 is coming next year- maybe they announce it at E3.”"

Okay, so broad appeal- GTA6 and The Elder Scrolls 6, why do you think these two have not been announced yet?

Well, GTA, probably because it’s not coming out any time soon. So that’s that. I’ll take over/under on 2022, I say it comes out after 2022. Remember, Red Dead 2 came out eight years after the first one- so the idea that GTA6 comes out before 2021 seems ridiculous. And Rockstar, the only announcements they’ve ever made more than a year before launch was because the launch itself was delayed. So best case, GTA6 gets announced in 2020 for a 2021 release…

Elder Scrolls, I personally think they are working on it. You know, Pete Hines took me on this year after July when I said they might be working on it, he said it’s not coming this year. So I think it’s coming next year- maybe they announce it at E3. But, if I’m wrong, then I’ll say this next year, and then the year after that. But it’s in development.

Okay, so going back to the idea of the resolution war- early in the generation, Sony managed to use to great effect to establish themselves as the more powerful console for multiplatform games. It’s a strategy we’ve seen Microsoft attempt with the Xbox One X, but it doesn’t seem to be sticking as well. Why do you think that is?

Because it’s priced far higher than the alternatives. The Xbox One X is $500, and four weeks later, the PS4 Slim was available for $199, and the Xbox One S for $189. You could buy one of each for the price of a Xbox One X. So I think the One X has a lot of appeal for the existing Xbox owner, but I don’t know how much appeal for a new console owner. It’s just too expensive. If it ever comes down in price to $299, I think it will sell amazingly well.

So, let’s talk about single player games. The general consensus seems to be that there is a shift towards multiplayer games as a service on the whole, and that single player games will be sidelined. Do you think that is actually what we are trending towards? Or is that analysis an overreaction?

I think that sidelined is an overstatement, but I guess there’s more money in games as a service- this was something I talked about previously. The opportunity to sell someone a game for $60, an then collect microtrasnaction even regularly for a year or more is a big deal. For example, again, GTA- a single player game, and yet GTA Online did more than $100 last quarter. So they’re earning almost half a million dollars a year from micotransaction on top of the revenue from the actual sales of the game, that’s just too lucrative to pass up. So, the question is, will the next GTA be designed differently, where the single player campaign has the microtransactions bleed into it? Or will they go the same route, a 97 rated single player game, and then later add on multiplayer? I think the Rockstar guys created a compelling formula, to be honest- a compelling single player game with a multiplayer game built around it. So the answer is, you’re going to see both. There’s a reason that GTA5 is the best selling game of all time- and that’s because people buy it for the single player, and there’s a reason GTA Online earns so much money- because people stay for the multiplayer after the single player is done. So games should be able to have both.

But on the other hand, I have read statistics on how many Call of Duty players don’t even play the single player, they just jump into the multiplayer, or how most of FIFA is played in Ultimate Team online. So gamers are telling publishers that they like multiplayer- publishers recognize that they can make money in multiplayer. But even then, single player won’t be sidelined, multiplayer will just be emphasized. Remember, this all starts with the developer, and the best developers in the world pretty much make only single player games, like Kojima or Ken Levine. So- I don’t think single player games are going away or being sidelined, as much as multiplayer games’ potential for monetization is being recognized.

Okay. So I think one of the things you are getting at is that the future might be something like the GTA model where there is a satisfying single player campaign, with a compelling multiplayer mode added on-

I think that would be the goal for all publishers, to have a game that’s even a quarter as successful as GTA. But we’ll see how it goes, even with Red Dad. I think they’ll follow the same model, a compelling 60 hour campaign an then multiplayer on top of that. I don’t know if the setting means that the multiplayer will be as compelling, you know, the Old West versus modernity, but maybe.

Okay, so Rockstar apparently has the formula down. EA- well , as we discussed, they seem to be doing fine with sports games, but with non sports game, they are clearly struggling with how to effectively monetize their games, they’ve been too aggressive. And, of course, they’ve been making a lot of other missteps too, for example Mass Effect Andromeda was a big failure for them this year. Do you think this all affects the chances EA’s upcoming Anthem has at success? A nw games as a service game by a company in the public eye for not doing them well, and the new game by a developer whose last game was criticized is heavily?

Yeah, good question. I think if you look at companies that are successful in microtransactions, you’ll see that they are either making mobile games or free to play PC games. So there’s some formula to creating a compelling game along those lines that doesn’t seem to have translated over that well to console games yet by big publishers. I think the analogy is, the big publishers are like movie studios making these cinematic experiences, like Sony with Uncharted and Rockstar with GTA. So deciding that you like the other model, the mobile or League of Legends model, that’s not say to do- if it were, you’d see every company doing it. So the question for Anthem is, will A screw it up like with Star Wars? Or will they follow the Overwatch and destiny roadmap, where the actual game is fun to play and the payments are ancillary? Because where they got into trouble with Star Wars was in making it pay to win. Had they limited themselves to purely cosmetic items, I don’t think anyone would have said anything. So Anthem has the potential to be Destiny like in terms of game experience, and Overwatch like in terms of mcirotansactions offered, where it’s all cosmetic and no one bats an eye. But the truth is, Bioware has made several games that have sold around 5 million, so I’m very comfortable saying Anthem will sell at least that much. 7 or 8 million? Yes, if it’s a great game. 10 or 20 million? Probably not, but we’ll find out. Bungie did that with Destiny, Blizzard does that all the time. Biowae hasn’t yet done that.

But I’m encouraged because we have Casey Hudson back, since he is very capable- so I am confident Anthem will be great, and it will do well, on the whole.


"“I’m encouraged because we have Casey Hudson back, since he is very capable- so I am confident Anthem will be great, and it will do well, on the whole.”"

So you think there’s potential for it to do ell as long as EA doesn’t go all pay to win again.

Yeah. I think right now EA is on probation with gamers. I think everyone is watching everything they do. I don’t think they can afford to put an onerous mcrotransaction scheme in any game going forward, they need to re-earn gamers’ trust again. So I hope they are sobered by this experience, and learn from it. But I think they are smart people, so I am sure they will do the right thing going forward. We’ll see.

Okay. Do you think that we’re moving towards an all digital market? 100% digital delivery?

The problem with 100% digital is that as long as we have consoles, there has to be a trail store that sells it to you. I mean we can buy hardware on Amazon, but you still need a trail location selling it for a lot of people. So you’re never have a console that’s purely digital just for that- until the console is eliminated altogether. But if you get someone, say Amazon, as a seller of true game streaming or Game Pass style services, then yes, something like that might happen. And I think each time Amazon is selling something like an Echo Show, which has its own screen, and an Intel chip with a powerful microprocessor, and a GPU, they’re getting closer to a game console. Because if you’re selling something that can manage a person’s home entirely, why not throw gaming capabilities in there too? So I actually think at we are moving toward a world where at least very healthy people have these multi function devices in their homes, and in 10 years, I think that they will have penetrated 20-30% of above median income households. So you end up with 200-300 million households globally with these devices in them- why not put your games on them as well?

So, yes, a full digital system might happen- but if it does, it won’t be a traditional console, it will be something like this, and it won’t happen this generation, or even this decade.

So a lot like the move towards smartphones and tablets, but on an even bigger level.

Yes. It’s amazing what you can do with these devices, and how they link together. But I remember when Apple first said they would make a phone back in 2006, I thought it was the dumbest idea ever, I had my Motorola, and I was perfectly happy with it. But now, ten generations of the iPhone later, there are hundreds of millions of them sold. And we have hundreds of apps we all use- so even if the idea sounds alien now, yes, I think that is exactly the kind of shift we will see with these home devices for consoles.

We’ve talked about games as a service, games via digital delivery, and so on. One company that has been prescient with all of this, that has been ahead of the curve, has been Valve. One the last ten years, they made the shift to digital delivery, to microtransactions, to games as a service. But in all of this, the single player experiences that the company was known for have fallen by the wayside, a new Portal or Half Life game seems to be far distant and in the future right now. Do you think that Valve is still working on new single player experience? Or do you think they are going all in on their current games as a service model?

I would be really disappointed if Valve wasn’t working on Half Life 3. I know it’s been 12 years since the last one. But I’d still think they are working on it. I would b really disappointed if they weren’t working on a Portal 3, too. I know a lot of their writers have left the company, but I would still be disappointed. Those are valued properties that they should use continue producing, if only for the fans who brought them the success they have today. So- that doesn’t mean they can’t keep doing DOTA or Team Fortress or Counter Strike- I am sure they will keep enveloping those. But I think tat that company is very profitable and passionate, and I think they are consumer focused. Their games have open architecture, they encourage users to modify their games- even Counter Strike was born out of user mods for Half Life. What a great company, saying, ‘no, we don’t know better’. If they had never allowed that mod, they would be a single player game company today, I think. So those user mods matter too. So I think they will keep doing what they have been doing, that includes single player games- it’s just taking a long time for them to come out.

I really hope you’re right!

One of my worst predictions ever was when I said that Half Life 3 would launch with the Steam Machine, and be playable only on that. So, obviously I have been consistently wrong about Valve, an also about Bethesda and Elder Scrolls, and Rockstar and GTA… so, I guess I’m an optimist when it comes to these companies.

Well, hopefully your optimism spills over into my next question. That’s about Metal Gear- Metal Gear is a popular franchise, but it seems to not have much of a future right now because of the Kojima-Konami fallout. Right now Konami is working on Metal Gear Survive, which is most charitably described as a spin-off… but do you think there is a future for Metal Gear beyond that game?

I don’t understand how anyone can think that brand can survive without Kojima, so- I- no. I think that there are some games where the lead is so central to the success of the game that the game is nothing without the lead. I think that Mortal Kombat and Ed Boon, or the Housers and GTA; and I think Kojima is so central to the look, feel, story, and art style of Metal Gear, that without him, I think Metal Gear is over. Metal Gear as we know it is over. It’s done.

Do you think Metal Gear fans will be well served by Death Stranding?

Its the day before The Game Awards, and I’m hopeful we learn more about the game tomorrow. There’s going to be something told about it. And… most Japanese games are bizarre, but we love some of them anyway. I mean, Katamari is so weird, and I love that game. I couldn’t stop playing it. Or look at Final Fantasy- compelling, or bizarre. I on’t think Kojima is quite as bizarre as other Japanese developers. He has this crossover appeal- so does Miyamoto. I think it’s something to do with their personalities, they are really likeable people, ad they are open to thinking about other people and cultures, which translates into their games.

So yes, I think Death Stranding will b a phenomenal success, I think Kojima is on of the finest developers who ever walked the planet. I will play his games no matter what they are called or what they look like.

Another game I want to talk about is Pokemon- you said that the Switch’s momentum in 2018 is contingent entirely upon the release of Smash Bros. But what about Pokemon? Assuming Pokemon does come out next year on Switch, what do think its potential for success is as the first console Pokemon game ever?

You know, Pokemon will come out and sell well. It’s an interesting question, because I don’t think of Pokemon as a system seller for consoles- I think of it as one for handhelds. So this brings us back to whether we consider the Switch as a console or a handheld. I know Nintendo views it as both, but I personally think of it as a handheld. And I also think that at $300, it’s way too expensive for a handheld, which means that once the hardcore fans have bought one, it’s going to be viewed as an expensive handheld because of the price. And if that’s the case, I don’t think Pokemon pushes it over the top. I think Pokemon has mass appeal, and it sells tons of millions of copies to a lot of people- but I don’t think that those people will spend $300 on one game, while I think that Smash Bros. fans will spend $300 for the one gam that pushes them over the edge. So, no, I don’t think Pokemon will be a system seller for a $300 console. Yes, it is one for a $129 handheld- but not for a $300 console.

"“I don’t think Pokemon will be a system seller for a $300 console. Yes, it is one for a $129 handheld- but not for a $300 console.”"

Okay, so this brings us to the question of price. Do you think the Switch, PS4 Pro, and Xbox One X might get price cuts any time soon?

PS4 Pro I think you will get a price cut for next year. I think they will take the Slim to $199 permanently and knock the Pro down to $299 after that. I don’t think the Switch gets a price cut until October 2018, mostly because I don’t think Nintendo has a big profit margin on it. So once economies of scale kick in and production costs fall, then I can see the price dropping. Xbox One X, we’ll see. I don’t think it can sell tens of millions of units at its price. My guess is it is $400 this time next year- but that still feels too expensive.

Alright- and for my final question, which 2018 game are you personally looking forward to the most?

Probably for me, Red Dead Redemption 2. I think that’s coming at about the right time. I’m not a big Anthem player, I don’t play games like destiny. Not a Battlefield player, Black Ops is not my favorite of the Call of Duty series… to be honest, the first game I will play next year will be Far Cry. I love that series, and this new one looks special. So that will be the first game I play. But I will definitely play Red Dead as well.

Hopefully it lives up to all the expectations!

Yeah, Rockstar does great work. I don’t think there’s a chance Red Dead isn’t 90+ rated.

Well, thank you for your time!

No problem, thank you for the chat.

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