Analysts at prominent market research firm IHS have performed in-depth teardowns on both Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, and concluded that the latter is US$90 more expensive for it's creators to manufacture. Tech blog AllThingsD
explains that the the Xbox One's Kinect controller is the primary reason for the console's higher tag, as unlike PS4's entire-optional PlayStation Camera, Kinect comes in every box with a suspected manufacturing cost somewhere around US$75.
IHS notes that the Xbox One's AMD processor is estimated to account for around $110 of the console's production cost, versus $100 for the PS4's, but Microsoft save some scratch on system memory, with the Xbox One's DDR3 thought to cost them around $60, in contrast to $88 for the GDDR5 in Sony's box.
The combined cost of parts and manufacturing everything that comes with the Xbox One — the console, the Kinect and the controller — comes out to $471, or about $90 more than the cost of Sony’s PS4, which debuted last week.
The Xbox One sells at retail for $499, giving Microsoft little, if any, room for much of a profit for now.
In North America, the PS4 retails at USD$399 with a $100 price advantage over the Xbox One at USD$499. Here in Australia however, that margin narrows to only AU$50 with the PS4 at AUD$549 and the Xbox One at AUD$599.
In fairness, if you wanted the benefits of voice and motion control on both systems, the price difference becomes much more negligible, as the PlayStation 4 would require the additional purchase of the official PlayStation Camera, which carries a recommended retail price of USD$59.99 in North America, and AUD$89.99 locally.