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Does it Flip? Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4

Yesterday we outlined our latest money experiment which involves us trying to resell Xbox One and PlayStation 4 [3] preorders for a juicy profit.

Our buddy/coworker Keith was smart enough to grab a preorder for each console months ago and now we want to evaluate the market to see what we’re getting ourselves into.

Let’s take a closer look at the Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 and analyze their respective markets on eBay.

Xbox One

Retail Price: $499
Release Date: November 22, 2013 (US)
Current eBay Median Price: $724.97 as of Nov. 4(+42.28% over retail) (via PriceGeek)
Plus/Minus retail: + $225.97

Microsoft isn’t holding back much with its newest gaming Goliath. The glossy “liquid black” box touts an impressive array of tech specs, features — including the ability to capture on-screen game footage — and improvements to Xbox’s class-leading online service Xbox Live.

The biggest, and most controversial, new addition is Microsoft’s advanced 3D camera known as Kinect, which now comes with every console. This device can track movements with precision, accurately decipher voice commands, read your skeleton, distinguish depth, and track multiple people in the same space. Eerily, it can also track your heartbeat to monitor stress levels for (I hope) useful in-game interactions. The main issue with the new camera is that it’s initially set to always be on. The purpose, Microsoft claims, is to allow users to simply speak the words, “Xbox on!” to start up the console. In order to utilize that feature, the machine needs to be on, even in a low-energy state, to respond to voice commands. As you can imagine, not everyone is excited to have an all-seeing eye constantly glaring at them, so it’ll be curious to see the fan reaction once the device is on the market.

But all we care about is whether or not it will flip. And based on consumer feedback and horrible PR moves by Microsoft, we do believe some of the bad press may affect its value.

How’s it selling?

This chart shows us the most current closed bids on eBay (as of November 4, 2013). Already we can see a pretty significant markup over $200 of retail. Apparently Microsoft’s PR blunders aren’t affecting the pre-sale market. Things may change once we get closer to launch.

PlayStation 4

Retail Price: $399
Release Date: November 15, 2013 (US)
Current eBay Median Price: $623.18 as of Nov. 4(+56.18% over retail) (via PriceGeek)
Plus/Minus retail: + $224.18

Sony is the old, reliable horse this race. The PlayStation brand has essentially become synonymous with mainstream gaming in general over the past 18-odd years. The 4th iteration of the box comes packed to the gills with tech. It outpowers the Xbox One in raw performance by almost 50%, and touts similar video-capturing features and the promise of cloud gaming — removing the need to own any tangible game discs.

Sony has played it smart recently and kept its mouth shut with Microsoft making gaffe after gaffe. We actually don’t know too much about the system and its features, though Sony recently published some information that made fans groan a bit — the PS4 will not support audio discs or MP3s. So what you have is one of the most advanced video game machines ever built, and you can’t play your (probably pirated) old school Hootie and the Blowfish albums.

Regardless, where Sony truly trumps Microsoft is price. The PS4 comes in $100 cheaper and launches a week earlier.

How’s it selling?

Here’s how the PlayStation 4 is selling as of November 4, 2013. Similar to the Xbox One, it’s currently carrying over a $200 premium. We believe this will increase the closer we get to launch, and the closer we get to Sony’s (and Microsoft’s) marketing push.

We’ll be keeping an eye on these prices up until launch, and we’ll be documenting each step of the way. Stay tuned!