Wedbush Securities analyst: $99 Xbox 720, contract required

Would you buy an Xbox 720 if it meant you had to sign a contract with a cable company? Yeah, you read that correctly. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter seems to believe that the next iteration of Microsoft's Xbox will act as both a video game console and a cable box – like, with a legitimate, actual physical service connection meaning you won't need to have a standalone cable box.

"The Xbox 720, this is my prediction, is going to be your television as well. You'll be able to tune into television through it. You won't need a 'smart TV' when you've got an Xbox 720, it will be your television and your internet. It's going to be open architecture and I think it's real trick will be that one Xbox will be able to display television to as many screens as you have in your possession," said Pachter.

This is the same business model that mobile retailers use when selling smartphones – the list price on the most powerful Android phone might be more than $700, but Verizon is willing to sell it to you for $200 if you promise to pay for service for two years. The rationale, of course, is that over those two years, Verizon will more than make up for the $500 it lost on that smartphone sale. For something like an Xbox, though, there are millions of people who live perfectly content lives without having a service subscription to it will be interesting to see if this strategy would work.

[via IncGamers]