Sure, MS can. Xbox, however, can not. I think this is the reason we've been hearing lately that the PS5 is more powerful. MS is going to have a decent box, but they don't want to lose a bunch of money on HW, so I think they'll launch at break even, maybe a slight loss. Sony, on the other hand, is more willing to take larger losses up front, since gaming is a big division for them. Gaming for MS is a much smaller focus, and gaming HW even smaller, hence them taking a bigger leap into streaming and PC gaming, as of late.
I think the most likely outcome is that they will both launch at $499, but with Sony taking a larger loss, they will have the more capable HW.
Xbox can... Seems Microsoft has opened it's checkbook up and is gearing up for next-gen, hence the purchasing of all the studios recently and holding things back for next-gen.
But they still need to answer to shareholders, so they certainly do still have limits and restrictions.
Plus Microsoft tends to roll other aspects into it's "Gaming division" to make that division seem more lucrative anyway, helps that division is also partly buoyed by the PC too... So they can get away with more than people realize thanks to clever accounting.
Except that has very little with selling HW and more to do with getting new content for xCloud/GamerPass, and MS has said as much. Phil Spencer is even preparing for lower console sales with his "the business isn't how many consoles you sell" talk. MS is making it obvious that they are transitioning Xbox to be a service. I don't think they are going to be interested in losing that revenue to cover losses on greatly subsidizing expensive HW.