Microsoft has finally conceded that just like everything else, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S prices will likely have to rise. Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of gaming, admitted that despite holding out longer than Sony and its PS5 (which was increased around most of the world in August), a price hike will have to come sooner rather than later.
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Techlive conference, Spencer said: "We've held price on our console, we've held price on games and our subscription. I don't think we'll be able to do that forever.”
The good news is that Spencer is determined not to increase the cost over the holidays when budgets are famously stretched: “Going into this holiday we thought it was important to maintain the prices."
Spencer also provided an update on the state of Xbox Game Pass, with it now bringing in a healthy profit for Xbox and accounting for around 15% of the Xbox division’s revenue, despite reports of slowing growth. The day before the conference also saw Microsoft announce a record-breaking quarter in terms of Xbox hardware sales (some $3.61 billion) so to announce specific price hikes off the back of such figures (and the $68 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard) would be in poor taste.
Spencer agreed that now is not the moment to raise prices: "When our customers are more economically challenged and uncertain than ever, we don't think it's the right move."
While a hike in console price would not affect existing players, a spike in game prices mid-generation would be tough to take. Xbox Game Pass is currently one of the best deals in gaming with some of the best games of recent times on the service, but a price overhaul would also hit the pocket of PC gamers.
While no specific figure has been mentioned, anyone considering purchasing an Xbox Series X in the near future should probably act this side of the holidays. If you need help, then check out our Xbox Series X restock to help you secure a console.