Discover more from The Shortcut
Xbox boss hints at Series X and Game Pass price increases
Microsoft CEO of Gaming Phil Spencer has suggested big price changes are coming down the line
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Xbox price rise
👆 Xbox console, game and subscription prices could be going up
📆 Xbox boss Phil Spencer hinted the new prices could emerge next year
📈 Sony raised the price of the PS5 outside of the US earlier this year, but Microsoft previously said it wouldn’t follow suit
🦥 Xbox Game Pass subscriptions are slowing, but the service is profitable
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has hinted at a price increase for the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox Game Pass.
Speaking at WSJ Tech Live 2022, Spencer was drawn to comment on the price of Microsoft’s flagship console. While he didn’t reveal exactly when prices might change, he suggested they could rise as early as next year.
“We've held price on our console, we've held price on games... and our subscription,” Spencer said, as reported by The Verge journalist Tom Warren. “I don't think we'll be able to do that forever.”
He added: “I do think at some point we'll have to raise the prices on certain things, but going into this holiday we thought it was important to maintain the prices.”
Sony increased the price of the PS5 in Europe and other parts of the world back in August, citing high manufacturing costs. The price rise didn’t extend to the US, however, and Spencer previously said Microsoft had no plans to follow suit.
A price rise could seriously hamper the attractiveness of Microsoft’s current console lineup. The Xbox Series X is priced at $449, a whole $50 less than the PS5, while the digital-only Xbox Series S goes for $299.
Microsoft currently has a big price advantage over Sony in the fight between PS5 vs Xbox Series X. Part of the Series S’s draw is its low price point, pulling players into the Xbox ecosystem before embedding them there with Xbox Game Pass.
But the take-up of the gaming subscription service is slowing. Spencer said that while the platform is already proving profitable for Microsoft, he doesn’t expect it will ever take up a bigger portion of the Xbox gaming pie.
“We’re seeing incredible growth on PC,” Spencer said, as reported by The Verge. “On console, I’ve seen growth slow down, mainly because at some point you’ve reached everybody on console that wants to subscribe.
“Game Pass as an overall part of our content and services revenue is probably 15%. I don’t think it gets bigger than that. I think the overall revenue grows, so 15% of a bigger number, but we don’t have this future where I think 50 to 70% of our revenue comes from subscriptions.”
If prices do increase, Microsoft will have to make sure its Game Pass and Xbox Series X|S libraries are better than ever. Our pick of the best Xbox Series X games could look very different in a few years’ time.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.