Xbox Series X price increase seems inevitable as Microsoft follows PS5's lead in Japan
Microsoft admitted last year that it could raise the price of Xbox Series X|S consoles
Microsoft has followed Sony’s lead and increased the price of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in Japan, suggesting other markets could be affected by a price hike in the near future.
The suggested retail price of the Xbox Series X in Japan is increasing on February 17 from ¥54,978 to ¥59,978 (around $421 to $460), which is a bump of 9%.
The more affordable Xbox Series S is also seeing a price hike and will cost ¥37,978 instead of ¥32,278 (around $247 to $291), which is a steeper increase of 17.7%.
Microsoft told Gematsu: “After carefully evaluating the market condition in Japan, we have decided to change the suggested retail price of Xbox consoles in the country.
“We regularly evaluate the impact of local pricing to maintain reasonable consistency across regions. This price revision affects our customers and was a difficult decision to make, but going forward we will continue to provide the ultimate Xbox experience that our customers expect.”
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Xbox Series X price hike
🇯🇵 Microsoft is raising the price of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in Japan
👆 The consoles will go up in price by 9% and 17% respectively
💰 Microsoft didn’t raise the price of its consoles last year, unlike Sony
📈 It appears that is changing in 2023 after Microsoft previously admitted it couldn’t keep the costs the same forever
Microsoft hasn’t had the best track record in Japan but found a modicum of success with the Xbox 360. The good news for Microsoft is that the Xbox Series X and Series S are faring far better than the Xbox One, which failed to resonate with Japanese gamers.
However, sales of Microsoft’s consoles in Japan are regularly dwarfed by the PS5 and Nintendo Switch, and the price increase of the popular Xbox Series S could have a detrimental effect on future sales. The cheaper and smaller system has been one of the main driving forces for Xbox adoption in Japan, especially when tied with Xbox Game Pass.
Is a global Xbox price increase inevitable?
Sony raised the price of the PS5 in Japan last year by 21% but still hasn’t rolled out a price increase in the US. Other markets such as Europe, China, Australia, Mexico and Canada all saw a small price increase, however, with Sony blaming “challenging economic conditions” as the main reason behind its decision.
Microsoft is yet to follow suit but admitted last year that it wouldn’t be able to keep its current pricing structure. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft’s CEO of Gaming Phil Spencer said: “We’ve held price on our console, we’ve held price on games for us and our subscriptions. I don’t think we’ll be able to do that forever. I do think at some point we’ll have to raise some prices on certain things.”
Since then, Microsoft has increased the price of its first-party games from $60 to $70, something Sony did at the start of the generation. However, that price rise is offset somewhat as all of Microsoft’s first-party games launch on Xbox Game Pass on day one.
Could the Xbox Series X price increase soon, then? It’s very likely. We’ve already seen subscriptions such as Apple TV+ and Apple Music go up in price, as well as devices like the Meta Quest 2, which went up by $100. If you’ve been on the fence about buying an Xbox Series X or Series S, you might be better off snapping one up now.
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