The price of the best console games is set to increase when the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X hardware launches before the end of the year and, according to the guy leading the charge for Microsoft, that’s perfectly ok.
With AAA titles like NBA 2K21 already confirmed to cost $69.99/£64.99 on the new systems, gamers are preparing for a considerable price hike for software on top of a similar spike for the newest console hardware.
Microsoft has yet to set a price point for its first party games coming to Xbox Series X, but it’s likely there’ll be pricing consistency among the major developers and publishers.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said he has no problem with a new pricing structure, mainly due to the unparalleled choice gamers have these days. He said developers can set prices as high as they wish, but ultimately the gamer will decide if that’s fair.
He said: “As an industry, we can price things whatever we want to price them, and the customer will decide what the right price is for them.
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“I’m not negative on people setting a new price point for games because I know everybody’s going to drive their own decisions based on their own business needs. But gamers have more choice today than they ever have. In the end, I know the customer is in control of the price that they pay, and I trust that system.”
The backlash against the $70/£65 NBA 2K21 next-gen price point was compounded by the announcement the new game wouldn’t respect Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system that’s designed to ensure gamers don’t have to pay twice to own a game on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
Only those gamers buying the $99.99/£84.99 Mamba Forever deluxe version of the game for Xbox One will get the automatic update for the next-gen console.