Microsoft has admitted it may follow Sony’s lead by increasing the price of some Xbox products, but any change won’t come until the new year.
Speaking at the WSJ Tech conference on Wednesday, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said the company was determined to maintain the prices ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. After that, though, it seems all bets are off.
“Going into this holiday, we thought it was really important that we maintain the prices that we have,” Spencer told an audience in Laguna Beach, California (via CNET). “Consumers right now are more uncertain than they have been in a long time, and I want our medium of video games to be something that they find attractive.”
That could mean the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles, which have maintained their launch prices, could see increases in early 2023. The Xbox Game Pass service, which is considered among the best value for money offerings in gaming may too see an increase.
Given the amount of cash Microsoft is splashing on acquisitions to boost the Game Pass library this certainly seems more likely. All Spencer would say is that prices may change for “certain things” and “at some point.”
“We have to look at the return on our business the cost of the business,” Spencer said. “We’ve held price on our console, we’ve held price on games for us and our subscription. I don’t think we’ll be able to do that forever.”
Microsoft knows it would face backlash for raising the price of the hardware, which usually goes down in price as the cycle goes on, rather than up. However, the increasing price of components mean the company may opt to widen its margins.
Sony was criticised for raising the PS5 prices recently, just as the console became widely available following almost two years of shortages.