Microsoft has admitted that it may follow Sony’s lead by increasing the prices of some Xbox products, but it won’t come until the new year.
Speaking at the WSJ Tech conference on Wednesday, Xbox President Phil Spencer said the company is determined to maintain pricing ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. After that, it looks like all bets are off.
“We’ve been going this vacation, we think it’s really important to keep the rates we have,” Spencer told an audience in Laguna Beach, California (via CNET). “Consumers right now are more uncertain than they have long been, and I want our video game medium to be something they find attractive.”
That could mean that the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles, which have held their launch prices, may see increases in early 2023. Xbox Game Pass, which is among the best value-for-money offerings in gaming, may also see an increase.
Given the amount of cash Microsoft is spending on acquisitions to boost its Game Pass library, that certainly seems more likely. All Spencer might say is that prices will change for “certain things” and “at some point”.
“We have to look at the return on our business from the cost of the business,” Spencer said. “We set the price on our console, and kept the price of the games for us and our subscription. I don’t think we’ll be able to do that forever.”
Microsoft knows it will face a backlash due to hardware price hikes, which usually go down in price as the cycle goes on, rather than up. However, the increased prices of the components mean that the company may choose to increase its margins.
Sony has been criticized for raising the prices of the PS5 recently, just as the console has become widely available after nearly two years of shortages.