Xbox boss hints at price rise for consoles and games

Microsoft Head of Gaming Phil Spencer has discussed potential price rises for Xbox products in future.
xbox bethesda games showcase

During the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference, Microsoft Head of Gaming Phil Spencer discussed the possibility of raising prices for Xbox consoles, games, and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. While the company has held firm on its prices, even as competitors chose another path, it appears this may change in future, as economic pressures mount.

‘We’ve held price on our console, we’ve held price on games… and our subscription. I don’t think we’ll be able to do that forever,’ Spencer said at Tech Live, per reporter Tom Warren. ‘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.’

While Spencer’s comments are speculative only, they do indicate a change in attitude from Microsoft. When Sony announced a price rise for the PlayStation 5, to contend with the deflation of the global economy and increased manufacturing costs, Spencer indicated Microsoft had ‘no plans’ to raise the price of its consoles.

Read: Xbox boss voices caution over ‘exploitative’ NFTs and blockchain games

‘I can definitely say we have no plans today to raise price of our consoles,’ Spencer told CNBC in September. ‘We think in a time when our customers are more economically challenged and uncertain than ever, we don’t think it’s the right move for us at this point to be raising prices on our console.’

At the time, Spencer admitted he could ‘never say never’ on a future price rise, but appeared certain that Microsoft would not pass its increased production and manufacturing costs onto consumers. It’s unclear what has changed since then, but it appears Microsoft is now less firm in its conviction as the realities of the global economy sink in.

For now, the price of Xbox consoles, games and services will remain steady – until at least the end of 2022. But if Spencer’s comments are anything to go by, there may be an incoming rise to contend with economic pressures. This could mean an increased cost for monthly Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, a price rise for Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, or even a bump to physical game prices.

This shouldn’t be an incentive to rush out and horde games or subscription months – but keep an eye on the horizon. Major changes to Xbox goods and services could be on the way.

In other Xbox news, Phil Spencer also remarked that the growth of Xbox Game Pass uptake was slowing down on consoles, but growing dramatically on PC.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.