The Xbox Series X is still unpriced, but with some high-end hardware inside, no one in the industry is betting on it being cheap. And that might have been a problem in 2020 (for any new console), when financially things are somewhat ‘icky’.
However, it looks like Microsoft has hit upon at least a partial solution to a problem it couldn’t have possibly predicted. With Phil Spencer talking about the cost of a new console to The Verge.
“I think what you see is us challenging some of what I will say are the financial tropes or financial historicals of the console business… Because I don’t think everybody should have to go buy a new collection of games when they buy a new console. I just fundamentally don’t believe that.”
With games making up a significant portion of the price of a new console purchase, Microsoft’s backward compatibility and Game Pass initiatives mean consumers will be able to take home a console and start playing a huge range of titles for practically no more money than the price of the hardware (of course, that puts retailers in a tough position potentially, if consumers do just take a console and nothing else).
“I think you should have games that look great on that new console. But you shouldn’t have to go buy all-new games to go play on that console. I think if I make a purchase on Xbox One — I believed this even in the 360 days, even though we didn’t do it at the launch of Xbox One — it should continue to work as I move up in the hardware [cycle].
“I honestly think we’re in the best launch lineup position that we’ve ever been on Xbox… “When I think about the strength and depth of the games that people are going to be able to play day one on Xbox Series X — not only because of [backward compatibility] — and the way that Game Pass really allows the total cost of ownership of our console, I think is a real strength.”
And our guess on the price of the upcoming console? That’s a little more complex, we think it will be around £400 but that will come sweetened with a hefty chunk of Game Pass membership – six months or maybe even a year, making the console appear far cheaper than the initial outlay would suggest.