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What impact will the explosive price hike on Xbox Series X and Xbox Game Pass have on gamers?

  • Xbox Series X will see an increase of around 10% in most regions, along with a slight price increase for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and console tiers starting next month.
  • Microsoft follows in Sony’s footsteps by enacting PlayStation 5-like price increases, justified by competitive market conditions and supply chain challenges.
  • Microsoft reveals its lack of interest in virtual/augmented reality and downplays the importance of cloud gaming, amid regulatory efforts and concerns over its attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The Microsoft company has announced that starting in August, Xbox Series X will experience a price increase of around 10 percent in most regions except the US. In addition, the prices of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and the Console levels will also increase slightly in all territories starting next month.

Price increase on Xbox Series X and Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft has informed The Verge that starting August 1, the price of Xbox Series X will increase in most countries, except the US, Japan, Chile, Brazil and Colombia.

Also, on July 6, the price of Xbox Game Pass will increase from $9.99 a month to $10.99 globally, while the price of Ultimate will increase from $14.99 to $16.99. On the other hand, the prices of PC Game Pass and Xbox Series S will remain unchanged.

MarketXbox Series X (old price)Xbox Series X (new price)
MarketCurrencyXbox Game Pass Ultimate (old price)Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (new price)Xbox Game Pass Console (old price)Xbox Game Pass Console (new price)
Czech RepublicCZK339389259269
Hong Kong SARHKD79855965
New ZealandNZD19.9521.9512.9513.95
Saudi ArabiaSAR39.9944.9929.9929.99
South AfricaZAR1191297985

Reasons behind the price increase

This price increase on Xbox Series X reflects the move taken by Sony for the PlayStation 5 last summer, when it increased by €50.

In October, Microsoft admitted that price increases on Xbox were inevitable. The company stated that these changes were in response to competitive market conditions, but it is likely that they will face problems similar to those that affected Sony last year.

The industry is still experiencing the consequences of supply chain disruptions, which have increased manufacturing costs. In addition, inflation can also play an important role in this decision.

At the moment, Nintendo has not hinted at any plans to increase the price of the Switch.

Microsoft’s position on VR/AR and cloud gaming

In related news, Microsoft has recently expressed disinterest in virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) in the wake of recent efforts by Sony and Apple in this space.

Matt Booty, a senior executive at Xbox Game Studios, mentioned in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that demand for headsets like the PlayStation VR2 and Vision Pro is too small for the types of games that sell millions of copies, which is a priority for Microsoft’s internal development studios.

Booty also downplayed the importance of the cloud gaming market, possibly as part of Microsoft’s efforts to allay concerns surrounding its attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

UK regulators blocked the $69 billion deal amid fears that exclusive rights to franchises like Call of Duty and Diablo would cement Microsoft’s dominance in the cloud sector.

Booty suggested that the company’s cloud service is still in an experimental stage and highlighted deals they have signed with competitors like Nvidia.

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