Sony turned a few heads when it unexpectedly did so increased prices on the PlayStation 5 in the second year of the current console generation. Naturally, many wondered if the same complex financial statements we’re all in we’ll see a rise in Xbox prices also. In a recent interview with CNBC, however, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, said that raising the price of the Xbox Series wouldn’t be a wise move for the company at this time.
While in Japan for the Tokyo Game Show, Phil Spencer appeared on CNBC to talk about Microsoft’s potential interest in acquiring more companies, how it sees itself in the Japanese video game market, and whether or not the Xbox will follow the PlayStation in an increase in prices. Spencer did not “categorically” deny that Xbox would raise its prices, choosing instead to point to the success of the more affordable Series S, as well as stressing that while “customers are facing more financial issues and uncertainty than ever before” , the company currently has no plans to raise its prices.
While this is a more immediate admission that we shouldn’t expect price increases in the near future, Spencer said that “in the future,” the company can’t completely rule out the possibility of a price change.
We are always evaluating our business going forward. I don’t think we can ever say we’ll never do something. But when we look at our consoles today, […] Series X and Series S, we believe value is incredibly important. We love the position of the Series S in the market, which is our lowest cost console. More than half of our new players that we find come through Series S. And I can definitely say that we have no plans to raise today [the prices] of our consoles […] We don’t think it’s the right move for us at this point to raise prices on our console.
The issue of console prices followed a discussion of takeovers, as Phil Spencer stated that the competitive nature of the video game market meant the company was “not playing catch-up”, sizing up its competitors such as Sony and Tencent. Activision’s recent acquisition certainly has shuffle some feathers between Xbox and PlayStationespecially regarding his future Call of Dutymulti-platform status. Regarding the acquisitions, Spencer said:
Tencent is the largest gaming company on the planet today and continues to invest heavily in gaming content and game creators. Sony is a bigger business than we are in gaming today and continues to invest. When you look at the investments we’ve made, it’s a very competitive market. We are trying to become a major player here. […] whether that is investing in our internal teams […] [or] creating new partnerships.
Spencer also laid the groundwork for Xbox’s ambitions to expand into Japanese markets, where it has historically struggled. He highlighted plans to build relationships with existing Japanese developers, similar to the company’s recent collaboration with Kojima Productions to bring an ambitious, upcoming title to Xbox.