“I think those are going to be important things with the economic situation that we see outside,” says the Xbox boss.
With the economic upheaval that the whole world is facing right now thanks in large part to COVID-19, questions about prices with the upcoming console launches are more relevant than ever, but it’s a question the Microsoft seem to be paying a lot of mind to. They have talked about wanting to focus on their Xbox All Access program with the Xbox Series X, and about how that in conjunction with their subscription services and their continued support for Xbox One should be a viable alternative to purchasing their new console, and based on Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s recent words, it really does seem like that’s going to be Microsoft’s approach to next-gen.
Speaking at the recent Gamelab Live conference (transcribed by VGC), Spencer spoke about these things again, emphasizing the Xbox All Access program and how its model could attract buyers while keeping the current economic condition around the world in mind.
“Xbox All Access is going to be critical to both our launch for Xbox Series X as well as just the overall kind of generation,” Spencer said. “We want to bring our whole customer base along and we want to offer options and opportunities wherever we can.
“The response that we’ve seen where we’ve tested Xbox All Access has been great but it’s been limited in terms of the market, so you’re going to see a much broader market and retailer support for Xbox All Access. It matches a model that customers use for many other devices that they buy and as you have services that are attached to those devices that people love it just becomes an easier way to bring a great product to customers.
“And we should also just understand the global economic situation that we’re going to see this year, we’re seeing it today, and I think having more pricing options for consumers is frankly just a thoughtful thing for us as an industry to think about.”
He added: “Whether it’s Game Pass and me getting access to hundreds of games for a lower amount each month or things like Xbox All Access that let me get into a new hardware generation without the big upfront cost, I think those are going to be important things with the economic situation that we see outside.”
As far as what the Xbox Series X might be priced at when it launches, there has been no word on that front up until now, though Spencer has noted on a few occasions that the console’s pricing is something Microsoft are going to remain “agile” on.
On the Sony front, there has similarly been no word on thee PS5’s pricing, but PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has suggested a few times that Sony will go with a price point that might not be the lowest, but will provide the “best possible value proposition.”
Analysts have said that both consoles could end up costing between $450-$500.