Xbox Series X Price: Everything We Know About The Cost
With PS5's price also unknown, Microsoft isn't sharing a price just yet.
Microsof's next-gen console, the Xbox Series X, is coming sometime this year. Though many details remain unannounced, the company has already outlined a great deal of detail regarding specs, and the outspoken Xbox head Phil Spencer has done rounds of interviews hinting at what we can expect. As a result, we already know quite a bit about Series X, even before its formal debut that we expect to take place in a digital format due to COVID-19. One question still looms large: how much will it cost?
Microsoft first began unveiling the Xbox Series X at The Game Awards, and has addressed the topic of price in comments and interviews. In June, Microsoft's Jason Ronald said the company is keenly aware of what consumers see as "reasonable" for price, while stressing that it will be a high-end piece of hardware. Phil Spencer echoed those sentiments in November, suggesting that the company had learned a hard lesson from being both significantly more expensive and less powerful than the competition.
"I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or price," Spencer said. "If you remember the beginning of this generation we were a hundred dollars more expensive and, yes, we were less powerful. And we started Project Scarlett with this leadership team in place with a goal of having market success."
Xbox Series X Specs Quick Look
- CPU: AMD Ryzen Custom Zen 2 CPU
- GPU: AMD Navi-based GPU (~12 TFLOPs)
- RAM: 16GB GDDR6 SDRAM
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
- Max Output Resolution: 8K
- Max Refresh Rate: 120Hz
All of that suggests a price that is on the higher-end of normalcy. One report with purportedly leaked specs in October claimed the higher-end model would be $500, which fits that criteria. However, it's unclear if Microsoft is pursuing a strategy of two models at launch, so that report could be inaccurate. Spencer did mention in the Series X reveal that the name "gives us the freedom to do other things with that name so that we can create descriptors when we need to." That implies a strategy around multiple models, at least long-term.
Spencer expanded his comments in a later interview, saying he feels good about the price and performance ratio and he feels Microsoft has a "winning plan" against Sony. That said, the price isn't entirely set yet. Spencer also noted that the company is staying agile on price, anticipating factors like Sony's price for the PS5 and how they could leverage value-added services like Game Pass and Smart Delivery.
One reason Microsoft hasn't talked more openly about price could be that the decision is still in flux. Spencer said in June that the price could be impacted by a lot of factors, including President Donald Trump's trade war with China.
"The price will be important. Clearly, price is one of those things that people want to know," he said. "As we're watching how the cost of the components are coming in, and things like tariffs and other things, trying to figure out what that price is going to be next year. We have a price point in mind; I think we're going to hit that. But we want to make sure everything comes in right. We'll get price out as soon as we can."
Finally, we may not know the price yet, but Microsoft is offering a roundabout way to start paying in installments. The Xbox All Access program returned for the holiday season, letting you essentially make monthly payments on a new Xbox One along with Game Pass Ultimate, which includes both the subscription service and Xbox Live Gold.
The subscription model, similar to cell phone payment plans, has you pay off your console over 24 months. If you go for the highest tier--which includes an Xbox One X--by the end of 2019, you can upgrade to the Xbox Series X after 12 months. At that point, your 24-month payment plan will reset, and Microsoft hasn't detailed what those monthly payments will be. Assuming Microsoft wants to move its All Access customers neatly over to the new console without raising their monthly rate, the new console would need to be priced at roughly the same point as a current Xbox One X--which is $500.