Feature Article

Xbox Series X Price: We Predict The Final Price

We've put together our predictions on how much we think Xbox Series X will cost when it launches this holiday.

For years, Microsoft has been setting the foundation for its next-gen console, Xbox Series X. After having to recover from the blunder of the Xbox One's launch, the company has spent the latter years of this past console generation catering more to the consumer by advocating cross-platform play and backwards compatibility and expanding its service model with things like Xbox Game Pass and the still-in-development Project xCloud. It's setting the stage for a very interesting next generation if it can get the software support it needs from developers, including its own studios and third-party companies.

Still, as we learn more about Xbox Series X's architecture, its games, and what Microsoft has in mind for the future it wishes to cultivate with the console, we still don't know how much it'll cost. Until Xbox Series X launches this holiday, our imaginations will likely continue to run wild, wondering about potential price points--at least until Microsoft finally confirms it during one its Xbox 20/20 streams.

Below you can find a handful of predictions from the team, addressing our thoughts on the subject and how much we'd personally pay for Microsoft's next console, but do let us know your predictions in the comments. We also have predictions for PS5's price. Based on what we have heard from Sony on the matter, the systems could be more expensive than we were expecting. Of course, this also means Xbox Series X could be priced far below the PS5 and get an advantage out of the gate, especially if their technical capabilities are as close as it appears.

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As a console, there's a lot to know about the Xbox Series X, so if you want more details on its design and confirmed games, be sure to read our feature covering everything we know so far. You can also check out our in-depth feature highlighting the key differences between PS5 and Xbox Series X.

$500 - Michael Higham, Associate Editor

As I said in our roundup of what we'd pay for a PS5, I come from a PC gaming background, so my perception of acceptable pricing for hardware is slightly skewed toward the more expensive. I also profess to feeling conflicted because I am not a baller (see how I got my bank account set up…)

When thinking about the new generation of consoles, I'm consistently impressed with what's being promised and shown in terms of their functional capabilities. Like the PS5, Xbox Series X incorporates NVMe solid-state drive technology for super-fast load times, and in the PC space, NVMe SSDs aren't cheap. While we haven't seen concrete demonstrations from Xbox Series X quite yet, I'd expect similar performance.

The all-new AMD RDNA 2 graphics tech will be capable of 4K resolutions, as expected. But when coupled with the prospect of higher frame rates and ray tracing--high-end features that PC's have already touted through the Nvidia RTX video cards--I'm still surprised that much can be packed into an affordable console.

Then there are all the quality-of-life and consumer-friendly things to consider like smart delivery, quick resume, the platform's robust backward compatibility, and the unrivaled value of Xbox Game Pass. For Xbox Series X specifically, I think that it'd be easier to stomach a $500 price tag.

The Price I Pay Is Based On What I'll Actually Play - Tony, Video Producer

I have a formula I use when deciding to purchase a new game console. I want the value of the games I play on it to equal or surpass the cost of the console itself. So if I pay, say, $600 for a console, I want to play at least 10 $60-priced games throughout owning that machine. That "breaks even" in my mind and makes me satisfied with my purchase.

Why do I have this formula, you ask? I own an Xbox One launch model, which I purchased for $500. Unfortunately, I can count the number of Xbox One games I have owned on a single hand. Ryse: Son of Rome, Rare Replay, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Gears 5 are the only titles on my shelf--and that last one was a gift. So if you use my equation, the console was not a worthwhile investment. You don't even need the formula to see that.

Now let me be clear: I don't blame Microsoft for this. My friend group just happened to cluster around the PS4 and PC this past generation. But the dust gathering on my Xbox One in my closet means I need to weigh the potential cost of a Series X against the combined value of the games I'll actually play on it. And you know what? I'll probably get there pretty quickly through Xbox Game Pass. After all, a new console generation seems like a good time to jump on that bandwagon.

$500 - Chris Pereira, Engagement Editor

While I'd personally be willing to go higher--the FOMO around a new piece of hardware, mainly when we're talking about a new generation of consoles, is real--I can't imagine Microsoft asking for more than $500 for the Xbox Series X. That is essentially the ceiling that's been established in past generations, and I think the negative PR would be too much to deal with if Series X carries a $600 price tag.

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I do think that whatever price the Series X carries won't necessarily be the most expensive Xbox option on the market over the coming years. The rumored budget-priced Series X alternative could open a path for a more expensive, higher-end model than what even the Series X represents. With Microsoft seemingly rethinking the way it envisions generations of console hardware, I wouldn't be shocked by anything that comes out in the next 5-10 years--but out of the gate, diverging significantly from the norm for a new console would present too much of an uphill battle.

$500, But It'll Be An Extremely Tough Sell - Phil Hornshaw, Editor

If I had the chance to buy my Xbox One all over again, I wouldn't.

Though I've used the machine here and there for games I've enjoyed, like Sea of Thieves or Quantum Break, it mostly sits dormant. It's enjoyed new life lately because of Xbox Game Pass, but if I'm honest, I'm using that much more on PC than on console. I was a big Xbox fan through the last few hardware cycles, from the launch of Halo through the earliest days of Xbox Live and into the 360 era, but with the Xbox One, Microsoft all but lost me. Its hubris-born missteps at the launch of the Xbox One, coupled with an absolute deficiency of games I cared about that I couldn't readily get on PS4, have just been too hard to overcome. And all that is on my mind as I consider taking the plunge on a new system.

Realistically, I expect I'll have to shell out for a new system (as I mentioned when talking about PS5, I always have trouble justifying gaming expenses, and for me, $500 is a very big ask). But I still remember all those promises of games with integrated TV shows and whole seasons of Xbox-exclusive content, so I won't be easily convinced about anything Microsoft claims about the Series X until I see the games on it.

Games are already a significant expense for most people, and Microsoft is coming from behind in a big way, due mostly to its screw-ups the last time it launched hardware. Honestly, the company's best bet this fall would be to find lots of ways to make buying a new Series X a major value proposition, by coming in with a low price point, or perhaps a big bundle of free Xbox Game Pass subscription capabilities (backward compatibility is a big selling point for the console and is a step in the right direction). That would ease my mind as I open my wallet. Regardless, I'm expecting hardware costs will mean I'll have to pay about $500 for Microsoft's new machine, but I definitely won't be doing so until I'm sure owning a new Xbox will be worth it.

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