Xbox Series X will be ‘as affordable as possible’ says Microsoft

‘Our strategy does not revolve around how many Xboxes I sell this year’, insists Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

Microsoft has once again warned that the biggest problem with launching a new console this year is not the games or whether the hardware will be ready, but whether people can afford them.

That’s what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said back in March and now Xbox boss Phil Spencer has repeated the same sentiment, as he worries about the coming period of ‘massive economic uncertainty’.

‘We see the impact of people getting furloughed and layoffs. It’s tough,’ he told the BBC. ‘And we are a leisure activity. We’re not a requirement. We’re not food. We’re not shelter. So we want to be really tuned in to that as we launch. How can we make it as affordable as possible? How can we give buyers choice?’

Spencer emphasised that the price of the Xbox Series X is vital, although there’s still no clue as to how much it or the PlayStation 5 will cost, or which will be cheaper.

‘Our strategy is centred around the player, not the device. If this is not the year when a family wants to make a decision to buy a new Xbox, that’s OK’, he said.

‘Our strategy does not revolve around how many Xboxes I sell this year,’ insisted Spencer. ‘We’re focused on delivering services through Xbox Game Pass, which allows people to build their library for a monthly fee.’

It was clear long before the coronavirus that Microsoft was intent on having a much gentler segue into the next generation than normal. By emphasising the importance of backwards compatibility, and ensuring there will be no Xbox Series X exclusives for at least the first year, their plans are already focused as much on Xbox Games Pass as the new console.

Since even launch title Halo Infinite will also run on Xbox One there will be no need for anyone to upgrade to a next gen console in order to play the latest Xbox games this year, although this contrasts significantly with how Sony has been talking about the continued importance of exclusives.

Exactly what Sony is planning for its launch line-up won’t be clear until later in the week though, when they plan to have their first major reveal of the PlayStation 5 and its games.

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