It’s hard to think that we’re only a week away from approaching September, while for many it still feels like the 57th of March, but since then we’ve learnt nothing about the price of the Xbox Series X as yet.
The jury is still out as to whether we would know the release date and the price by now if there was no pandemic, but rumours have been abound lately to give it a price of $599.
It’s a price that some have expected and others have shown shock at, but again, it’s only rumour; not fact as yet. But it raises the question of whether a price that’s more than $399 is justified for a next-gen console, especially during these times.
With what constitutes next-gen, does a high price-point of $599 seem justified for the Series X, and in-turn sets it up for some success? Let’s find out.
Money is an object
When a next-gen product is announced, be it the next iPhone or the next graphics card, there’s always something that helps make its price justified. The iPhone X was a new design with FaceID for instance. The NVIDIA 2080i was the first GPU to feature onboard ray tracing. Features that are worth paying for, worth saving up for.
The same goes for consoles; the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X featured 4K visuals at varying frame rates, depending on the game at $349. That’s a justified purchase for many, especially if they’ve upgraded their TV that now has 4K. But with the Xbox Series X, its justifiable features seem to be eroding away.
Pricing a console at $600 usually means a profit for the company; it happened with Sony’s PlayStation 3 where they made a loss on every console sold for a time since it launched.
When you combine the confused messaging from Xbox, with ‘Smart Delivery’, it’s ‘Inside Xbox’ event and the tweets before and after that, alongside other times, pricing the console at any price doesn’t mean it is set up for some success. People want to play the latest next-gen games on it, and unfortunately it looks as though that will be scarce in November.
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The pay-monthly option looks like it could be the best option for the majority of customers out there. For $19.99 a customer can have an Xbox One and 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate on an 18-month contract. This way, it spreads out the cost instead of having $350 taken out of their bank account.
If this option was to be extended to the Series X in November, the perception could be on a positive footing on launch day, even if the launch titles are just the Game Pass library.
But again, high-prices for next-gen consoles need to be justified, and even if Microsoft announce a $599 price for the Series X, it would bring yet another round of confusion. There’s simply no exclusive next-gen games to play on the console at launch, and with ‘Smart Delivery’, some games are going to be on the One, PC and Series X anyway. Whereas the PS5 has exclusive games abound, and even its controller, with its haptic triggers are just a few of the justifiable reasons for its price.
High price-points are irrelevant for success; the games are what drive it. Unfortunately, there’s a sparse selection as we head into November with the Series X. Unless if there’s any pre-release demos of ‘Halo’ or even ‘Call of Duty: Cold War’, any price announced will still make the customer wonder why they should exchange their Xbox One for the Series X this holiday.
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