Microsoft's in-house Xbox Series X|S games will cost $70 starting next year

Daniel Sims

Posts: 763   +31
Staff
In context: The march toward a $70 MSRP for retail games seems inevitable amid a general increase in tech-related pricing. Microsoft said earlier that it wouldn't be able to maintain its current prices forever, and this latest decision follows other major game publishers.

Microsoft told IGN this week that, starting in 2023, the company's new first-party games will cost $70 instead of $60. The policy applies to upcoming titles like Starfield, Redfall, and the next Forza Motorsport that are designed for the Xbox Series X and S and won't come to Xbox One.

The decision echoes how Sony charges $70 for PlayStation 5 first-party games, but $60 for PlayStation 4 titles. Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive also made similar choices to account for the increasing costs of game development.

However, the price hike may not have the same impact on Xbox due to differences between Microsoft's and Sony's business strategies. Sony applies its $70 price point to cross-generation games, charging customers $10 to upgrade titles like God of War Ragnarök from PS4 to PS5.

Xbox games like Forza Horizon 5 upgrade from Xbox One to Xbox Series for free, and Microsoft's cross-gen games still cost $60.

Furthermore, much of Microsoft's gaming business now revolves around Game Pass which entitles subscribers to all the games falling under the new policy. Additionally, subscribers buying those games separately from Game Pass get a discount. Sony's PlayStation Plus subscription includes discounts, but not for new first-party games.

While game prices are trending upward compared to recent years, $70 isn't a new high. New games regularly sold for $60, $70, or more during the 1990s, and those prices don't account for inflation.

Prices started to fall when games moved to optical discs, which are cheaper to manufacture than cartridges. Comparing the images in the tweet above, Madden 97 cost $48 on the original PlayStation and Sega Saturn, but $60 on the older Super NES and Sega Genesis consoles. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was $70 on Super NES and Genesis, but $53 on Saturn.

New game prices settled around $50 during the PlayStation 2 years, but increased to $60 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Hikes since then have become controversial due to inflation and increasingly expensive game development on one end and the rising importance of digital on the other, which lowers distribution costs and cuts out retailers.

In October, Microsoft admitted that it would eventually have to raise gaming prices, but wouldn't do so until next year. Sony already increased the PlayStation 5's price everywhere except the in US due to growing manufacturing costs.

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yRaz

Posts: 4,984   +6,471
So I guess day one DLC, microtransactions and loots boxes weren't making them enough money. Those poor guys had to raise it to $70. Charge you $70 so you can pay them a monthly subscription fee to play online that they use to collect your account data. Then they sell your data to advertisers who can send adds directly to your xbox, smartphone or even PC if you link your account and use edge browser.

Man, I don't know they can afford to eat with that business model, maybe they should just charge $80 instead....
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,379   +668
The last time I actually saw a regular game no special edition or anything was Street Fighter on the Super NES. Forgot the store, I think it was a dept store. Was on the shelf for 69.99.
Until recently haven't seen those prices since. I will never buy a game a $70. They aren't worth that, ever. They aren't even worth $60 most of the time. Just too many issues, lil to no testing bring done to fix bugs in a timely manner.
 

nnguy2

Posts: 651   +1,498
Back in the 90s games were expensive because cartridges were expensive to produce. PC games also came with collectibles like printed cloth maps AND paper manuals. Baldur's Gate I and II had spiral bound manuals. I miss those :(
 

Sherwoodnt

Posts: 75   +145
Funny, full priced games are still costing me the same as last year…

*Cue the guy who stops by to ask if I’ve ever heard of inflation.*
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,097   +2,023
Back in the 90s games were expensive because cartridges were expensive to produce. PC games also came with collectibles like printed cloth maps AND paper manuals. Baldur's Gate I and II had spiral bound manuals. I miss those :(

I still like my Baldur's Gate II box and the big manual, it's a nice manual.

I so miss the physical copy days of PC games..... :-(
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,960   +7,019
Oh wow, $70?

You know what? Good for them. They found a captive market of monkeys that will throw every banana they have at every jingling key they see, may as well wring the poor saps for every cent they have. They'll always come back for more.

I'll keep waiting until said games are $10-15 on sale.
Back in the 90s games were expensive because cartridges were expensive to produce. PC games also came with collectibles like printed cloth maps AND paper manuals. Baldur's Gate I and II had spiral bound manuals. I miss those :(
Not to mention good games in the 90s had more content in the first chapter then most modern games have in total....
 

takaozo

Posts: 521   +820
XBOX games, real funny in did. You pay 12 Euros per month just to activate online gaming aka XBOX Live. And after if your game is not o the list you pay the $70( more like 70 Euro + VAT).
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 144   +174
Must be nice to have new releases at $60 in the USA heck even $70 seems like an ok deal if the game works good and has decent story line to fallow. Here in Canada, we get $79-$89 prices for triple A titles and that's just the lowest version of the game or standard version. A lot of the so-called Deluxe versions of the same games can be anywhere from $129.99-$249.99 and a few even a bit more and for what some digital trinkets and maybe a season pass and if you are really lucky maybe 1 DLC for free but not often that happens.

I remember when we got a box with game disc inside and a manual and you could have a real copy of the game and display the box if you were into that sort of thing and heck sell it if you so desired too. When they switched to digital downloads the logical thing to do would be to lower the prices because they no longer had to deal with making boxes with box-art and of course no shipping anymore to retail outlets. Sadly, though the prices stayed the same even though it was costing the companies a lot less to get the games out to you. It's called greed
 

Nobina

Posts: 4,051   +4,722
Just bought some AAA games for $10-20. Can't imagine being stupid enough to pay full price.
 

SirDigby

Posts: 945   +846
TechSpot Elite
Pricing history in the UK was a bit different to US, I guess partly due to conversion rate in dollar to GBP.... I can only remember when I started buying them myself ~2004/2005 mark.
PS2/ Nintendo DS games £30
Wii games £30-£35
Xbox 360/ PS3 Games £30-£40
PS4 Games £40-£50
PS5 Games are currently £50-70 depending on the game

Over the years on PC it has remained cheaper overall by about £5-10 lower than the current generation, but we also have much better sales due to the openness of the game stores.
 

dangh

Posts: 858   +1,452
Not to mention good games in the 90s had more content in the first chapter then most modern games have in total....
hmm, not really. They were just very difficult, but fresh. There were a few solid games, but content wise not so much - just grind, grind, grind. Sure it was so nice to finish death knight of krynn or ff 4, play river raid, ambermoon and so on, but 90% of the content was player excitement and imagination due a new medium. Today's games have incomparable more content, take RDR, Witcher, Yakuza games. Just you got used to it and are more picky. And older, like we all, so we need to complain more on 'the new generation' ;D
 

BSim500

Posts: 929   +2,205
"Back then all games were 100hrs" wasn't really true outside of stuff like Age of Empires with near infinite gameplay or moddable games like Doom's many WAD's. However, I'd say newer games suffer far more grind than 90's stuff due to more filler (sidequest spam, artificial grind to advertise "pay2degrind" DLC, uh, I mean "Booster Packs" / "Surprise Mechanics"). The only real grind I remember from 90 / early 2000's stuff was trying to get rare items in games like Diablo 2. There was virtually no grind at all in RPG's like Baldur's Gate (you only levelled up a dozen or so times and enemies didn't respawn so you literally couldn't "grind" the same areas for XP).

Likewise, Deus Ex (2000) a 25hr game with 25hr actual content (even with quicksaves) and a great plot feels like it has "more meat on the bone" than Watchdogs (15hr weak-*ss plot padded out in the cheapest way possible to "60hrs", eg, inflating forced replay time by placing checkpoints before lengthy unskippable cutscenes...) So as always, 'quantity doesn't = quality'. Many "short but sweet" games were worth undiscounted asking price (eg, Portal). Many +100hr soul-less grind-fests aren't worth it at all (even for free).
 
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ron baer

Posts: 62   +18
Its all a joke anyways. point out a AAA game in the last 5 years that didnt come with bugs on day one of a "complete game" that then they microtransaction people into emptying their wallets on "nothing"