Bottom line: The Xbox Series X will see a price increase of around 10 percent in most regions in August, but not in the US. Additionally, pricing for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and console tiers will rise slightly in all territories starting next month.
Microsoft has told The Verge that starting August 1, it will raise the price of the Xbox Series X in most countries except for the US, Japan, Chile, Brazil, and Colombia. On July 6, the Xbox Game Pass console tier will rise from $9.99 a month to $10.99 globally, while Ultimate will increase from $14.99 to $16.99. PC Game Pass and the Xbox Series S pricing will remain unchanged.
The Xbox Series X price increase mirrors the one Sony enacted for the PlayStation 5 last summer, increasing by £30 and €50. In October, Microsoft admitted that Xbox price hikes were inevitable.
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Microsoft said that the changes were in response to competitive market conditions, but it's likely facing the same problems that influenced Sony last year. The industry is still feeling the effects of supply chain disruptions, which have probably increased manufacturing costs. Inflation may also play a role. Nintendo hasn't hinted any plans to raise the price of the Switch.
In related news, Microsoft recently expressed disinterest in VR/AR in light of Sony and Apple's latest efforts in the sector. In a Hollywood Reporter interview, Xbox Game Studios top executive Matt Booty said the audience for headsets like PlayStation VR2 and Vision Pro is too small for the kinds of games that sell multiple millions of copies, which the company's in-house development studios are prioritizing.
Booty also downplayed the size of the cloud gaming market, likely as part of Microsoft's effort to assuage concerns surrounding its attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Regulators in the UK blocked the $69 billion deal over fears that exclusive rights to franchises like Call of Duty and Diablo would cement Microsoft's dominance in the cloud sector. Booty suggested the company's cloud service is still experimental while highlighting deals it entered with competitors like Nvidia.