Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Don’t freak out about the Xbox Series X and Xbox Game Pass price hikes

Published Jun 21st, 2023 6:30PM EDT
Image: Microsoft

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

If you’re looking to buy an Xbox Series X, you might want to pull the trigger soon.

Microsoft has announced that it is raising the price of the Xbox Series X, its most powerful console, in several markets across the globe. The United States is safe for now — the console will remain at $500. In other markets, however, the price is going up. Starting on August 1, the Xbox Series X will cost £479.99 in the UK, CAD $649.99 in Canada, and AUD $799.99 in Australia.

Kari Perez, head of communications for Xbox, said in a statement to The Verge that the company held off on increasing its prices but was making the adjustment now to line up with similar pricing for its competitors.

“We’ve held on our prices for consoles for many years and have adjusted the prices to reflect the competitive conditions in each market.”

Even more incredibly, the price hike is only impacting the Xbox Series X. The Series S, Microsoft’s cheaper Xbox console, will remain at $299 in all markets. Except for the Carbon Black Series S, of course. That new version of the cheaper console, which comes with a 1TB hard drive, will cost $349 when it launches on September 1st.

Even Game Pass is going up

But that isn’t the only price hike coming for Xbox fans. Xbox Game Pass, the company’s video game subscription service, is also increasing in cost.

The price increase will impact both Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Xbox Game Pass for Console will increase from $9.99 per month to $10.99 per month. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will increase from $14.99 per month to $16.99 per month.

PC Game Pass, interestingly, is not increasing at all. The price increases will go into effect on July 6th in most markets.

It’s honestly long overdue

These price hikes don’t surprise me at all. Xbox head Phil Spencer even teased them last year, and with Sony doing the same a bit ago, it was only a matter of time for Microsoft to do the same. Obviously, the company feels that being cheaper than the PlayStation 5 (disc edition, anyway) wasn’t enough of a boost to keep the console at a better price. Might as well match it up again, eh?

Xbox Game Pass increasing in price isn’t surprising, either. Microsoft hasn’t raised the price of the service since it launched back in 2017 — it’s honestly been due for an increase for a bit since it features dozens more games now. It’s also set to get even more AAA titles over the next few years, so I’m happy to pay a bit more to get all of that.

Play Xbox games from the cloud with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Image source: Microsoft

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes access to the game library, Xbox Live, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, is still cheaper than Son’t comparable offering with PlayStation Plus Premium. That service costs $17.99 per month. It’s only a buck difference, though, so things are really starting to line up between the two companies now.

With all of the recent price hikes hitting streaming services like Netflix, Max, and Apple TV Plus, it’s not surprising to see them hit the gaming subscription services as well. I’ll happily keep paying since the value of all of those services wrapped into one price is worth it for me, but I wonder how far they’ll push it before it becomes too unbearable for gamers.

I think we’re only a few bucks away from that, honestly. More than $20 per month for Xbox Game Pass could send me right back to the old days of buying an Xbox Live card from Best Buy and calling it a day. It’s a great value, but there’s always a price that it will hit that will be too much for some gamers. We’ll see what that price is!

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.