If you've been interested in picking up an Xbox Series X, it may be wise to do so by the end of July unless you're in the US, Japan, Chile, Brazil or Colombia. Microsoft confirmed to Engadget that it's increasing the price of the console in most other countries.
Starting on August 1st, the Xbox Series X will cost $650 CAD in Canada, £480 in the UK, €550 in most European countries and $800 AUD in Australia. The increases are roughly in line with the PS5 price changes Sony made in most markets last year.
“We’ve held on our prices for consoles for many years and have adjusted the prices to reflect the competitive conditions in each market,” Xbox communications chief Kari Perez told The Verge. “These Game Pass price adjustments are not related to the Activision Blizzard deal and are intended to match local market conditions."
The Xbox Series S pricing is staying the same in all markets at $250 (or the local equivalent). Microsoft will soon introduce a black model with 1TB of storage for $349.
Microsoft's own studios are no longer making games for the Xbox One. If you don't want to buy a Series X or S, you can still stream upcoming games like Starfield and Fable to the older console through Game Pass Ultimate. But guess what? That service is getting a price hike too, including in the US.
Xbox Game Pass will soon cost $11 per month, an increase of $1. Game Pass Ultimate is getting a bigger jump, from $15 per month to $17. The Verge has a list of the price increases for other markets. The price of PC Game Pass (which doubled from $5 to $10 per month in 2020) is not changing, while Xbox Game Pass won't be going up in Norway, Chile, Denmark, Switzerland or Saudi Arabia.
The price changes will take effect for new Xbox Game Pass members on July 6th. It won't apply for existing subscribers until August 13th (September 13th in Germany). If you happen to have access to Game Pass through an annual code, the price changes won't affect you until it's time for you to renew.
This is the first time that Microsoft has increased Game Pass pricing since it introduced the service in 2017 as part of a transition away from Xbox Live Gold. Still, it was inevitable that the prices would go up at some point. The importance of Game Pass to Xbox's business model was undoubtedly a factor in the decision.
Conversely, you might have expected the price of the Xbox Series X to drop at this point in its lifecycle, not to increase. Microsoft can't pin the blame on a console shortage — Xbox head Phil Spencer recently said the company had increased the supply of Xbox Series X/S. Instead, Microsoft suggested the Series X increase is due to market conditions such as inflation and currency fluctuations.