Sony's decision to increase the price of its PlayStation 5 game consoles due to inflation rates and the global economic environment has surprised the industry, as this is not something console developers usually do. But since the company did it, Microsoft will not follow suit with its Xbox Series X|S machines.
Our colleagues from WindowsCentral (opens in new tab) have asked Microsoft about its plans concerning the prices of its latest Xbox consoles and got a relatively unambiguous answer.
"We are constantly evaluating our business to offer our fans great gaming options. Our Xbox Series S suggested retail price remains at $299 (£250, €300) the Xbox Series X is $499 (£450, €500)."
Just like Sony, Microsoft still cannot meet the demand for its Xbox Series X game console almost two years after its release. Amazon sells these systems (opens in new tab) only to qualifying customers with invites. In contrast, Newegg offers Series X only in combos (opens in new tab)valued well above the MSRP of $499 (with a $709 (opens in new tab) combo being the cheapest option). Even though demand for Xbox Series X exceeds supply, Microsoft has no plans to hike the product's price, at least for now.
With an estimated 16 million units sold worldwide, Microsoft's latest Xbox Series X and Series S game consoles are somewhat less successful than Sony's PlayStation 5, whose life-to-date shipments exceed 22 million. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Xbox is traditionally considerably less popular than Sony's PlayStation in Japan and Europe.
Like Sony's PlayStation 5, Microsoft's latest Xbox Series X|S game consoles are based on system-on-chips designed by AMD and featuring Zen 2 general-purpose cores and an RDNA 2-based graphics processing unit. The latest consoles from Microsoft and Sony have similar, yet incompatible, system architectures too and even have identical RAM and storage capacities (16GB GDDR6, 1TB storage). Microsoft's consoles are produced by Foxconn and Flextronics, whereas Sony uses its production capacity and Foxconn's services.
In general, the two companies seem to face similar challenges with parts procurement, production capacity, logistics, and inflation rates, yet only Sony decided to increase the pricing of its PS5.