New York (CNN Business)After over a year of teasers and mini-announcements, the mystery is solved: We finally know that the next-gen Xbox Series X will cost $499.
Xbox unveiled the price tag along with its release date. Both the Xbox Series X and the smaller, cheaper Series S launch on November 10. Pre-ordering starts on September 22. The current generation Xbox One X also costs $499, so the upcoming console will maintain the price that has been working for Microsoft’s (MSFT) popular video game system. Keeping the price steady could help in an economy that’s still dealing with the ongoing pandemic, but Xbox’s strategy is less focused on selling new hardware than Sony’s (SNE). It’s also making its newer games playable on older consoles and on cloud gaming as well, and is selling the Xbox Game Pass, as a way to test out more games without committing to purchasing. Jason Ronald, the director of program management for the Xbox Series X, told CNN Business in July that the company is “really focusing on the player and not trying to force the player to upgrade to an individual device or to make things exclusive to this device or that device.” He added, “I think it’s what really differentiates us from the competition.”As for the upcoming PlayStation 5, Sony has yet to reveal its cost and exact release date but we know it’s coming this holiday season — and that experts predict it will outsell the Xbox, because it will almost certainly have better exclusive games.Read More”Microsoft is in a tough position,” David Cole, founder and CEO of research firm DFC Intelligence, told CNN Business. In a report published Tuesday, DFC wrote that if Microsoft could produce more units of its consoles than Sony could, that could be its advantage. “The big unknown going into late 2020 will be the number of hardware units that will actually be available for purchase. Hardware of all types has been very hard to find this year.”