The Xbox Series X|S is selling at a loss, as Spencer warns of price increases

The consoles are sold at a loss of up to £173 per unit

Microsoft is selling the Xbox Series X|S at a loss of up to £173 ($200) per console.

That figure comes from Xbox head Phil Spencer himself, in an interview with CNBC. Spencer admitted that the Xbox consoles are currently being sold at a loss, with the hopes that they will make up that lost revenue through sales of games and accessories. Additionally, Microsoft also benefits from its subscription service Game Pass.

Microsoft currently loses £87 ($100) for every Series X sold, while the company loses £173 ($200) on the budget Xbox Series S.

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This is typical for console manufacturers, which are typically sold at a loss – With the notable exception of the Nintendo Switch.

However, given Spencer’s recent comments, there’s some interesting context to consider here. Spencer has seemingly been laying the groundwork for a potential price increase for a little while now. Earlier this week, Spencer admitted that Microsoft may “have to raise the price on certain things,” although he maintained that prices will remain unchanged going into the holiday season. It is not clear if any potential price increase would be on the consoles themselves, the games, Game Pass or on some combination of the three.

Xbox Phil Spencer
Phil Spencer on the E3 stage. Credit: Xbox

“We’ve held price on our console, we’ve held price on games and our subscription. I don’t think we’ll be able to do that forever,” said Spencer at the Wall Street Journal‘s Tech Live last week. “I do think at some point we’ll have to raise some prices on certain things, but going into this holiday we thought it was really important that we maintain the prices that we have.”

Spencer re-iterated these remarks in his interview with CNBC, saying that he doesn’t think that Microsoft will be able to keep the price of games constant forever. However, he justified any potential price increase by pointing out that they provide hours of entertainment, adding that “people can play video games for hundreds of hours.”

These comments come after Microsoft criticised Sony for raising the price of the PlayStation 5, something that Spencer himself said wasn’t “the right move” given the current financial constraints on customers.

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In other gaming news, Hideo Kojima has revealed Shiori Kutsuna as the latest actor to be cast in his currently untitled new video game.

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