Xbox One X’s pricing at £449/$499 may have disappointed many users, but it’s indicative of a substantial challenge facing console platform holders: the pace of technological advancement is slowing, and existing hardware components are holding their price for longer. It’s a trend that shows no sign of changing and projecting forward, we do wonder – just how much will the actual next generation of consoles cost, when will they arrive and how powerful will they be?
There are two comparisons we’d like to highlight in this piece: we’re going to take Microsoft’s new console and stack it up against both iterations of PlayStation 4 – the base model and the Pro update. On the one hand, you’ll find that the extra $100 compared to the Pro isn’t at all unreasonable, but on the other, comparisons with the base unit definitely highlight how difficult it’s going to be to provide a cost-effective next-gen console design within the remainder of this decade.
First up, let’s discuss the Xbox One X price specifically, and the reason the Xbox team opted for £449/$499. We can’t really accuse Microsoft of profiteering here – in an interview with Business Insider, Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed that the firm will not make any money from Xbox One X hardware sales. However, the platform holder claws back revenue from elsewhere in the Xbox ecosystem in order to break even and push into profit.
“I don’t want to get into all the numbers,” Spencer said. “But in aggregate you should think about the hardware part of the console business is not the money-making part of the business. The money-making part is in selling games.”
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