Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, talked about the launch of Microsoft’s next-gen console Xbox Series X in an interview with BBC earlier today. He said the company is considering the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic when coming up with the console’s price and affordability.
“We are a leisure activity,” Spencer said. “We’re not a requirement. We’re not food. We’re not shelter. So we want to be really tuned in to that as we launch. How can we make it as affordable as possible? How can we give buyers choice?”
The strategy will be centered “around the player, and not the device.” The company won’t focus on sales numbers like it did in the past and will prioritize engagement metrics over device-related figures, according to Spencer.
“Even when we went back and looked at 2008-09, in that recession, to see what the impact was on gaming – gaming did OK,” Spencer said. In 2005, the Xbox 360 was released with a starting price of $299. In 2013, the Xbox One was launched at $499.
Microsoft will also give attention to the previous console via the Xbox All Access subscription service and the smart delivery system. “Games are very durable, they’re played over time, so it’s not just about what happened today,” Spencer said.
With the Xbox All Access subscription service, fans can buy their next console by paying a monthly fee. Microsoft will continue to support Xbox One through Xbox Game Pass and the smart delivery system so players can bring their games to the next console.
The Xbox Series X is scheduled to be released this holiday season.