As the cost of living crisis is hitting our wallets in all the wrong places; you find yourself having to choose between heating your home this winter or picking up a new game for your Xbox.
Starting with the hotly-anticipated sci-fi RPG Starfield, Microsoft announced via IGN that it will be raising the baseline prices (opens in new tab) of their Xbox Series X│S titles starting in 2023.
Microsoft assures us that the increase, which will see games like Starfield and Redfall debuting at $70 a pop, is not for naught. “This price reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles,” the Microsoft spokesperson told IGN.
For subscribers to Xbox Game Pass, it shouldn’t make much of a difference. “All games developed by our teams at Xbox […] will also be available with Game Pass the same day they launch,” confirms the announcement. It looks like there’s more incentive than ever to hop on the Game Pass bandwagon.
Shooting for the stars
The news of Xbox hiking the price point of its exclusive titles doesn’t come as a shock. Competitor Sony announced price hikes for its PS5 console as well as their own exclusive games.
Since Microsoft acquired Bethesda in 2021 for a cool $7.5 billion / £6.2 billion / AU$11.2 billion, it was expected that the studio would be focusing on creating games with the Xbox in mind. We’ve even had Xbox boss Phil Spencer hint at possible Xbox price hikes coming after the 2022 holidays, and this is proof he wasn’t joking around.
Though there’s certainly added pressure to create games that serve as major platform sellers, Spencer realizes this might be unwelcome news to those looking to cut costs this winter; “we aren’t food or shelter,” he admitted in an interview with The Verge.
Thankfully, those with an Xbox Game Pass subscription can still play the game upon its release. The service is currently going for US$14.99 / £10.99 / AU$20 a month, so it might be a good time to hop on the bandwagon.
That being said, other options exist for non-console gamers, since Xbox exclusives like Starfield will also be released on the PC.
Since PC games go for quite a bit less on Steam, and Game Pass for PC only is just US$9.99 / £7.99 / AU$12.70 a month, You may well be considering a pivot to PC gaming. With that in mind, perhaps you might want to ask for one of the best gaming laptops this Christmas.