The Xbox Series X launch is all set for November, but Microsoft is in a stalemate with Sony right now, meaning that neither of the companies has announced the pricing of their consoles.
We're already in September and gamers are getting impatient, so Microsoft may have to abandon waiting for the PS5 price reveal before showing its own hand, and drop the details we're desperate for; but the price may have just slipped out from the most unlikely of places.
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Pringles (opens in new tab) is running a contest in South Africa that has an Xbox Series X up for grabs, and looking at the information on the prize pool – as spotted by Twitter user Cavie (opens in new tab) (via Forbes (opens in new tab)) – the estimated value is stated as R621,000 for 46 consoles, which puts a single Xbox Series X at around R13,500.
With a direct conversion, that leaves us with a price tag of $810/ £614. That's significantly more expensive than the $599 price that was recently rumoured, which we were sceptical about that at the time, as it's said that Microsoft is keen to undercut Sony this console generation; the Japanese tech giant's hardware is rumoured to be $499/ £449/ €499, so that doesn't quite check out.
Looks like Pringles, of all brands, broke the Xbox Series X price for South Africa. If my maths checks out, this puts the XSX at around R13,5K locally? Unsure if that's excluding tax. https://t.co/luosSEa8Qi pic.twitter.com/UsDe2tfcABSeptember 4, 2020
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As the Twitter user notes (opens in new tab), South African tech has a higher RRP than other regions; we don't know if the price includes tax; and this is the estimated value, so we can't jump to too many conclusions.
Microsoft lost out to Sony in terms of the amount of consoles sold last generation, but it's leaning heavily into its Game Pass strategy next gen. The Xbox Series S is a cheaper, digital-only option, and the decision to discontinue it's current-gen all digital Xbox One S, and 4K capable Xbox One X, suggests it's funnelling gamers in the ecosystem towards buying a next-gen console eventually.
It could be that Microsoft is willing to take a loss on the hardware in the short-term for long-term gains from Game Pass, and the eventual migration of players who will no longer have another option for 4K or digital-only consoles without upgrading.
It's all speculative for now, but start saving those pennies, as there's only a couple of months left before launch.
Source: Forbes (opens in new tab)