Phil Spencer Talks Pricing Strategy, PS5, and Pre-Orders

With the world working remotely, the challenges facing the Xbox team can likely be classified as extraordinary. Trying to launch a new console with new software at a time when you can’t be in the same room as your fellow employee, presents significant challenges.

This week, Phil Spencer was on a bit of a media tour and did an interview with IGN but here are the highlights that pertain to the next-generation Xbox, the challenges ahead, and a little talk about pricing.

Phil said that despite all the challenges with remote work and manufacturing delays out of China, the Xbox is still, as of today, on track for a fall release. But, he notes, that testing hardware remotely is stressing the team and forcing them to think outside the (x)box about how to adequately perform the tasks needed before release.

While hardware is a challenge, he states that the software is a bigger issue, at this time than the hardware. While he does provide a little color, it does sound like hardware is all locked-down at this point and the team is working to finalize the software to load on to the devices before mass-manufacturing begins.

When it comes to price, Phil said that when they set out in 2016 to build the console, that they had a price target in mind. And that he feels “good about the price we will be able to get to” and that team Xbox will “stay agile on our pricing”.

While he doesn’t actually provide a price point, his statements are notable in that pricing does not appear to have been set and that they are waiting to see where Sony lands with the PS5 before announcing the price of the Xbox. And for those looking to pre-order, Spencer says likely later this summer those will open up.

Speaking of the PS5, Spencer said that he feels “good about how series X lines up to PS5” and you can tell from the interview that he is extremely pleased that they were able to top Sony’s specs nearly across the spectrum.

One interesting note about xCloud is that Spencer sees it being part of the console experience too. Notably, to make it so that you can jump into GamePass games instantly when looking at them from the dashboard, instead of waiting for all the assets to download.

Finally, on E3, Spencer says that Microsoft has content announcements planned or in the works between now and when that event was scheduled to take place. And that more information will be announced during the summer as well.

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Conversation 7 comments

  • Stooks

    02 April, 2020 - 9:10 am

    <p>6.6 million unemployed as of today in the US. Probably way more not reported. I am sorry but this console will have a horrible launch. Both will. The cheapest one, not the fastest one will have best success. Sony will take this round again.</p>

    • rm

      02 April, 2020 - 3:40 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#535984">In reply to Stooks:</a></em></blockquote><p>Nope, MS will be launching 2 consoles and the lower end one will eat up Sony on price easily.</p>

      • Stooks

        04 April, 2020 - 12:35 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#536130">In reply to RM:</a></em></blockquote><p>Lol. It worked so well with the Xbox One low priced models. </p><p><br></p><p>Exactly what reason would a PS4 user want to move to the Xbox vs going with the PS5 which is 2+X faster than the PS4 and that is just graphics. The CPU and storage is probably 4-6x faster.</p><p><br></p><p>If you are a PS4 user with lots of games and lots of friends on PS…you will get a PS5. I play COD on the PC and I have cross play turned on. 95% of the time when I get into a game its a mix of PC and PS users, the icon in the lobby shows what each player is using. Rarely do I see a Xbox user.</p>

    • solomonrex

      03 April, 2020 - 8:34 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#535984">In reply to Stooks:</a></em></blockquote><p>I think you've missed the part where this stopped being a toy for middle class children , and became a luxury good, a social club and an identity marker. The recession will depress overall videogame sales a little, once people leave their house, maybe, but not for these newly released consoles. And they could very well get a boost from people picking up videogames while being confined for weeks.</p><p><br></p><p>The biggest question to me, is still what will happen with the MS console if all their 'exclusives' launch on PC as well? Will xboxes in the living room still matter that much to their core audience? Living room gaming is still a distinct thing, and xboxes don't cost that much for adults, but this is a new approach that hasn't been tested yet.</p>

      • Stooks

        04 April, 2020 - 12:41 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#536292">In reply to solomonrex:</a></em></blockquote><p>"The recession will depress overall videogame sales a little, once people leave their house, maybe, but not for these newly released consoles. And they could very well get a boost from people picking up videogames while being confined for weeks"</p><p><br></p><p>Really??? Next week we will probably surpass Great Depression jobless rates. People are NOT going to prioritize gaming over FOOD. Those government checks are a fart in the wind.</p><p><br></p><p>Luckily I still have a job and work in an industry that is seeing crazy sales because of it. Even I have backed off "nicety" spending. I did pick up Halo Master Chief Collection after cashing in $25 or so of Bing points. </p><p><br></p><p>I do agree with you about Microsoft releasing basically all games on PC and Xbox. I have a PC and a Xbox One X. I installed Halo on my PC as it blows away my XBX. My PC is probably as fast as the Xbox Series X already.</p>

        • Greg Green

          05 April, 2020 - 11:08 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#536633">In reply to Stooks:</a></em></blockquote><p>The Xbox app on pc is great for pc users, but it seems it would cannibalize future Xbox sales. I can understand why the Xbox only crowd would buy the next Xbox, but for those who already have a good pc and are knowledgeable with it there seems little reason to get the next Xbox. Just play the games on the pc.</p>

  • madthinus

    Premium Member
    03 April, 2020 - 7:37 am

    <p>It is actually a great interview and worth watching. </p>


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