As Xbox Game Pass misses targets, Phil Spencer warns of Xbox price hikes

Xbox Game Pass might be getting a Family And Friends sharing feature
(Image credit: Xbox)

Xbox head Phil Spencer has warned price hikes may happen in the new year.

Speaking about the future of the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox Game Pass, Phil Spencer revealed that the subscription is falling significantly short of its growth targets and the company may increase prices "on certain things" in 2023.

 A passing blip? 

Despite hopes for a subscription growth of 73% year-over-year growth for 2022, Microsft revealed that the growth currently stands at 28% overall. This indicates that while Game Pass has grown its user base and seen an uptick in subscribers, it has fallen short of its target expectations.

Interestingly, the low growth figures aren't the same across PC and console. On PC, there's been a growth rate of 159%, so Microsoft is lagging in attracting new console subscribers. 

In an interview with WSJ, Spencer announced that Microsoft is looking at raising prices at some point – but did not specify whether this price hike would be for consoles themselves, Game Pass, software, or peripherals.

The Xbox Series S is considered one of the best and most affordable next-gen consoles, its lack of a physical disc drive making it an ideal choice for those who don’t mind a totally digital experience.

However, with PS5 vs Xbox Series X being a hotly-contested topic, a potential price hike for the latter might elevate the popularity of the Series S as gamers look for cheaper options.

Console price hikes are nothing new in 2022. Sony announced its plan to raise PlayStation 5 prices in certain regions back in August; due to continued demand for the console, however, this jump isn’t predicted to affect its fiscal projections.

It isn’t clear when Microsoft plans to hike prices for certain Xbox services, but Spencer assures that this would not happen until “after the holiday season”.

Jasmine is a freelance writer and podcaster based in the UK. Whether it's a Sims 4 lore deep-dive or a guide to securing kills in Dead By Daylight, her work is featured on TheGamer as well as the door of her mother's fridge. When she's not aggressively championing the Oxford comma on Twitter, you can find her scoping out the local music scene or buying gaudy Halloween decorations all year round.