Bad news if you live in Sweden and are planning on buying an Xbox Series X|S console, as Microsoft has just hiked the price in the country.
This latest price increase bumps the Xbox Series X from SEK 5,695 (Swedish Krona) to SEK 6,195. Regional equivalents would be roughly $600 / £500 / AU$875. Curiously, Xbox Series S has also jumped to SEK 3,895 ($380 / £315 / AU$550) on the Swedish Microsoft Store, but remains the previous price of SEK 3,300 at other major retailers (thanks, Gaming Deputy (opens in new tab)).
Currently, there's no official word from Microsoft on the price increase in Sweden. Nor has the company warned of an increase for the rest of Europe and the UK. The radio silence is a stark contrast to last month's price hike for the console in Japan, which Microsoft stressed was "a difficult decision to make" in an official statement.
Are Xbox Series X price increases inevitable?
Microsoft so far has been tight-lipped on the Xbox Series X|S price increase in Sweden, which admittedly, is slightly unnerving. We do know to expect price hikes for Microsoft's current-gen consoles, as Xbox head Phil Spencer has repeatedly given us a heads-up in light of console demand and falling subscription numbers for services like Xbox Game Pass.
The one silver lining here is that Xbox's price hikes are more staggered than Sony's with the PS5 so far. In August 2022, Sony raised the popular console's price simultaneously across the UK, Europe, Canada, and Australia. Japan followed suit a month later. The US, meanwhile, has thus far been unaffected by price increases from any of the big three console manufacturers.
It's both sad and unprecedented for a console that's just over two years old to go up in price. Especially as both Xbox Series X and PS5 are already expensive pieces of tech. Amidst an ongoing cost of living crisis, these machines are already out of reach for vast swathes of gamers. And now that supply chains have more room to breathe in the current year, these price hikes don't really add up if the reason is to curb demand.
It does seem inevitable that the rest of the world will eventually see these console price increases, though I'd like to hope it won't become a trend with consoles of the current and future generations.
It used to be that consoles and their mid-gen revisions would drop in price to let more budding consumers in. But it seems like those days are largely over, with few systems beyond the portable-friendly Nintendo Switch Lite keeping the torch lit.