Earlier today, Sony announced that in most regions, the PlayStation 5 would see a price increase as a result of inflation. In response to this news, people began questioning whether other console makers would enact similar price increases. The answer, at least for now, seems to be no. But both Nintendo and Microsoft were careful to leave open the possibility of future price hikes.
After Sony confirmed that, due to ongoing global inflation, both versions of the PS5 would see price increases in multiple regions—including Canada, Mexico, China, and the UK—the next obvious question many had was: Would any other company make the same drastic move? This is the internet, after all, a place where people constantly yell at each other about which console is better or worse and concoct conspiracies to explain why sites write good or bad news about consoles. So of course, if Sony does something, people have to pick sides and start asking questions about Xbox and Nintendo.
Kotaku reached out to Xbox about the Sony PS5 price increase and if the company had similar plans to increase the price on the Xbox Series X or S. Microsoft’s response is a bit wishy-washy, mentioning no firm plans one way or the other.
Here’s the full statement:
We are constantly evaluating our business to offer our fans great gaming options. Our Xbox Series S suggested retail price remains at $299 and the Xbox Series X is $499. This also applies to other markets and their current pricing.
While it did confirm that right now the price hasn’t changed, it leaves open the very real possibility that as inflation gets worse, the tech company could decide to increase the price on one or both of its Xbox variants.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, Nintendo’s President Shuntaro Furukawa told Nikkei Asia that currently it is “not considering” a Switch price increase, adding that the company doesn’t want to price people out of buying its uber-popular console.
“Our competition is the variety of entertainment in the world,” said Furukawa. “And we always think about pricing in terms of the value of the fun we offer…Nintendo has sold more than 100 million Switch units so far, and it’s important to maintain the momentum of our overall business.”
Still, this statement leaves the subject of pricing open for Nintendo to change prices on the Switch if needed. However, Nintendo in a way did already increase the price of the Switch via the improved OLED model released last year. This is often how Nintendo increases prices on its consoles without having to do a more traditional price hike like Sony.
It’s likely both companies are closely watching how markets, critics, and fans react to Sony’s PS5 price hike as they contemplate how to handle inflation moving forward. And as the gaming market begins to slow a bit following the huge numbers it saw during the pandemic, you better believe companies like Nintendo are open to different ways to help keep their boats afloat as people start to have less income to spend on video game consoles and games.