PS5 and Xbox Series S|X were released around the same time in 2020, yet the difference in sales is massive. The Xbox Series X is advertised as the most powerful console but falls behind the PS5 in terms of sales.
However, Microsoft has constantly tried to catch up to its rival, using different innovations like Xbox Game Pass in an attempt to do so. Last year, Sony announced a price hike for the PS5, which was an unpopular decision.
Following this announcement, Microsoft saw yet another opportunity to improve its current position in the industry, with internal emails revealing Microsoft believed it could win fans over in the aftermath of the price hike.
Why it matters: PlayStation came into the generation after it had incredible momentum from the success of the PS4, but Xbox hopes to close the distance between the Xbox Series S|X and PS5.
The Verge has recently revealed some information from a heavily redacted email that documents Microsoft’s reactions to the PS5 price hike.
Following the announcement, Phil Spencer wanted to keep the company gamer-focused, maintaining its prices and consumer-friendly incentives introduced in the industry. To this, Ami Silverman from Microsoft responded:
“All good points, let’s be gamer-obsessed here. This could be our time to win fans vs. lose being a follower.”
This message likely referred to Xbox’s position as the runner-up in the console market. The negative reaction likely stopped Microsoft from following in PlayStation’s footsteps, encouraging it to maintain prices to entice potential customers looking to switch console brands.
However, economic conditions ensured Microsoft was not able to hold prices for too long and eventually announced price hikes earlier this year.
Since then, Microsoft has increased the prices of the Xbox Series S|X and Game Pass slightly. Recently, Sony has also increased the annual price of all tiers of PS Plus, highlighting the latest example of such instances in the gaming industry.
Still, compared to PlayStation, Microsoft’s price hikes have been less divisive.
Currently, Xbox Series S|X consoles have sold over 21 million units, while the PS5 is in the lead with over 41 million units sold. This gap has grown in 2023, but various measures may eventually allow Microsoft to catch up.
Microsoft’s reaction to PlayStation’s announcement shows that the gaming giant is more competitive than ever, prepared to take advantage of any opportunity that may allow it to gain a slight edge over the competition.
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