Xbox Series S Sees Controversial Price Hike in Brazil.
- Xbox Series S price hiking over 50% in Brazil to around $710 USD
- Now costs almost as much as Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5
- Risks negating Xbox Series S budget appeal and value
- Microsoft hasn’t explained reasoning behind increase
- Could signal price hikes coming to other regions
Microsoft has enacted a sizable price increase for the budget-minded Xbox Series S console in Brazil. The popular next-gen system, positioned as an affordable alternative to the premium Xbox Series X, will now cost nearly as much as its higher-end stablemate in the region. This surprising move risks diminishing the Xbox Series S’ appeal and value proposition that made it a hit with budget-conscious gamers worldwide.
At launch, the Xbox Series S retailed for around $300 USD globally, including approximately R$2500 in Brazil. Its economical $200 discount from the $500 Series X price enticed gamers wanting next-generation gaming without the high barrier to entry.
However, Brazilian outlet The Enemy reported that Microsoft is now suggesting retailers sell the Series S for R$3599, nearly $710 USD. This represents over a 50% price increase from the original R$2500 Brazilian cost.
Most controversially, the new inflated price effectively matches the next-gen Series X and PlayStation 5 with disc drive in Brazil. This seems to defeat the very purpose of the Series S serving as an affordable entry point to the latest console generation.
Only Effects White Model in Bizarre Explanation
In a statement, Microsoft vaguely promised “the best gaming experience at a variety of price points” without explaining the shocking console price hike. The increase only affects the 512GB white Series S model, not the 1TB black version, for unknown reasons.
Pricing the Series S comparably to the objectively more powerful Series X suddenly makes the budget console seem pointless. Gamers in Brazil now have little incentive to choose an S over the X if both cost essentially the same.
Historically, imported electronics face high prices in Brazil due to taxes and fees. However, nearly doubling the cost far exceeds typical inflation or import duties. And Sony has not similarly raised PlayStation 5 pricing in Brazil.
Analysts speculate Microsoft could offset console production costs by targeting high-demand regions like Brazil with cost escalation. But undermining the supposedly cheap fan-favourite console’s identity risks long-term damage to the platform’s ecosystem and installed base growth.
Wider Implications for Other Regions
This move also bodes poorly for other countries if it foreshadows wider rate increases. The console’s affordable next-generation appeal relies on maintaining its discount from the £450 Series X. Whether from production costs or pure profit motives, severely shrinking that fee gap will frustrate budget shoppers worldwide.
Sony encountered similar blowback by raising PS5 prices in certain markets last year. However, the Xbox Series S situation differs by sabotaging the specific budget positioning that differentiates it from Microsoft’s flagship console.
Time will tell whether Brazil’s price hike spreads globally or remains an isolated case. But the drastic increase poses worrying implications about Microsoft’s commitment to affordability amidst inflation and rising development expenses.
Gamers anticipating more subtle console price adjustments may need to temper expectations given Brazil’s extreme example. With the Xbox Series S sacrificing power for price, jeopardising its value advantage risks rendering the console irrelevant.
Microsoft must tread carefully in pricing the machine to retain its target audience. Brazil’s shocking price jump should not become the norm. The S must remain far below the X, or its budget identity crumbles.
Hopefully Brazil is an anomaly and Microsoft reconsiders over-time. But the company must explain the questionable change after promoting the console’s accessibility. Silence and indifference will only further frustrate confused fans who embraced that promise.
The Xbox Series S seemed a consumer-friendly sign of Microsoft prioritising gaming affordability and choice. This ideal now appears under threat as the console’s price escalates closer to premium models.
About The Author
Stephen is the proud owner of a popular gaming news website GLN, where he provides the latest updates on everything gaming-related. With a passion for video games that dates back to his childhood, Stephen is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and expertise with fellow gamers around the world.