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Phil Spencer explains how they're trying to make the Xbox Series X more affordable

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) is still on track for a holiday 2020 launch despite complications from COVID-19, and Xbox has also adapted its launch plans to account for the economic impact of the year.

"It looks like we're moving into a period of massive economic uncertainty," Xbox boss Phil Spencer tells BBC (opens in new tab). "The thing I'm probably focused on the most is the macro-economic environment. We see the impact of people getting furloughed and layoffs. It's tough. And we are a leisure activity. We're not a requirement. We're not food. We're not shelter. So we want to be really tuned in to that as we launch. How can we make it as affordable as possible? How can we give buyers choice?" 

Spencer pointed to the Xbox All Access program as one way of helping next-gen buyers ease the financial load by allowing them to pay off their new system in installments. He also stressed that players who choose to wait to upgrade to an Xbox Series X will still be able to access next-gen games on Xbox One through the platform's Smart Delivery program, which ensures that cross-gen games can be accessed on all platforms with just one purchase. 

"Our strategy is centred around the player, not the device," Spencer says. "If this is not the year when a family wants to make a decision to buy a new Xbox, that's OK. Our strategy does not revolve around how many Xboxes I sell this year. We're focused on delivering services through Xbox Game Pass, which allows people to build their library for a monthly fee." 

Spencer also reaffirmed that Xbox Series X production was not majorly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic (opens in new tab), and that, at worst, it slowed its testing process. 

Austin Wood
Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.