"This price reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles," a Microsoft spokesperson tells IGN (opens in new tab). "As with all games developed by our teams at Xbox, they will also be available with Game Pass the same day they launch."
Specific new price guidelines have not yet been announced for regions outside of the US. It's also important to note that this change has only been discussed in the context of new games, meaning it seemingly won't retroactively hike the price on the likes of Halo Infinite.
Xbox boss Phill Spencer hinted at potential price increases in an interview back in October. "We've held price on our console, we've held price on games... and our subscription. I don't think we'll be able to do that forever." Spencer said it was "important to maintain the prices" for the 2022 holiday season, but it seems that's changing in the new year.
The new pricing brings Xbox first-party in line with increasingly-standard prices across the industry. Xbox Game Pass makes the conversation slightly different here, however, as all these first-party titles will remain available as part of the monthly subscription.
That said, we don't know how long Game Pass pricing will remain stable, either. While gaming subscriptions have not been as well-tested as film and TV streaming just yet, we've seen streamer after streamer launch at a very cheap price to entice new subscribers and then increase those costs once users are on board. A Disney Plus price hike hit this week, and Netflix has just begun to offset its increasingly-exorbitant cost with an cheaper tier called Netflix Basic with ads.
Xbox has made no announcements regarding increasing the price of the consoles themselves. PS5 prices increased throughout much of the world in 2022 due to the "global economic environment, including high inflation rates," Sony said at the time, though those price increases did not affect the console in the US.
Get 'em while they're (relatively) cheap - the best Xbox Series X games to play right now.