Home Gaming Microsoft won’t be making any money on the Xbox One X

Microsoft won’t be making any money on the Xbox One X

2 min read


The Xbox One X is coming later this year, and it’s the most powerful console ever released. It has eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz, 6 teraflops of graphics performance and 12GB of GDDR5 RAM.

By comparison, the PS4 Pro has 4.2 teraflops, the standard Xbox One has 1.31 teraflops, and the standard PlayStation 4 has 1.84 teraflops. This means that the Xbox One X has a roughly 40% power margin over the PlayStation 4 Pro. According to Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, they don’t see the Pro as competition for the Xbox One X, suggesting that it goes up against the Xbox One S instead.

“I look at Pro as more of a competitor to S than I do to Xbox One X,” Spencer told Eurogamer. “This is a true 4K console. If you just look at the specs of what this box is, it’s in a different league than any other console that’s out there.”

Microsoft may be little disingenuous there. To my mind, while the Xbox One X is definitely more powerful than the Pro, it is analogous. It’s a more powerful Xbox One, that will play some games in “True” Native 4K, while others will use methods like reprojection and checkerboard rendering to fill a 2160p framebuffer. That’s quite a bit different to upscaling – but that’s a conversation for another time.

What’s surprising is that Microsoft’s is able to retail a box with this much juice in it for as little as $500. While that’s a lot of money for a machine that plays games, it’s a lot less than you’d pay for a similarly specced PC. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft isn’t making money each of those consoles sold.

Like most consoles before it, The Xbox One X will be a loss leader, with Microsoft taking a hit on the hardware, so they can make it up later on software sales.

“I don’t want to get into all the numbers, but in aggregate you should think about the hardware part of the console business is not the money-making part of the business,” Spencer told Business Insider.

“The money-making part is in selling games.”

It’s traditionally only Nintendo who manages to sell its hardware at any sort of profit out of the gate (though the Wii U was an anomaly) there. As a reference, it took Sony four years to make any profit on hardware sales for the PlayStation 3.

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Last Updated: June 15, 2017


  1. Ottokie

    June 15, 2017 at 11:13

    The lies continue.


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 15, 2017 at 11:14

      Yes, they’ll make at least 4k on it.


      • Original Heretic

        June 15, 2017 at 11:35

        That’s a lantern to the knee comment.


      • RinceThis

        June 15, 2017 at 12:20



  2. Ottokie

    June 15, 2017 at 11:16

    “That’s quite a bit different to upscaling – but that’s a conversation for another time.”

    Just a little under 6 hours left till 5pm. I think we got time 😛


  3. Ottokie

    June 15, 2017 at 11:32

    The mid range $500 (not even high end) GPU’s have 6+ teraflops on both sides of team red and green. These are above average graphics cards used for typical 1080p and 2K gaming.

    If you are a enthusiast then you will go for the high fps 2K route or close to 60fps 4K route by using strong high end $1000 graphics cards (sometimes two of these in SLI or crossfire). And that is the reality of “true” 4K prices.


  4. Raidz19

    June 15, 2017 at 11:45

    Only…there are no real exclusives yet so how do they plan on making money out of games?
    I’m also really curious to see how many sales this will get considering the record breaking number of people that bought consoles in the last 2 years


    • Fox1 - Retro

      June 15, 2017 at 13:38

      That’s what they said in the 360 generation.


  5. Jim of the Banana

    June 15, 2017 at 12:00

    If you want to win the championship, you have to be prepared to score a self-ko.


  6. Skittle

    June 15, 2017 at 12:02

    I’m lost. How many version of the xbone are there now? Are more coming? Is the PS4 comfortable with only having two or is there also a new one planned?


  7. RinceThis

    June 15, 2017 at 12:03

  8. BakedBagel

    June 15, 2017 at 12:34

    Its difficult to wrap my head around

    A company making a product with an expected loss, and to use a backup of “selling games”

    Is it just me or does that seem like a massive risk?


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 15, 2017 at 12:37

      Loss leading is always a risk, and it worked for them & Sony with previous generations. I just hope the sales figures they’ve based all this on isn’t from the same place that told them everyone wanted an always-online console without a disc drive.


      • BakedBagel

        June 15, 2017 at 12:41

        Its just… games tho?

        One of the most unpredictable products on the market too date.

        You dont know what you are getting when the end product arrives, you honestly dont know how its going to perform in the market. COD a fine example. Soooooooo much hype around the last one, and it fell flat on its face.

        What do i know tho, i havent made a console lol.


        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          June 15, 2017 at 12:45

          Games and services. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them aggressively pushing more sub services like Xbox Live and stuff. You sell the loss leader to basically “trap” people into your ecosystem.


          • BakedBagel

            June 15, 2017 at 12:55

            Makes sense, and it completely shines light on the entire “Exclusive” battles that goes on between consoles

            Gotta trap the user into your system only. Maximize profits

    • Geoffrey Tim

      June 15, 2017 at 12:46

      consoles have been that way since forever thouh, and it seems to be working fine.


      • BakedBagel

        June 15, 2017 at 12:56

        Hundred Percent and hey if it works, it works.

        Its just,hearing a company make any product with an expected loss is weird 😛 especially from Giants like Sony and MS


        • HvR

          June 15, 2017 at 13:34

          Typical service model vs drop box model.

          The service model tend bring in more profits over the product lifetime in tech industry even if hardware goes for break even or a loss.


      • BakedBagel

        June 15, 2017 at 12:57

        I guess this is how movies are financed tho ?


  9. Kromas Ryder

    June 15, 2017 at 12:44

    In other news: Xbox game prices suddenly go up by 100%.



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