Xbox One X sales won't have Microsoft's coffers overflowing for a while yet.

Xbox leader Phil Spencer gave Business Insider a firm "no" when asked if Microsoft will make money selling its latest console at its current price of NZ$750 / AU$650.

Spencer then became somewhat evasive when asked if the console was being sold at a loss.

"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," he said.

"The money-making part is in selling games."

At launch, it's not unusual for consoles to be sold at near break-even or even at a loss.

Over time, the cost of manufacturing a console drops, allowing companies to recoup losses. For example: it was four years before the PlayStation 3 was sold at a profit. Notably, the Wii U was sold at a loss, but became profitable provided the buyer purchased a single game.

In related news, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has told Metro that he knows the Xbox One S will handily outsell the more expensive Xbox One X, because most people don't care about teraflops.

"There’s no doubt about that," Spencer said. "Most of the people will say, ‘I want a console that plays the games I wanna go play, and I feel great about the experience'.

"Our Xbox One S will sell the most because most people are not into how many [teraflops] does this have versus someone else."

That same interview, Spencer said 60fps can never be mandated as standard, because it's too restrictive for developers.

"As someone that’s run a platform now for a while, mandating gameplay decisions is a bad place for a platform holder to go in," he said.

"Developers are completely incentivised to give you the best experience they can. We can both agree on that.

"So if they think it’s 60fps and that’s gonna help them, in terms of selling more copies of the game, they’re gonna be all in. Not everybody understands what 60fps vs. 30fps means. They’re not all as technical as you are."