IMPORTANT note about my web site and Joomla Extensions
In an attempt to better organise my life (HA!), I'm currently separating my personal and work sites. If you're looking for my Joomla Extensions, or anything related to my work for that matter, then head over to the new work site, here. (Yes, it's work in progress.. isn't it always?)
My name is Nick. I'm a gamer-holic.
Or at least I was.
Of late, I've almost stopped buying games for Xbox & Playstation in favour of gaming on my iPad. Aside from the mobile aspects, the pricing of iPad gaming is incredible, and (IMHO) blows the console market out of the water from a value perspective.
Here in Australia, new games are coming out for the above consoles, at approximately $110 RRP. Our exchange rate here has gone past parity with AU$1 worth over US$1. So at the very least, we're paying $110 US DOLLARS for games, while in the US, they are paying $40 to $50.
With the digital-age well and truly upon us, and the ability to download FULL games in place, you'd have thought that the cost of retail games ONLINE would be less than the physical product because there are no-distribution costs for physical packages, no cases, no covers, no manuals, no discs, nothing. Yet a quick look at the latest games on LIVE will show that prices are in fact the same as the street RRP, and in some cases, MORE!
I remember a number of years ago, when software companies started selling products online, many of them lowered prices because of the money they were saving money in no longer producing physical products. Why has this not transpired to the gaming market?
At least with physical products we can go and sell them on, to re-coup a bit of the money we spent on the over-priced game in the first place, but not so with the downloadable version.
So WHY are people buying games online for the same bloated RRP? Why are people buying games at 100% markup over the US prices? More importantly, why is there NO-ONE in Australia standing up for gamers as consumers?
The state of Sony & the Playstation in Australia is alnost a joke. We have a new, different version of the PSP out almost every other month, the inablility to sign up a new sub-account, third-rate content on the Playstation Store, and an absolute insult in the content provided for Playstation Plus subscribers... yet the price of a subscription is more than likely twice the US price... at least. Not only is Sony charging outrageous prices for the content on the Playstation Store, they even charge more than Microsoft in some instances. Check out the Call Of Duty Black Ops Map Packs... 1200 points on Xbox LIVE (1500 points = AU$25), which is AU$20. On the Playstation Store, they are $21.95 & $22.95. I won't even go into the whole update/install mechanisms of Playstation games... this is a global issue that's just incredibly frustrating and annoying.
Microsoft are robbing us blind with Games On Demand. Comparing prices between Australian & US regions is enough to reduce you to tears. Here are some examples:
|Assassins Creed Brotherhood||60
|Fallout New Vegas
|Battlefield Bad Company 2
|Red Dead Redemption
(Please note: these prices were compared a few weeks ago. I will update and fill in more examples soon, as well as getting the RRP's of games where possible!)
Furthermore... whatever happened to 'Platinum' game pricing? I was under the impression the 'Platinum' title reflected a reduced-price.. but over the weekend, I saw 'Platinum' games priced at AU$60 in the shops. For real? Battlefield Bad Company 2, in Big W at least, was priced at $30. EB Games on the other hand still had them at $50. Don't get me started on the joke that is EB Games though. Rip-off merchants is the nicest term I can come up with for them. How can you sell a NEW game at $110 RRP, and then sell a pre-owned copy at $102 or $105??? Go to Big W... the same NEW game will be $88!!! Or if you have a JB Hifi near you... go and get a pre-owned copy from them. I recently bought a copy of Brink, pre-owned, from JB Hifi for $59.. in EB Games, the new price was $109.95, and the pre-owned was $102. Better still... there's a fantastic site online where you can buy NEW GAMES for between $55 and $65 AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS!!
I haven't compared the costs of Xbox LIVE and PSN points between Australia and America at this stage, but I can only assume, taking other pricing into account, we're paying at least twice what Americans are paying.
In todays world, many households have more than a single console, and at least with Sony purchases, you're able to use those games/DLC, on up to 5 systems. Microsoft/Xbox on the other hand requires a purchase on each and every console you have in the house. Buy a full copy of Burnout Paradise or Assassins Creed on Playstation, then it can be played on each of the consoles at the same time. Buy them on Xbox, and you need a separate copy PER console. There is a slight work-around, albeit rather messy, where you can sign into another console in the house with your gamertag, make the purchase, and then sign back into your main Xbox. This will let you run that game on the two diffrent consoles. The downside is that you MUST be signed in to Xbox LIVE in order to play the game on the main console as the purchase is linked to a) the console you purchased it on and b) your gamertag.
Back to the iPad... As an example, I've bought just about every iPad game Electronic Arts have put out (well, 21 of them anyway), and at sale prices, I've spent less than $25. That's a MASSIVE saving over console gaming prices. Sure, the games may not have the depth of their console kin, but at that price, and with the added convenience of mobility... I'm struggling to see how people can justify buying console games at over-inflated prices. Additionally, everything I buy in the iTunes store can be played on any compatible device I have in the house, without having to buy multiple copies. With all credit to Apple, they've recently reviewed their pricing and have brought them closer to the US prices. Our Apps are still priced slightly higher, but our prices include GST, whereas US iTunes Store prices don't.