Recent news of the pricing on next generation platform stores are dictating a ridiculous price upgrade for the future of gaming.
As before, we’ve seen digital versions of games sell for between £10-15 over the boxed copy without a manual and physical disc on previous gen consoles. It wasn’t much of a problem as many were prepared to shell out a little bit more, cutting travel expenses and postage costs to play a game they really wanted to play right now. It could sometimes be a bonus.
Unfortunately, with the cost of gaming being at a high, gamers from both Microsoft and Sony camps have been hit with both barrels as games have crept up yet again. The biggest issue being, that in the UK, games are much more overpriced than our American cousins.
In the US, you can pick up launch day titles for PS4 and Xbox One for under $60 (That’s roughly £37 over here). $60 was also the asking price of a last generation game on release day… At a whopping £48 (previously £55) from most retailers in the United Kingdom, no matter what the VAT cost, this is far too much for a game, when other countries receive the same product for much, much less.
The biggest issue, as mentioned earlier, are store prices. Most big budget games are roughly the same price as their retail counterparts, but the usual suspects, namely EA, Ubisoft and Activision have overblown their prices on the PS Store by even more. That’s almost £15 on top of the originally astronomical price tag of a solid copy. What’s worse is that Xbox Live are offering the same titles for £54.99. That smacks of something fishy in the air.
Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Assassin’s Creed IV all have costs that would pucker the purse strings of any conscientious consumer, most at £62.99 on Sony’s digital store. Even Angry Birds Star Wars, a game that you can play for free on mobile phones is trying to rake in £32.99 a shot. For that price, I’d rather knock a nest out of a tree and get Angry Birds for nothing.
Third party publishers sell their products on each store for whatever price they deem worthy and this is not the doing of Sony, nor Microsoft. But, is there money changing hands in another bitter console war due to the difference in pricing?
Why on earth gamers are willing to pay the price of a special edition for a game that does not have any physical worth is anyone’s guess but as history has dictated, people will still mindlessly hand over the cash, allowing the practice to develop further.
As a gamer who likes to make sure his pastime is worth every penny, I look at this subject matter with a bitter taste in my mouth, as gaming changes from a lifetime hobby to one that is quickly failing due to the growing greed in the industry.
Hopefully, we’ll get an explanation from publishers in the near future. When and if there is more news, we’ll cover it here on N3.