I I’ve been getting into Rockstar Games a lot more recently due to episodes from liberty city giving me the bug again. I was thinking about taking a look at Beaterator if I can get it for a bargain price.
I found the game on Amazon, Play.com, Zavvi and GAME for around £5. GAME were the most expensive at £5.99. Zavvi just pipped Play.com as the cheapest by 4 pence at £4.95 while Amazon only had it in stock from other sellers on the site and now Amazon themselves.
The point is that the game which retailed officially for £24.99 (which, let’s be honest, considering iPhone’s success at lower prices is still considerably too much) is being sold now at a very reasonable £5 at retail.
I decided to take a look at Media Go to check what Sony were charging for the download version of the game which PSP go owners have to buy if they want the game. I almost couldn’t believe it when I saw that it was still £23.99. Yes, you read that right. The reason why I say almost couldn’t believe it is because I know how this industry works in such ridiculous ways and how downloadable games and add-on content are seen as opportunities to absolutely disrespect loyal customers by charging so much more. When in theory, downloadable games should be cheaper for multiple reasons.
It all doesn’t make sense, and my personal view is that Sony and anyone else allowing this to happen, should be investigated for taking advantage of a monopoly on the spending habits of PSP go owners. It’s anti-competitive and this is on top of the ridiculous price of the dated looking system.
I wish Sony had never introduced the PSP go and just waited until the PSP2. They should have really thought more about how they were going to approach digital distribution in a way that made sense. PSP go doesn’t make sense.
Of course, the reason the price gap in this case is so huge is because Beaterator is a lesser known game that went under the radar so to speak. It probably didn’t move a huge number of copies and Sony must have just forgot to keep the price in line with the retail channels. I say Sony, but in the end, it may not be their fault because the publishers I believe have control over the Playstation Store prices and not Sony themselves. They can only guide them.
But at the end of the day, Sony should be doing more to force the publishers to set and maintain reasonable prices for their games. By doing a price review every few months or so, they could help themselves and PSP go owners because it will give them something to play. If I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t be paying almost 5 times the amount for a game no matter how much I wanted to play it. Surely the publisher would rather sell some games at a lower price, than presumably none or very few.
I should also mention that I looked up GTA Chinatown Wars on the store. On the sites mentioned earlier, I saw the game for around £15. On Playstation Store I found it for £29.99. It may not be as large in proportion as the price difference for Beaterator, but it’s still doube for the same game. Plus, this is a much more high profile game, and people are going to notice it a lot more. There’s no denying it’s an awful rip-off, but in the end it really comes down to whether or not people can vote with their wallets and spend their money on the UMD version, or even get the DS or iPhone versions.
The problem for PSP go owners is that they can’t buy the UMD, and if they vote with their wallets, they’ll have very little to play on their shiny overpriced systems.