Random Babblings: Price Wars Part II


posted 9/11/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
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Here’s a snippet of a conversation that I recently overheard:

Guy 1: “Dude have you played that SOCOM game?”

Guy 2: “I wanted to but its as expensive as hell”

Guy 1: “Yea seriously man I wonder why it’s 60 bucks. Don’t PS2 games sell for 50 bucks?

Guy 2: “I thought so but I guess this one’s special or something”

The two guys look at the game for a little while longer and decide to pick up a copy of Brute Force instead.

Not that I meant to single-out Sony in this instance, but it’s an example that makes a whole lot of sense. When I inquired about the high price tag at Sony I received a response along the lines of “You’re paying an extra $10 for a headset, isn’t that a good deal?” Then I countered with the fact that all other Sony first party titles sell for $39.99 retail so in essence, the $14.99 retail headset is being included for $20, a loss of $5 for the gamer. Not such a great deal anymore is it? Further proof of this was brought forth when Sony released the stand alone title for $39.99 a few months after.

It’s not to say that industry isn’t trying to relieve the burden on potential buyers. Aforementioned Sony has taken the first step by selling all of its first-party titles at a fairly attractive $39.99 while the other two console makes have offered lines of titles similar to Sony’s Greatest Hits line. It’s nice to see that more and more titles are coming out at the $39.99 price point each and every week, especially ones that people actually might be interested in such as Sega’s Otogi and not just lame games like E Club DJay.

While its nice to see that some companies are in fact getting the point how about the others? When will be able to see Madden or Grand Theft Auto debut at this price? Well the power, believe it or not, is in your hands. Maybe it’s time to give the game companies a little shock, let them know that you’re not mindless saps who will eat up whatever they serve you. Perhaps the next time a big hit comes out you may want to hold out a few months, let the developer sweat a bit and force them to lower the price. Then when the price goes down swoop in and pick up the title. Do it enough times and they just might get the message. You never know, maybe someday we’ll see games debut at a lower price point. The power truly is in your hands.

Just beware because this may be the calm before the storm. Perhaps the companies are just lulling us all into a false sense of security before they hit us upside the head with the knockout blow. Who knows what the future holds? Anyone want to make any guesses on how much PS3 titles will cost? How about Xbox 2 games? PSP games? Or even PC games? Make a stand today and you’ll be able to spend more time worrying about how you’re going to find the time finish a game as opposed to how you’re going to raise a cash to buy it.

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