September 15, 2006

UK shafted by Nintendo, Sony

Not for the first time, UK gamers are going to be ripped off by the new third-generation consoles coming from Nintendo and Sony.

While the Nintendo Wii will cost under $250 in the United States, here in Blighty it’ll cost the equivalent of $336 (or £179).

Similarly, the Sony PS3 is expected to retail for over £400 (that’s $800) even though in the States you’ll be able to get one for $600.

Why are we getting so badly shafted? Is it because we’re not in the Euro? Well, yes it is partly, because the rest of Europe is getting a slightly better deal. But it’s also because while we get our VAT slapped onto the price, in the US it’s added afterwards (and starts at 8% in Texas).

So we are being ripped off – for no particularly good reason – but it’s not quite as bad as it looks on the surface. Still, it’s going to be worth buying games from the U.S. and having them shipped over.


- 6 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Mathew Mannion

    A good article about why the Wii’s price is a good choice:

    http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/wii/some-thoughts-on-the-wii-200868.php

    15 Sep 2006, 15:20

  2. Hamid Sirhan

    We don’t just get shafted in terms of the price, but also in terms of release dates…

    We get shafter left right and center… but is there a reason?

    Well quite possibly…

    Like the fact that of the three main contentders, 1 is based in the US and two are based in Japan.

    Or the fact that most console manufacturers lose money on the consoles but aim to make up for it on games sold… so we have to factor in how much they’re charging above or below the production (and shipping costs) of the machine…. how many machines they expect to be selling in the market and how many games they expect to have purchased per console per annum in those markets.

    The Japanese market likes its niche games and Microsoft has had a tough time breaking in. But in the past, console manufacturers who settle in the Japanese market, make a hell of a lot of money. So yay for nintendo and yay for Sony.

    Nintendo, since the Snes (or Super Famicom) has had a tough time really settling in the US and Euro Markets with the N64 and Gamecube (ie it’s performed but nothing comparable to PS)

    Sony has had mega-success in the Japanese, Euro and American markets.

    Microsoft has had fairly good success in the US markets with the X-Box despite the fact that Bill Gates thought it would be a good idea to compare the control-pad to a large whopper….

    -----

    I must admit, I haven’t been keeping too up-to-date with the next-gen. I didn’t buy an X-Box 360 (but will be buying one this week) – I would love to try the Wii, despite the shitty name and I think I’ll forgoe the PS3

    Why? because I can buy an X-Box 360 i_and/i_ a Wii for the same price, earlier and I can wait until the price of the PS3 is slashed and it has more than the pre-launch lineup of games.

    And a lot of Gamers are thinking on the same lines… the PS3 is will be launching with the Blu-ray format, which could well go the way of Betamax… whilst Microsoft is now beginning to use the HD-Discs and has the time advantage. So the PS3 will be a risk for many casual gamers… the market Sony has captivated for so long…

    anyhow that kind of went from G-Economics to G-Politics…

    The point is, the European market is not a huge gaming market or, at least, not as huge as the American and Japanese markets. Console-makers (probably) won’t earn as much as per unit in Europe as they will in the US or Japan so it becomes a lot harder for them to bite the console-bullet and take a heftier loss on each unit.

    15 Sep 2006, 19:12

  3. Shipping games over from the US… good luck with that. Go go region locking!

    16 Sep 2006, 05:01

  4. Nintendo had said that Wii games wouldn’t be region-locked, but they’ve apparently back-tracked on this now. Stupid idea.

    16 Sep 2006, 09:42

  5. Mathew Mannion

    The Wii is region free though… What?

    16 Sep 2006, 14:59

  6. Adam

    Did you see yourself in the Guardian yesterday by the way?

    19 Sep 2006, 14:05


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