Critical Hit | The True Price of Games

By Flynnie 17.02.2015 5

Critical Hit | The True Price of Games on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

Critical Hit returns with The True Price of Games, this time taking a swipe at those who bemoan the cost of games in various countries.
 

More often than not, the cries of gamers around the world can be heard complaining about how expensive their games are. Which country really does pay the most for their games, though? Find out in the latest edition of Critical Hit, The True Price of Games.

It has been an age-old gripe with many gamers around the world that when a game gets released in their territory, they feel like the exchange rate is not favourable towards them. Often British gamers feel a little disadvantaged by seeing something release in the US for $9.99 to only then be released in the UK for £8.99. However, just because the exchange rate is not favourable, does it mean that gamers are actually getting robbed from country to another?
 
Before really getting into the nitty-gritty, let me start off with my methodology:
 
  • For all purposes of this article, I cannot include every country in the world. The countries I have included make up some of the biggest gamers in the world;
  • I am only concentrating on how the gaming industry is today and not comparing it to the yester-years of gaming;
  • Due to the major fluctuations in prices from e-stores (such as the eShop, XB marketplace, PlayStation Store) and pre-owned games, I will be using the average price of new games releases;
  • In certain instances I will use promotional prices if it is something that is consistent with the market, for example RRP of Nintendo games are normally £49.99 but you would be naive to pay such a price knowing that you could get it for £39.99 or less elsewhere. I have concentrated my efforts mainly on Wii U and 3DS, but I'll throw Xbox One and PS4 in the mix just to keep things interesting.
Let's take a look at some of the game prices across the world for some of the latest releases from the tail end of 2014, then, and upcoming releases in 2015 across all current generation of consoles and the Nintendo 3DS.
 
I have searched for the cheapest price I can using the following retailers from various countries: GAME, Amazon, Tesco, Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, JB-HIFI, eb Game, Yodobashi, and Gamestop. All prices were accurate as of 9th February 2015.
 
XE Market rate of currency on 9th February, £1 = $1.53 (USD), $1.97 (AUD), 1.35€, 181.51

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby
UKUSAAUSJPNGER

£30 (Amazon)

£23 ($35 - Wal-Mart)

£22 ($44 JB-Hi-Fi)

£23 (4,190)

£33 (45€ - Gamestop.de)


 

  The Legend of Zelda:  Majora’s Mask 3D


UKUSAAUSJPNGER

£33 (Amazon)

£26 ($40 - Wal-Mart)

£30 ($60 Various retailers)

£25 (4560)

£33 (45€ - Gamestop.de)


 

  New Nintendo 3DS XL

UKUSAAUSJPNGER

£180 (GAME)

£131 ($200 - Target)

£111 ($219 Target)

£112 (20,290)

£148 (200€ - Gamestop.de)


 

  Captain Toad’s  Treasure Tracker

UKUSAAUSJPNGER

£30 (GAME)

£26 ($40 - Wal-Mart)

£27 ($54 JB Hi-Fi)

£19 (3,580)

£30 (40€ - Gamestop.de)




  Nintendo’s amiibo

UKUSAAUSJPNGER

£10-11 (Amazon)

£9 ($13 -Various)

£7 ($14 Target)

£7 (1,230)

£11 (15€ - Gamestop.de)


 

  Wii U Premium Pack

UKUSAAUSJPNGER

£199 (Amazon)

 

1 game (Mario Kart 8

£196 ($299 - various)

 

2 games (Mario 3D Land/Nintendo Land)

£202 ($398 Target)

 

1 game (Mario Kart 8

£208 (37,800)

 

1 game (Xenoblade Chronicles X)

£222 (299€ - Gamestop.de)

 

1 game (Mario Kart 8


 PlayStation 4 (500GB  model)

UKUSAAUSJPNGER

£349 (GAME)

 

1 game (Evolve)

 

£261 ($399 - various)

 

Game of choice (GTA V, Last of Us)

£304 ($599 - ebGames)

 

4 Games (Driveclub, Little Big Planet, Last of Us, Far Cry 4)

 

£279 ($549 standalone)

£237 (43.080)

 

 No bundle found

£334 (450€ - Gamestop.de)

 

1 game (GTA V)


Xbox One

UKUSAAUSJPNGER

£299 (Amazon)

 

2 games (Assassins Creed Unity and Black Flag)

£228 ($349 - various)

 

2 games (Assassins Creed Unity and Black Flag)

£253 ($499 - ebGames)

 

2 games (Assassins Creed Unity and Black Flag)

£208 (37,760)

 

1 game (Halo - Master Chief Collection)

£296 (399€ - Gamestop.de)

 

Bundled with Kinect*

 

3 games (Forza 5, Sunset Overdrive, Project Spark


Interestingly, converting on currency alone,  you can see that German and British gamers on the face value side have the  worst deal. The majority of the time the Japanese gamers have the cheapest  deal. Unfortunately, the disparity in console bundles (or lack of a PlayStation Bunduru) makes it hard to  measure them fairly, but at a glance it appears that the USA and Japan have the  best of the PS4/XB1 bundles but the gulf in prices between all five countries  is a lot larger than that of the Wii U. There is a £112 range of prices for the  PS4 and a £91 difference on XB1 but the Wii U only has a £26 difference.

There is more to look at here than just simply  converting the prices, though, as exchange rates fluctuate vigorously  throughout the year and that is just down to various market factors, political  instability, and fiscal policy… among other things. For instance, the Australian  Dollar has been dropping faster than hypothetical Koala’s out of trees, and the  British Pound took a nose dive due to the instability of the Union back in  September 2014. Multiple things affect currency prices and sometimes that can  be a benefit for companies, especially for Japanese companies as of late due to  the weakness of the Japanese Yen, which actually helped put Nintendo back into  the black in the last few financial quarters.

However, my argument digs a little deeper, and  without trying to get too economical, one must look at the minimum earning  potential in each country.

UKUSAAUSJPNGER

£6.50*

£4.75 ($7.25)*

£8.58 ($16.87)*

£4.21 (764*)

£6.31  (8.50€)*

*There are many differences in minimum wages  laws across every country. Particular laws apply for certain jobs, ages and  locale)
 For the purpose of this argument, I am going to  set aside income tax because you couldn’t really fairly judge someone’s income  based on their wages alone or their personal circumstances.

The reason the hourly minimum wage should be  looked at is because these prices need to be put into the context of each  country. Sure, not everyone is on the minimum wage, yet this is a good  benchmark to see how each marketplace believes the distribution of wealth  should be handled. With the above information I have now calculated how many  working hours it takes to earn the games themselves. The lower the number, the  less time you spend at work to earn that particular game.

Hourly minimum wage  (divided by) Cost of Game = Number of hours worked to earn game

Hourly minimum wage  (divided by) Cost of Game = Number of hours worked to earn game

 

UK

USA

AUS

JPN

GER

Pokémon OR/AS

4.61

4.82

2.60

5.48

5.29

Majora’s Mask

5.07

5.51

3.55

5.97

5.29

New 3DS XL

27.69

27.58

12.98

26.58

23.52

Captain Toad

4.61

5.52

3.2

4.69

4.70

amiibo

1.61

1.79

0.82

1.60

1.76

Wii U

30.61

41.24

23.59

49.48

35.1

PlayStation 4

53.69

55.03

35.50

56.39

52.94

Xbox One

46

48.1

29.58

49.42

46.94

Country with least number of  hours worked
Country with 2nd least  number of hours worked
Country  with 3rd least number of hours worked
Country with 4th least  number of hours worked
Country with most number of hours worked

 This table makes it conclusively clear that Australia is the downright winner, and effectively has the cheapest games available on the market. It is insane to  think of the PlayStation 4 SKU being cheaper in Australia considering it comes  with four games and is considerably cheaper.

The UK fares quite well against  the other countries, with the exception of the New Nintendo 3DS, which is the  most expensive in the  UK but effectively more than half the cost in Australia! The worse off gamers are the Japanese, who literally trail in nearly all of their  categories. It’s an even more of a tragic day for Japanese gamers when they see  how badly behind they are when it comes to purchasing a bundleless PlayStation  4.

How do you feel about this? Have I  missed your country? Let me know in the comments how it fares elsewhere!

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Comments

I used to import all my N64 games from Aus because of the favourable exchange rate, and GC games from Canada because of the same reason. Sadly now DVD Box Office has died (Canada) and I can't remember the name of the Aussie store I bought from, but I think it went as well.

Anyway, I can't afford to buy any games nowadays... Smilie (violins at the ready! Smilie )

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Had a mate when I was younger who used to come back with shitloads of games from holidays in Oz, because they worked out so much cheaper. I own an Oz Yoshi's Story thanks to him :p

I've spent a silly amount on games out here, the funny thing is that all non-Nintendo games for the Wii U and 3DS are European versions anyway. The official Nintendo games are "Australian" though. Even amiibo are European. 

Im im surprised there hasn't been more interest in this though, maybe people already knew eh!

You are winning on Charlie Sheen levels of winning if you come out to Oz to get a New 3DS! It's miles cheaper! 

The point of the article is to show that Aussies have to work a lot less than their worldly chums for their games. I just got sick of people complaining about games prices being so expensive....

I wonder if not as many people import anymore and just shop around at various e-tailers to find the best deals...?

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Adam Riley said:
I wonder if not as many people import anymore and just shop around at various e-tailers to find the best deals...?


They have Az to thank for that Smilie

Obviously there are cheaper ways to get games such as via flash sales on websites, inventory clear outs, liquidations, preowned and general price reductions.

I am surprised by the lack of interest though, i though this would set the internet on fire. I still see comments elsewhere on other sites with Aussies and Brits complaining about how expensive their games are when it should really be the Yanks complaining! 

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