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Pocket Gamer Investigates: Why are the prices so high on the Nintendo eShop and PlayStation Network?

Who sets these high prices?

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Show: Latest | Oldest
Jun 2012
Post count:
big mean bunny | 22:59 - 17 December 2012
excellent article and something most gamers have been saying, was going to pick up football manager 2013 handheld from the vita store, however they seem to think I should pay
Oct 2012
Post count:
@arosbooks | 09:35 - 11 December 2012
This is exactly why the whining about used prices is stupid - if digital cost were cheaper I would buy my games digitally, even with not actually 'owning' them this way.

Vita prices are ridiculous as you also have to factor in a
Dec 2012
Post count:
@ElWaster | 11:54 - 10 December 2012
Simple really, if the online stores undercut all the physical retailers, then no-one will buy from a physical store, which will result in non-renewals or lose of contracts between the shops and game companies.

I can accept that for now the digital store prices are higher. We haven't completely switched to digital only media yet.
Aug 2012
Post count:
Kbrpilot | 20:53 - 8 December 2012
Very good article. Japanese companies seem to be either too arrogant or simply have no idea how the digital market works in the west. Even though I am a fan of both Sony and Nintendo, and have a PSP and DS, I chose to not get a 3DS or a Vita because of their way over priced digital stores. I depend completely on iOS for my mobile gaming now and my wallet and I couldn't be happier. Both Andriod and iOS have plenty of games now that are equal too and in some cases even better than what's on PSN or the DS stores. Only the ignorant are claiming otherwise.
Jul 2011
Post count:
adampsyreal | 19:05 - 8 December 2012
Dungeon Hunter Android : 5$
Dungeon Hunter Vita : 30$
Aug 2012
Post count:
RockinIt | 18:02 - 8 December 2012
I personally would not buy any digital downloads from Sony even if they halved prices on everything, quite frankly I can't trust Sony after the way they lost millions of credit card details when they were hacked by anonymous, completely lost my trust.

Nintendo doesn't understand the internet at all, the estore is clumsy, we had all the issues with the WiiU software updates last week, they've also been hacked by lulzec although unlike Sony at least they managed not to lose any customer info. I personally don't think Nintendo really care much about downloadable games, the 3DS has a physical format, so does the WiiU, they still want consumers to buy games physically, I mean just look at the Wii U with it's pathetic hard drive, the basic model has 8gb of storage and the premium has 12gb, even then the vast bulk is used by the OS that amount of storage wasn't enough in 1997, it's pretty clear Nintendo don't give a damn.

As much as I like my PS3, my next console won't be one made by Sony or even Nintendo, as much as I hate to say it, Microsoft have done an amazing job with the Xbox and Xbox Live and whenever they announce the next one, that'll be my next console

Apr 2011
Post count:
NotSpam | 22:38 - 7 December 2012
This article just makes me love my warm-blooded iOS device and look at the fossil remains of the console giants, while I gnaw away at Jet Set Radio and GTA: Vice City for 2.99
Sep 2012
Post count:
skyluigi | 19:34 - 7 December 2012
It's still kind of odd. I don't know many people who would buy Paper Mario: Sticker Star for example, on the eShop when it's cheaper in the shops; if Nintendo want to sell more digital copies, they'll have to at least make digital prices the same as shop prices.
Jun 2008
Post count:
Acteon | 19:02 - 7 December 2012
The digital versions are the only place developers can enforce an RRP. Stores ignore it, so where better to set your own premium?

Incidentally it's precisely because we pay so much more in Blighty that I registered my Vita in the US. Initially, thanks to the massive Euro PSP sale that looked to have perhaps been a mistake, but as Assassin's Creed has proven, the tables are turning again. I also have the pleasure of an English digital version of DJ Max Techika Tune this week to compliment the SE I picked up in Japan.

It's mad that in a global market, publishers still seek to segregate and milk each territory for everything it can.
Mar 2011
Post count:
funkyflychicken | 17:39 - 7 December 2012
The digital versions should always be less than the physical retail releases. It's saving them money, but they aren't passing the savings onto the consumer.

However, that's why I just stay a member of Playstation Plus. They have offered a ton of free games, it just requires some patience (I couldn't care less about playing a game as soon as it releases, I'll gladly wait and pay a much reduced price or get it free from PS+). Only if they offer a sale on the digital version, and it's equal to or less than the going retail price, will I spring since it is more convenient than having the disc.
Aug 2012
Post count:
s4ndm4n87 | 17:15 - 7 December 2012
Good article. Completely agree prices on PSN need to change not just for us but also for Sony and the game publishers. If they charge too much for a game then I'll buy the physical copy for cheaper and then sell it on when I'm done and that person may do the same. Sony/publisher will lose sales because of charging too much.
there are some instances of sony pricing games well. When god of war ghost of sparta came out, the price was cheaper than retail and they gave for a limited time the soundtrack and some other DLC. this really incentivised me to buy the digital copy. This is what I'd like to see more.
Jul 2011
Post count:
adampsyreal | 17:04 - 7 December 2012
Case in point:
Dungeon Hunter Android = 4.99$

Dungeon Hunter Vita = 29.99$

Could Gameloft please qualify the 25$ price increase? Why is that worth it?
Dec 2012
Post count:
@nicholaslovell | 16:23 - 7 December 2012
Your analysis focuses on the companies involved. I suspect it is about roles at the companies.

I've worked with a number of companies where the head of sales (who is incentivised on selling hard copies of games to physical and online retailers) says "We can't discount the digital download price, because that makes its hard for me to sell physical copies". Yet all physical copies are discounted because, by law, the publisher can't set the price, only the retailer can. (I think that's the law, not a total expert on consumer pricing legislation).

So you end up with the crazy situation that to protect the wholesale price that Amazon will pay (but heavily discount from RRP), the digital download goes on sale at full RRP, because the publisher is in control there.

it will change. Slowly. But it will change.