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PS4's UK Digital Prices Will Stretch Your Wallet Pretty Wide

Posted by Sammy Barker

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The price of PlayStation 4 titles in the UK is a topic that hasn’t really been touched on a whole lot in the lead up to launch. We’ve avoided the subject largely because we expected things to settle down shortly before release, but it looks like that’s not going to be the case, and we’re going to be charged a hefty premium at first.

Consider a popular title such as FIFA 14, for example. This game can be scored for £39.99 ($64.81) on the PlayStation 3 from Amazon.co.uk, a figure that’s more or less in line with most current generation blockbuster releases. However, a Blu-ray copy of the game for the PS4 will set you back £47.00 ($76.71) from the exact same retailer.

It gets worse, though. Sony launched the PS4 version of the PlayStation Store in Britain overnight, and the prices of some titles are borderline prohibitive. The aforementioned FIFA 14, for starters, will cost you an outrageous £62.99 ($102.09). Considering that the title’s selling for $59.99 on the North American online plaza, it’s quite sickening to see such gouging.

Unfortunately, while the EA titles are undoubtedly the worse – the publisher also wants £62.99 for NBA Live 14, a game that it has publicly admitted isn’t even very good – it’s not like Sony is actually setting a much better example. Knack will cost you a steep £47.00 from Amazon.co.uk, but you’ll need to stump up £52.99 ($85.88) for the digital version.

While we appreciate that the platform holder can’t do much to convince third-parties to change their pricing structures, the least that it can do is lead by example and try to drive digital costs down by attaching reasonable figures to its own content. Retail prices are known for dropping quickly in Britain, so we hope that once the hype surrounding the launch period has passed, boxed titles will once again adopt a much more reasonable cost. However, digital content must follow suit, too.

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User Comments (26)

B4SDR4G

#1

B4SDR4G said:

Same with EUR from USD. But the British seem to get milked even worse.
Is it so hard to convert to other currencies? Is it a trick to make more money off the British?

MANTAGTJ001

#4

MANTAGTJ001 said:

@pushsquare its ridiculous that they should charge so much for digital games when I can have case, manual and blu-ray disc for cheaper, surely it must cost more to produce the latter

charlesnarles

#5

charlesnarles said:

I feel like a cruddy NBA game should be dirt cheap in the UK--y'all don't like b-ball do you? FIFA I totally get being gouged cause it's a more popular sport over there, but yikes. Just remember Ace Combat PSP was $40 here and £10 over there... I always will.

Gemuarto

#6

Gemuarto said:

Huh, it's like Japanese prices =). Anyway, Sony can eat ****. It's time to steam =). PC-gaming only and forever. Untill PSN will become better and afordable than steam =)).. In other words - never.

Carl-G

#8

Carl-G said:

I wanted to buy a few games with my PS4 next week but at those prices i will just get KZ:SF for now then :( + even the disc prices are to high :-/ + if people do buy games at £62.99 then we are ALL DOOMED in the future when games will only be available by downloading :-/ Oh well time to get a new hobby if so, maybe i will take up fishing :D

Epic

#9

Epic said:

I hate when companies does this kinda of BS to other countries without even specifying why, when they stay quiet about the matter most of the times is because they are just being greedy.
At this point people will probably try to import a US PS4 and try to download games digitaly through the store, it would be more budget friendly to EU gamers.

SimonAdebisi

#10

SimonAdebisi said:

Yeah, I bought FIFA14 and ACIV-BF-SE for £38.00 each from tesco after using online voucher codes. I think £40.00 is reasonable not £63.00, that's a joke. I also bought KZ-SF alongside my solus console at Game who are now offering £10.00 off for launch games bought with the console, so I'll get that for £42.99. PSN are off their faces.

MadchesterManc

#11

MadchesterManc said:

This is one of the reasons why I still haven't embraced digital and it looks like I won't be. The only time I've purchased a digital title was back in September for Project Diva F and that was only because SEGA went digital only for its EU release. I've honestly never bought anything else on the store

Squiggle55

#12

Squiggle55 said:

I don't know why anyone would choose digital over retail anyway. Even if the prices are the same you are being ripped off. But to charge extra for digital makes zero sense. It's mind boggling. If these companies want a digital future (believe me it's in their interest) then the digital prices should be MUCH lower than retail. Do not support this. Buy physical.

Reverend_Skeeve

#13

Reverend_Skeeve said:

This is pretty outrageous/insane...wonder how it will look on the German PS4 online store. It absolutely makes no sense why prices for digital downloads should be so much higher than the retail versions, especially, as pointed out, when there's no costs for the disk, packaging or shipping the game to retailers. And it's pretty stupid, too...surely not the best way to tempt consumers into an all-digital future...that said, especially with PS+, there's some often excellent deals and price cuts on PSN for the PS3 when the games are a little older, so I imagine we will see something similar with the PS4 sometimes down the line...getting really excellent games for 5,- € or so digitally is a steal, so I guess it depends on how long you're willing to wait until you buy the digital version of a game.

Guess it's the old "vote with your wallet" thingy again...

ZeD

#14

ZeD said:

What I don't get is the PsVita games. Retail prices are very close to digital prices. So why are ps3/4 so different?

Ginkgo

#15

Ginkgo said:

Hmm, it seems like they are accidentally charging you Australian prices!

Sony have been trying to sell us digital titles for $99.99 for a while now, but we just laugh.

DirectAim

#16

DirectAim said:

The only thing that will make me buy digital is if that's the only way to stream a game via my vita, if I can install from disk then stream anytime I'll never buy digital.

It amazes me that games are cheaper in the stores then online, I mean there are zero distribution costs, cost of the disk, printing, case costs etc, yet I've seen games priced £30 more on XBL & PSN

heyzeus002

#17

heyzeus002 said:

Not surprised by ea pricing but I felt sony 1st party titles would have been cheaper at the very least. To all those asking why digital prices are not cheaper due to lack of manufacturing costs,we learnt in accounting that companies will charge consumers what they think they will pay,the cost of production has surprisingly little to do with pricing

Reverend_Skeeve

#18

Reverend_Skeeve said:

@heyzeus002 That is really the only explanation that makes sense...so we indeed have to vote with our wallets and show companies that this just doesn't work. If the backlash is big enough, it obviously can change something...Xbox One... *cough

Farmboy74

#20

Farmboy74 said:

I was hoping to go digital only this gen, but not at those prices!, Let's hope Amazon bring their PS store to the Uk & Europe, hopefully this will help to bring digital prices down. On a side note my PS4 copy of Assassins Creed 4 turned up to day!

lvnlavitaloca

#21

lvnlavitaloca said:

That is preposterous! Publishers should provide incentive for digital downloads, considering they are so hurt by the used games market. This is the reason people resisted the xbox one always online/no used games deal. Because we can't trust fair digital pricing.

naruball

#22

naruball said:

All sorts of messed up. Vote with your wallets, people. Vita prices are great, so can't complain about psn in general, but ps4 prices are a slap in the face to all ps fans.

Paranoimia

#23

Paranoimia said:

Utterly, utterly ridiculous.

The problem is that they will keep charging like this for as long as idiots keep paying the price, and according to developer Martijn van der Meulen (ex of Sony, currently at Relentless), he has it on good authority that these ridiculously priced digital PSN titles actually sell pretty well.

It annoys me that SCEA said that their 1st-party prices would be the same for PS4 as for PS3 (i.e. $60), but SCEE have not done the same. Worse than that, though, is this absolute gouge by EA. I know they can't undercut retail too much or they'll face some backlash, but I mean come on - it's a digital game, with no disc, case, manual, or distribution costs... what possible justification is there for charging us over $40 more than their US customers?

More to the point, why do SCEE allow them to scalp customers like this? Sony have said they don't set the price of 3rd-party titles on PSN, but they do advise. I think it's time they started enforcing fixed price bands and/or a maximum price, to try and help prevent this kind of thing.

At the very most, the digital version of a full-price AAA game should be something like £5 less than the RRP of the physical version. And I mean the actual, full RRP - not whatever low price ShopTo, Amazon, or Tesco offer. That way, you have a choice, and it remains fair to the retailers - you can either go digital and perhaps save a little money, or buy physical and have the convenience of being able to share and re-sell your copy of the game. So if the physical game has an RRP of £50, you can get the digital for £45... and if retailers want to undercut the digital price (which they basically do anyway), they're free to do so. At least that would be fair(er) on everyone.

RaymanFan2

#24

RaymanFan2 said:

This isn't anything new.

Many New Zealanders are quite willing to pay $140 NZD (about $105 USD, 70 pounds) for each new CoD (the most expensive game around here), since that's what EB Games charges.

That's despite the fact that, if you shop around and order online, you can get it for $90 NZD...

Squiggle55

#25

Squiggle55 said:

@heyzeus002 You are absolutely correct. They are charging what they think the customer is willing to pay. And you know what? They're right. Anyone that is buying full retail games digitally is not a wise consumer in the first place, so they probably won't even notice the price hike. The consumer that buys their retail games digitally is like the "whales" that mobile games count on. You might as well milk them for all that they're worth. I'm sure they'll make plenty of money doing this.

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