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Catracoth

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Wednesday, December 3rd 2008, 9:12pm

Gaming: What in the World?

Right, so I found this to be an interesting discussion: gaming in general. The main covers of this thread is to talk about the prices of games nowadays, the longetivity, the gaming companies, ranting about the above, etc.

So, I'll start us off. Prices of gaming. For the next generation consoles, Xbox 360 and PS3, new games are about $60 American currency and what, £36, which is roughly $48 American currency. What in the world? Why on Earth are video games so expensive nowadays? Now, I can't wave too many fingers because I buy new games as well, but not as often as I buy used games.

And what about used games that are still new? Like, the game itself just came out a week ago or something, the used game will be at least $5 less, no more than that. Well, then what's the point of buying a used game? Might as well just buy the new copy! It's ridiculous.

Thoughts? Remember, you can also discuss the subjects in the first sentence, :thumbsup .
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beerfridgeraider

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Thursday, December 4th 2008, 1:35am

It’s no secret that console games are (were?) based on the razor model. Make a loss on the console; make a profit on the games which will make a profit overall assuming each console owner buys X games (whatever X is).

I say “were” because Nintendo always make profit on both the console and the games. This is the case with the Wii. It is sold at a (small) profit, so in theory the games should be cheaper (are they?). Currently I think Sony are still at an overall loss with the PS3, although it is now selling well. Last time I looked (might have been the worst point), they were $1.9bn short. I remember the PS2 was down $900m before it started to turn and eventually turned a profit for Sony. If someone has up-to-date figures for PS3, please correct me.

So one of the reasons games cost a lot is that you are actually paying for your console, a bit like your mobile phone, over time.

However, I don’t mean to defend the current costs necessarily because I think there’s some unnecessary monetisation here. For example, whilst you are recapitalising the console maker, you are also making scaled up revenue for the retailer. Ie if the console maker could charge 20% less, the retailer would get 20% less (of its otherwise marked up price), and this surplus markup on the console maker’s cut is unnecessary.

PC games are cheaper and I think more reasonably priced. There is no console company getting a cut here. And consequently the retail price (as marked up from distribution) makes the retail price a lot less than the console games. You may think they are still too expensive. Possibly. One clue is that the games come out at high(ish) price and then are rapidly discounted. For example TRU is £25 currently on the PC. But pretty soon I expect to see it for £15 and then £10 maybe even as soon as the new year. £10 IMO is not overpriced, but maybe initial prices are.

Another interesting argument is that there have now been games that have grossed more than Hollywood blockbusters. There aren’t many games in this category, but a lot of films don’t make their expected returns either. On average a “big budget” game, such as GTA4, TRU etc. (ie one with a brand behind it) costs about 1/10 of a Hollywood blockbuster to make. But hey, how come a (good) game can earn more revenue than (good) movie which costs 10 times as much.

According to this argument, gamers are being overcharged for games. But a counter argument says there aren’t enough gamers and if there were, each unit sold could be cheaper. For sure, there are more people that go to see a movie than buy a game. If games could reach that kind of audience, they would indeed be cheaper (expect movie ticket prices or less!).
So it’s difficult to pinpoint the fair price of games.

Personally, I’m happy to pay PC game prices, but would refuse to pay console prices, despite the fact that I have to buy a graphics card that probably costs nearly the same as a console. But at least I get to use that graphics card for other things. I not necessarily saving any money compared to console owners, but I just prefer it this way.

?
/BFR

Catracoth

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Sunday, January 11th 2009, 11:23pm

I can't believe I missed your response, sorry mate, :slapforehead .
I say “were” because Nintendo always make profit on both the console and the games. This is the case with the Wii. It is sold at a (small) profit, so in theory the games should be cheaper (are they?). Currently I think Sony are still at an overall loss with the PS3, although it is now selling well. Last time I looked (might have been the worst point), they were $1.9bn short. I remember the PS2 was down $900m before it started to turn and eventually turned a profit for Sony. If someone has up-to-date figures for PS3, please correct me.
I believe those figures are correct from the past, what, year? That's what I'm focusing on most, so good on you for remembering, :thumbsup . I do believe that Nintendo made a great profit with the Wii, I mean, I never see it in stock in stores anymore. Even the accessories are selling like hot cakes. The PS3 did come off with a rough start, the poor console, but look how greatly it's going now? It's got a smorgasbord of exclusive games (turning me envious) and has some pretty snazzy features. Makes me wish I bought the PS3 instead of the 360, but that's mass marketing and the console war for you.
PC games are cheaper and I think more reasonably priced. There is no console company getting a cut here. And consequently the retail price (as marked up from distribution) makes the retail price a lot less than the console games. You may think they are still too expensive. Possibly. One clue is that the games come out at high(ish) price and then are rapidly discounted. For example TRU is £25 currently on the PC. But pretty soon I expect to see it for £15 and then £10 maybe even as soon as the new year. £10 IMO is not overpriced, but maybe initial prices are.
I agree with that. I mean, from my standpoint on PC games, they were always cheaper. I used to buy the Sims and the Sims 2 expansion packs here and there, and they were always more reasonable than if they were console games. $30 I believe for the expansion packs; still seems like a little much, but compared to console games, it's $20 cheaper. I still think $30 for an expansion pack is a little much, but then again, for the Sims, you're getting a lot of new features, so it's like another game really. The Sims and Sims 2 are the only computer games I own, even though I don't play them anymore since my laptop can't handle the space nor does it meet the recommended requirements. There goes my hopes of getting the Sims 3, unless it becomes laptop friendly, but I don't think I handle it with 7.17GB of hard drive space left, 27.9GB total. Now, if I could get the game to install and run on my portable hard drive that has 218GB of space left out of 232GB total, I'd be in luck.
Another interesting argument is that there have now been games that have grossed more than Hollywood blockbusters. There aren’t many games in this category, but a lot of films don’t make their expected returns either. On average a “big budget” game, such as GTA4, TRU etc. (ie one with a brand behind it) costs about 1/10 of a Hollywood blockbuster to make. But hey, how come a (good) game can earn more revenue than (good) movie which costs 10 times as much.

According to this argument, gamers are being overcharged for games. But a counter argument says there aren’t enough gamers and if there were, each unit sold could be cheaper. For sure, there are more people that go to see a movie than buy a game. If games could reach that kind of audience, they would indeed be cheaper (expect movie ticket prices or less!).
So it’s difficult to pinpoint the fair price of games.
Thanks for the information, I wasn't aware of those statistics, :-) ! Imagine that, an Xbox 360/PS3 video game for $9? Good Lord, that'd be heaven. I'd have so many more games (as if I don't have enough already) it wouldn't even be funny. But then again, the more popular games might sell faster and go out of stock more quickly. But I'm sure the company would make more anyway.
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tombraidergirl

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Monday, January 12th 2009, 3:11pm

It's got a smorgasbord of exclusive games (turning me envious) and has some pretty snazzy features. Makes me wish I bought the PS3 instead of the 360, but that's mass marketing and the console war for you.


This time around it's pretty difficult to pick the right console if not impossible. Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 have nice features or exclusive games/content the other is lacking. I think that getting both was the best decision I've ever made. I can always pick the game version which offers the most or is cheapest. (The only problem with this is that I have incomplete trophies/achievement lists ;-) e.g. I've played Prince of Persia on the PS3 and am lacking my achievements on the Xbox)

As for the cost. Yes, the PS3 is more expensive but that's because a lot of features were integrated and the console is not sold without, e.g. BluRay drive, wireless lan, charge kit for the controller... plus as a secondary controller most usb gamepads can be used. (When we play Motorstorm - a racing game - Jan uses his logitech game pad.)

Catracoth

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Monday, January 12th 2009, 8:52pm

If I could afford it, I'd get a PS3 as soon as possible. I still need to get a job, really. Well, don't need to since I'm still living with my parents and not moving out any time soon, not for another five years anyway, but I'd like one so I can start making my own money and after a few months, I'll have enough for a PS3.
But definitely having both is an awesome move if you can afford it.
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