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Nekrosys avatar 1:55 AM on 06.23.2013  (server time)
Nintendo and the Cost of Gaming in Australia

Nintendo: they're a company that can create some amazing games. Their IPs have gone from being humble video games to full blown cultural phenomenons. Most people are more than aware of franchises like MarioZelda or Pokemon.

So despite my love of Nintendo games, I feel that they've also done a lot to really piss me off. This is something that doesn't come lightly to me, as Nintendo was the very first company I played a game by. I really do love Nintendo, I love their games, their consoles are usually pretty decent, despite not being the greatest in terms of graphical prowess.

And while this issue isn't limited to just Nintendo, they aren't doing anything to really help. Not to mention the 3DS and the Wii U are the only region-locked consoles now in this generation, now that Microsoft has backed down on a lot of their bullshit. This means that as a gamer in Australia, I'm kind of at a loss here. There isn't much I can do to work around this problem.

I'm curious; why do games have to cost so absurdly much here? Why do my 3DS games cost $70 (almost) whereas a person in the United States only has to pay $40? If this is an issue with shipping to this nation (which I severely doubt), why is it that fucking digital copies of the games cost exactly the same as the overpriced retail copies?

I'm not even joking about the price of 3DS games. They do, indeed, cost that price in Australia:

Now as I've stated, these prices also translate to the Nintendo eShop. This means that even through the wonders of digital distribution, these games cost the exact same price as it would for me to buy a physical copy.

And with the wonders of region locks, there isn't much I can do. This isn't like the original DS where I could just order a game in online and it'd arrive in a week's time. I could skimp on costs on postage and get the game at an affordable price.

And why are these games at a markup of almost $30 when the difference between the US and Australian dollars are almost negligible? Currency conversion courtesy of Google.

It's very difficult to be a Nintendo fan when on a budget when the price of a damned handheld game is almost as much as that of a fully-fledged AAA PC game. Hell, considering how often I use Steam, I actually find it cheaper to buy games for my PC than it is my 3DS. I got Tomb Raider at launch for a grand total of $62.

As I've said before, Nintendo isn't the only company to pull this bullshit, but they are one of the worst (from what I've seen). Games on the PS Vita are actually not too bad, all things considering. I picked up Soul Sacrifice for $47 in Australia when it's only $40 in the US. A markup of $7 for a physical title isn't too much.

Steam gives me a good price for my games, for the most part. I've definitely found some great deals using that service. And the Xbox One and PS4 are both going without region locking, meaning that if I object too heavily to a price of a game in Australia, I may be able to just import it from overseas. Not to mention PS+, while more expensive in Australia ($70 in Australia), still gives me pretty decent value for my money.

I also get that Australia has a 10% tax on all non-essential goods. For a $40 game, that should still only equate to $4. Yeah. That's really not much. This still leaves for a bit that can only be interpreted as pure markup.

So my question is this: why? Is it just because of greed? Why do you make it hard for me to really enjoy my video game console? I'm still to get quite a lot of good titles for the 3DS just because it's so fucking expensive. It really is just cheaper to buy a game on my other systems; PC and Vita. Even with the shitty Vita memory card dilemma.

To charge full AAA game costs for a title on a handheld console, it's pretty frustrating.

To this, I say that I really hope Nintendo cleans up their act. I've rarely been disappointed with their games, but I have to say I'm disappointed with them as a company.

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