Ahh, Australia. The Lucky Country. We seem to have the best beaches, cities, animals and obnoxious personalities. However, we aren't lucky with every thing...
Especially when it comes to games.
Sure, we're the annoying niece of the world that has a knack of getting every important people's attention, so we can't have everything that the States, Japan and Europe get with games (fuck, they develop them all, what have Australia contributed? Wow, Fury and a ton of shitty platformers, bravo!) But, lately, we've been gaining from the plight of America's doomed economy.
Yet, we still pay the same old Australian price for games.
Now, this is bullshit. The last time I checked (yesterday, actually), our dollar bought 0.9205 American, yet we are still getting charged up to $AU120 for a brand new game. Ok, so the GST and the rest of Costello's legion of taxes that have plagued Australians for the past 12 years contribute to the higher price. But, that is a small percentage.
The point is: WE ARE PAYING DOUBLE OF WHAT WE SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO! Some might say "Oh, Mitch, stop being a bitch and import like every rad dude like me!". Sure, that's fine for the 2 people who own a PlayStation 3 for more than a cheap Blu Ray DVD player. But what about those who own Xbox 360s? Not every game released is region free, so people are not going to risk buying a game from Europe or the US to find that it doesn't work on their Australian 360.
Then there is Nintendo. Yes, the DS is region-free, but most people who have a DS don't know that. Paying $AU70 retail for a new DS game is a rip and a half, not to mention a pain in this day and age of portability symbolised by the iPod. The Wii is the biggest pain for budget. For a console being marketed as "the el cheapo choice", they sure like to exploit consumers with the outdated game prices, absurd game delays and the criminal (yes, CRIMINAL) region-locking. Oh, and there's the expense of getting 3 extra controllers with all their add ons (and the WiiFit mat and the WiiZapper aren't even out yet!)
I am aware that the avid gaming community is very alert (and furious) about Nintendo's neglect. However, it's not just them, it is everyone. However, I doubt we'll be seeing a gaming equivalent of actions taken by the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. I just hope that I can make the international community (especially those Canadians! I hear you guys are in a similar position, and your dollar is STRONGER than the greenback!). No wonder people steal games. read