Shamed into a discount? EU plans to expose high console prices in the UK

Longtime readers of Destructoid will know that among the things that help cause my anger management problems, the disproportionately high prices of consoles and videogames in the UK is a pretty large issue. In the UK, we pay up to 27% more for our hardware than those in the US, and we even have to pay more than our European cousins and Australian friends. It’s not exactly fair, and the European Union seems to agree, as it has announced a name and shame policy to bring pressure to Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

Further to this, if any of the big three companies are considered to be ripping the UK off, they could even face fines of up to 10% of their turnover. I’ve not always been a fan of the EU, but if they expose the way the UK market gets treated, then they’re okay in my book.

“Just exposing the real price of certain goods in different parts of the EU can have the desired effect if undue markups are being placed on items,” said a spokesman for the Union. I really hope so, because so far console makers have just blamed UK taxes and continued to give us the shaft. With Capcom proving it can charge less for it’s Xbox 360 games, hopefully it’s found that there’s no real excuse for the way companies treat Britain, outside of pure greed.

It’s not like I don’t believe companies should have the right to charge what they want, where they want. But we also have a right to expose their practices and say “hang on, this really is bloody rubbish.” With more consumer awareness on just how much game companies rip the UK off, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo might have to buck up their act.

Jim Sterling