Digital vs Physical local pricing – Where are you buying your games?

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Digital-gaming

There’s a lot of good reasons to go for digital games these days. Primarily if you’re a lazy bugger like the staff here, whose buttocks have fused to the couch, in an unholy union of fine leather and wrinkled ass-cheek. But the main reason to say with physical games these days is value. You can’t flog a digital code, and it’s always going to be reassuring knowing that your buyers remorse can be salvaged with a quick posting on Gumtree that will soon be inundated with ludicrous offers and a chance to swap said game for a Samsung Galaxy.

But with the Rand having tanked recently, game prices are going to go through the roof this year. This luxury pastime is going to require luxurious funds, or a hard think about how canned dog food doesn’t actually taste that bad. So what are the current digital prices like then? Worth a jump? We did some research on that. Here’s what we found.

PlayStation 4

PSN

We used a simple format for the PlayStation comparison: Current pre-order prices, from the local storefront and the usual retailer suspects. The big takeaway here is that EA games appears to have a heftier price tag outside of the digital storefront, although Takealot had yet to have any listings put up for most of the games from that publisher. Otherwise, prices were mostly similar between digital and physical:

Street Fighter V

  • PSN –  R899
  • BT Games – R899
  • Raru – R949
  • Takealot – R899

Far Cry Primal

  • PSN – R799
  • BT Games – R879
  • Raru – R893
  • Takealot – R899

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2

  • PSN – R899
  • BT Games – R1069
  • Raru – R1037
  • Takealot – Not Listed
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Tom Clancy’s The Division

  • PSN – R799
  • BT Games – R879
  • Raru – R893
  • Takealot – 899

EA Sports UFC 2

  • PSN – R899
  • BT Games – R1069
  • Raru – R1037
  • Takealot – Not Listed

Battleborn

  • PSN – R899
  • BT Games – R978
  • Raru – R979
  • Takealot – R999

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

  • PSN – R899
  • BT Games – TBA
  • Raru – TBC
  • Takealot – R799 (Price to still be confirmed)

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

  • PSN – R899
  • BT Games – 978
  • Raru – 979
  • Takealot – Not listed

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

  • PSN – R799
  • BT Games – 899
  • Raru – TBC
  • Takealot – Not Listed

Xbox One

Xbox

The local Xbox One storefront was a bit trickier, as a lot of the games listed on retail sites weren’t seen on our marketplace, especially upcoming heavy-hitter Quantum Break which is expected to easily breach the R1000+ mark. Retail prices for Xbox One games were about the same as PS4 prices, while digital prices also had a similar gap in prices. Once again, EA was charging a heavier price for physical copies of their games:

Far Cry Primal

  • Xbox marketplace – R799
  • BT Games – R879
  • Raru – R893
  • Takealot – R899

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2

  • Xbox marketplace – R899
  • BT Games – R1069
  • Raru – R1037
  • Takealot – Not Listed

Tom Clancy’s The Division

  • Xbox marketplace – R799
  • BT Games – R879
  • Raru – R893
  • Takealot – 899

Quantum Break

  • Xbox marketplace – TBC
  • BT Games – TBA
  • Raru – R1123
  • Takealot – Not listed

EA Sports UFC 2

  • Xbox marketplace –  TBC
  • BT Games – R1069
  • Raru – R1037
  • Takealot – Not Listed

Battleborn

  • Xbox marketplace – Not listed
  • BT Games – R978
  • Raru – R979
  • Takealot – R999

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

  • Xbox marketplace –  TBC
  • BT Games – TBA
  • Raru – TBC
  • Takealot – R799 (Price to still be confirmed)

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

  • Xbox marketplace – R649
  • BT Games – R978
  • Raru – R979
  • Takealot – Not listed

PC

PC

And here’s where things got interesting. The local Steam market also had numerous other games not listed, as did local retailers for the PC market. What’s really curious however, is that Street Fighter V is more expensive on Steam than it is in the shops, by a good margin of R100 or more:

Street Fighter V

  • Steam -R720
  • BT Games – R625
  • Raru – R604
  • Takealot – R599

Far Cry Primal

  • Steam – R599
  • BT Games – R625
  • Raru – R604
  • Takealot – R630

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2

  • Origin – R599.95
  • BT Games – R699
  • Raru – Not Listed
  • Takealot – Not Listed

Tom Clancy’s The Division

  • Steam -R599
  • BT Games – R879
  • Raru – R604
  • Takealot – R630

Dark Souls 3

  • Steam – TBC
  • BT Games – R899
  • Raru – R862
  • Takealot – R899

Overwatch

  • Battlenet – €59.90 (R1050)
  • BT Games – R899
  • Raru – R862
  • Takealot – R899

Battleborn

  • Steam -R599
  • BT Games – R699
  • Raru – R690
  • Takealot – R699

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

  • Origin – R599,95
  • BT Games – TBC
  • Raru – TBC
  • Takealot – Not listed

XCOM 2

  • Steam – R599
  • BT Games – R625
  • Raru – R604
  • Takealot – R630

 

 

                  Last Updated: February 2, 2016

                  Darryn Bonthuys

                  Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

                  • Steam is love. Steam is life

                    • Commander Admiral Chief

                      You said it brudda, Steam sales (and HumbleBundles) or GITC

                      • What happened to the S at the end of GITS?

                        • Hammersteyn

                          His trying something new. Problem is he’s the only one that knows what the C is for 😛

                          • Alien Emperor Trevor

                            It’s the pirate’s first love?

                          • Commander Admiral Chief

                            Yo ho

                          • Commander Admiral Chief

                            *He’s

                        • Commander Admiral Chief

                          It got in the Carbonite

                  • Mistake Not…

                    Shall be buying from 2nd hand shelves now. And imagination. Imagining I can buy all these new games now.

                    • Ryanza

                  • Commander Admiral Chief

                    XCOM 2 FTW!

                  • PC: Steam.
                    PS4: Physical, usually second-hand but sometimes at the cheapest online retailer.

                  • Hammersteyn

                    Saw Mad Max 2nd hand at BT Games. They wanted R600 O_o

                    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

                      What!? Here, take my kidneys while you’re at it!

                    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                      Mad Max was R300 on pc a month after release.

                      • Hammersteyn

                        It was around R400 on PSN during December.

                        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                          Then BT is really missing the mark there.

                          • Hammersteyn

                            You try and explain it to them 😛

                          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                            They told me that the physical copy of Witcher 3 activates on Steam also.
                            So I’ve lost a bit of trust in them.

                          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

                            Wow… That’s… That’s quite amazing really, especially due to the fact that it has th CD Projekt Red logo with the GOG galaxy logo on the box…How did they miss that?

                    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

                      And they probably paid the poor bastard (who handed that game in) with a used condom, a few chappies and one of their in-store catalogues.

                      I might be the only one here, but man… I hate BT Games now!

                      • Hammersteyn

                        Same here

                  • Guild

                    If I didn’t have credit at Animeworx I would have pre-ordered The Division elsewhere. My pre-order is R965 and the buggers forgot to send me the Beta code. Animeworx will be my 2nd-hand store now. Not buying new from them

                  • Alien Emperor Trevor

                    It pays to shop around. All those new console games over R1k, with discount, though.

                    Overall I think we’ve scored big time with the switch to ZAR on Steam. Tomb Raider is R600, if we were still paying $60 that’d be over R950.

                    Only a few big releases are more expensive on Steam than retail now, like Fallout 4. That’s R800 on Steam but only R600 at Raru.

                  • Ryanza

                    Buying digital is a waste of money. All those console games at retail can be sold secondhand. The digital games can’t be sold second-hand so it’s a waste to buy new digital games.

                    Digital games only becomes Worth it to back up games cheaply. But new digital games at R1000, it’s not worth it.

                    Don’t Support DRM.

                  • Hammersteyn

                    Seems I’ll buy the digital version of Division because it’s cheaper and I don’t have to get up to swap discs

                    • And once you use steam to log in once, you don’t see Uplay again. Win Win

                      • VampyreSquirrel

                        He wont see it anyway… because PS4.

                        • Hammersteyn

                          😛

                  • Francois Knoetze

                    After heaps of sales over the last few months it is cheaper to go digital personally. Trying to trade in my games I get jack for them anyway. Bought a ton of games on psn and xbox live and it will keep me busy for the year. will pick up this years games at half price at the end of the year on the next batch of sales

                  • Commander Admiral Chief

                    XCOM 2 will have to last me, a long long time.

                    Luckily, XCOM 2 will keep me busy, a long long time

                    • Yeah, you’re going to get your moneys worth 😛

                      • Commander Admiral Chief

                        Going out for a single evening, vs saving the planet for months

                    • HvR

                      Proof that PC gaming is WAAAAY cheaper than console gaming:
                      PC + XCOM2 = gaming pleasure for 3 to 4 years.

                      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                        XCOM Enemy Unknown was free for a while, so I agree.

                      • Hammersteyn

                        Hardware though

                        • HvR

                          But since you can not play Xcom2 on console having to fork out ~R1000 every 2 to 3months for 3 to 4 years is lot more expensive.

                          • Hammersteyn

                            I don’t buy games that expensive. Though I’m flattered that you’d think me that wealthy

                          • HvR

                            If wealth was measured in upvotes you would be a billionaire

                          • Hammersteyn

                            XD

                          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                            Or broke, since he gives them out like Zuma does taxpayer’s money. ;P

                    • Lardus-For the Emperor!

                      XCOM 2, Battle Fleet Gothica, and perhaps Total War Warhammer. Possibly ME4 if it releases this year. Those are all the games I have budgeted for…meaning I will buy them before buying food and hope to last the month…helps with the diet though 🙂

                      • Alien Emperor Trevor

                        The 2nd Witcher 3 expansion is the only game I’ll be buying on release. Even XCOM 2 will have to wait.

                        • Lardus-For the Emperor!

                          I also wanted to wait…but somewhere in December I accidentally clicked on the pre-order button. Good thing though, because the money was spent already meaning my car troubles couldn’t affect it. So I have that going for me, which is nice 🙂
                          *PS – no plans to pre-order the rest at this point.

                          • Alien Emperor Trevor

                            It’s a nice feeling knowing you’ve already paid hehe.

                  • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                    I’ve noticed that on Steam it completely depends on the publisher.
                    Some games are just way too expensive.
                    Though 99% of the time, I still buy Steam or Humble Store.

                  • Ghost In The Rift

                    I can only get physical copies, get mine at BT Games, great prices, don’t have the cap to download games unfortunately which means Digital will be be my Doom

                    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

                      What cheeses me off is having to pay the R600 and then having to download a 10GB patch which costs me an extra R600…

                      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                        Yea man. I agree.
                        Before we moved to an area with decent internet access that was my problem too.
                        Now I can’t imagine life without uncapped.

                        • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

                          I hope that that day would come for me soon too, because it’s bloody expensive…

                      • Ghost In The Rift

                        Yeah that sucks, especially buying a physical copy to only get the steam downloader lol, i normally just download the updates at work.

                        • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

                          Hehe, I end up doing exactly the same thing…

                  • HvR

                    Digital should 25% cheaper than physical across the bank.

                    I always shop around even old games are sometimes still up to 50% cheaper physical copy than digital.

                    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                      Especially old games, I’ve found.
                      Assassin’s Creed Black Flag is 19.99 EURO on the Uplay Store, it’s R99 physical.

                  • Some of these prices, R1K for a game is sickening

                    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                      R1k for a pc game is damn absurd.

                      • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

                        If you pay that and fork out for your data, then you’re stuffed…

                        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                          R600 was my limit for a pc game at this stage. No reason for them to cost more.
                          Sure, now with the Rand maybe we can look at closer to R700, but that’s it.

                          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

                            Yep! I’ve now also made up my mind, I’ve set out a limit of R600 for the month for gaming, if that means I get all of my games from Steam, then so be it, but it’s become unaffordable…

                          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                            Agreed.
                            I’ve got Humble monthly though, and so far it’s been quite worth it for me….and for some others on Steam that have benefited from games that I already had an gave to them 🙂 Sharing is caring and all 😀

                      • Pc gaming saved me alot and now that I use steam everyday, and the steam sales made me a very patient person, haha

                        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                          Yea. I don’t bother with buying games on release. A month later you tend to get it at 20% most of the time anyway…if you can wait a bit longer then it’s even cheaper (except if it’s a Rockstar game, because then you have to wait until it’s pretty much dead before you can get 50% off).

                          • Yep bought me 11 games on steam with a R700, and Im not close to finish with any of it

                      • miaau

                        R1K looks like a cool rifle or something. Or the name of a new shooter. Not money. Please not money

                        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                          Hahaha

                  • DragonSpirit009

                    Damn these prices are insane.
                    I always buy second hand or until the price drops until I can afford it. Sure I don’t get to play a lot of games but I’m not going to put myself in debt just to be “in” with gaming.

                    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                      Yea. I also don’t find any more satisfaction out of buying a brand new game than I would an older one.
                      An old game is a new game if you haven’t played it yet after all 🙂

                      • DragonSpirit009

                        Exactly! But not all people see it so!
                        I was luckily to buy three games last year due to half price at BT Games.

                    • Alien Emperor Trevor

                      Do it. The only game I’ve played on release over the last 3 – 4 years is Witcher 3. I’ve quite happily waited for everything else. You miss nothing by doing that.

                      MP-only games are obviously a different story, need to strike while the iron is still hot there.

                      • DragonSpirit009

                        I’ll only put myself in debt to buy one of the consoles. Sadly I can’t do that now cause someone (mother) at home used my card to buy baking supplies in stead of her own. Now I have to wait till that is paid off <_<

                    • miaau

                      I think this is like a car. Every person must, once in their lives, buy a brand new car. Once that is out, buy 2nd hand, even if car is two years old, with 4 or so years of motor-plan left.

                  • iusedtobe(a)regular

                    As long as discs are there I’ll be buying it because at the end of the day due to trade in value, you will always pay less than digital copies.

                  • CypherGate

                    I said it before and ill say it again… games have become WAY too expensive. I cant believe Plants VS Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is freaking over R1000! Kills my gaming soul a little bit more everytime I read those prices.

                  • Lardus-For the Emperor!

                    I went digital for my last couple of games/expansions. Too many games these days come basically only with the “installer” on disk, so you download a crap load of data in either case. Or a massive day-1 patch. Ordered XCom on Steam…though I wonder where I am going to get the cap for that 🙁

                    • HvR

                      It was only a 18GB download…….

                      Yes bought physical copy of Starcraft 2 recently ended up having to download 22GB twice.

                      • Lardus-For the Emperor!

                        What is 18GB download? XCom2? StarCraft – eish wena. I had to drive to a friend to copy theirs. Only have 20GB cap. Thanks Telkom for offering me uncapped LTE and never delivering!

                        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                          I switched to Afrihost DSL when I moved. Best decision ever.
                          I’m pushing 90-100GB a month. No problems.

                          • Lardus-For the Emperor!

                            Wish I could do that. Lines stolen in 2011 and STILL not replaced…

                          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

                            Why am I not surprised?
                            Damn man. That flippen sucks.

                          • miaau

                            We push 200 to 300gb media streaming alone…….

                            Previous ISP simply could not keep up, I am afraid.

                        • HvR

                          NO, Xcom 1 with everything bundled.

                          Looking at Xcom2 install size guess it is going to be in 35GB+ range

                          • Lardus-For the Emperor!

                            Sad panda. Got 3 peoples lined up to help me with the download though…

                  • Hargrim

                    I’ll just stick to Humble Bundle and Steam Sales for now. Games may be a little older by the time I get them, but I pay a LOT less, and avoid hype buys I may regret

                  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

                    Sniff! I don’t buy games any more. I can’t afford it. My body just doesn’t hold enough blood and semen. 🙁

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