Is MI Digital kicking dogs and stealing from people?

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sad_puppy Late last year, a post on the PS3za forums alerted the general populace to some rather disconcerting price increases. Not only would the Xbox 360 be receiving particularly heavy hardware price increases, but Microsoft AAA titles would shoot up to the convulsion-inducing price of R999.

Many, including LazyGamer, cried foul. After all, other prominent distributors – EA, SK and Megarom – have managed to keep their pricing within the realms of reality.

The South African distributor, MI Digital, cited the usual reasons for the increases – a weakened Rand, increased operational costs, and a higher cost from suppliers. A reason they forgot to mention was greed. It’s come to light, through a post by “warrenfe” on popular consumer watchdog site HelloPeter, that MI may in fact be profiteering. When questioned about the elevated pricing, Microsoft’s Response Management stated that “Microsoft has confirmed that its titles will continue to launch at R699.” Excuse me? R699? That’s a whole – *counts on fingers* – BUNCH less than R999!

If they’re putting such exorbitant mark-up on the games, what about the hardware? A quick scan of their price list reveals that pricing of accessories has increased dramatically too. The already overpriced wireless networking adapter now has an RRP of R1499. That’s an astounding 50% increase over last year’s price. Those of you looking to increase storage space would have paid R1700 for a 120Gb Xbox 360 hard drive last year (if you could find one, that is). This year you’d have to shell out R2499.  You cannot, in good conscience, expect anyone to believe that those sort of increases are justified.

This has apparently already lead to MI Digital revising their pricing, but the questions remain :

“What gives? Were you just increasing pricing to line your pockets? Were you trying to take advantage of people because – as the sole distributors – you could?” and most importantly “Why should I support you, when I could import the same items for half the price?”

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Last Updated: January 15, 2009

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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