Home Gaming Should Xbox 360 and PS3 games become cheaper?

Should Xbox 360 and PS3 games become cheaper?

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Earlier yesterday morning I spotted a tweet (apologies, I seem to have lost it)  that was asking the question as to why AAA games like Far Cry 4 and the like are still being sold at a premium on the older platforms.

Now to cover the common question in a paragraph: The games on consoles cost more than on PC because a portion of each sale goes to the hardware provider which is why the consoles can be sold at near cost or less than cost. This has been the standard console practice since time began and it works so there is little reason to believe it’s going to change anytime soon.

But the question is still valid if you think about it. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are nearing 10 years old and their R&D costs have easily been covered. As such the platform owners definitely have space to cut their licensing cost and start offering more competitive pricing on the older platforms.

When the PS3 was released it was quite common place to see cheaper priced PS2 games at launch which didn’t really cannibalise sales of the PS3 due to the PS3’s huge generational leap in regards to graphics and experience. It also kept the life span of the PS2 going for years as it became the de-facto console to pick up if you couldn’t quite afford the new generation yet or weren’t into gaming enough to justify the expense of a new generation.

However during the current  cross over, we aren’t seeing the same pattern. Granted the Xbox 360 and PS3 hardware is well priced, but the games that are being released are virtually the same price as the latest, new-generation titles.

One theory is that the upgrade between the generations simply hasn’t been good enough to justify moving up yet and as such dropping the price of the older generation games is going to severely affect console sales. Or it could be as simple as corporate greed with all these faceless corporations simply milking us for every penny they can get.

Either way I don’t blame people for feeling a little done over, what with game prices hitting R800 a pop and most of the ones that are released way short of AAA quality. Add to that the fact the developing games for the older systems is easier and more cost efficient, and it becomes easy to see why there’s so much chagrin.

The only small comfort is that this pricing structure in effect is in place worldwide,  so we know the problem starts somewhere near the top and not at a local level.

Last Updated: January 14, 2015

49 Comments

  1. HairyEwok

    January 14, 2015 at 11:05

    Wouldn’t it be logical to make things cheaper when their reaching a point of obsolete? Sure it’s the same gameplay (kinda if you take PhysX and things like that into context) as what you’ll get on a PS4/Xbone but you have to take in account the graphics too.

    I guess you could say game developers feel your still paying premium prices on a game mainly due to gameplay rather than graphics, It is called a game after all and not a eyecandy.

    Reply

    • Marcus

      January 14, 2015 at 11:54

      If you’re still on the older consoles and still want new releases, then yes, you should be paying the premium price. It still costs the developer money to make and release games for that console.

      Now the price we pay for new games is a different story! Yes they are overcharging for games, always have and that won’t change. Just look at things like PS4 games price compared to PC, why is there a R200 – R300 price difference?
      The answer, people don’t and can’t crack games on the new consoles. So they ask any price they seem fit to ask.

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        January 14, 2015 at 12:01

        Gavin answered that question:

        “Now to cover the common question in a paragraph: The games on consoles cost more than on PC because a portion of each sale goes to the hardware provider which is why the consoles can be sold at near cost or less than cost. This has been the standard console practice since time began and it works so there is little reason to believe it’s going to change anytime soon.”

        Reply

      • ToshZA

        January 14, 2015 at 12:12

        As I’ve said above, and Trevor has put so well below – the price on old consoles should drop to PC prices, not to Sale prices. That would give us as consumers a nice R200/R300 discount, but the devs would be losing nothing.

        Reply

      • coolgamer

        January 15, 2015 at 02:16

        i know the real reason…
        the reason is : graphics. yeah, graphics.
        if we look at a ps2 game, and then, we start playing, say, a God of War 3 game, the differences were like day and night. like watching a 1960 movie, than, watching a movie like Avatar. Visually, there is no way to come back. impossible. That GOW3 sequence at the beginning, on Gaya’s back… it’s just impossible to forget it.

        yes, the difference between a ps2 and ps3 game was simply huge. the same with the first xbox and the x360.
        someone playing a ps2 game, and then, trying a ps3 game, he would easily notive a huge difference in graphics. huge. and once someone played a ps3 game, it was really hard to go back to a ps2 game. just like watching a dvd, and later, a bluray. impossible to go back to the dvd, that just looks blurred, ugly, pixelated, etc.

        now, let’s take a ps4 or an xbox one.
        let’s ask someone to play a dead rising 2 game on the xbox360, and after that, dead rising 3 on the xbox one. YEAH. exactly. a non-gamer will have a hard time, guessing which version is the last gen or new gen.

        let’s take The last of us. let’s ask someone to play a few hours on the ps3 version, and the next day, we ask him to play on the ps4. Yeah, again, a non-gamer will barely see any differences in visuals. of course, the ps4 version has no aliasing, textures look better, etc etc. but for a non-gamer… it’s pretty much the same game.

        so there we have. this is the reason why they won’t sell last-gen games cheaper.
        7 years ago, a ps2 owner that would try a ps3 game, like motorstorm, or good of war 3, or uncharted, for sure, he would buy a ps3, and would stop buying games for the ps2, as those look miles worse than the ps3.
        what about today ?
        well, a guy that plays a mass effect 3, an uncharted 3, a halo 4, and then, he tries a call of duty ghosts, a little big planet 3 or a dead rising 3, well, the WOW effect just isn’t there, like the ps2-ps3 times.

        and why buying a new console and game, and only have 2 or 3 friends to play with, online, when, on the x360, there are 200 friends ready to play a game ?
        and playing a dead rising 3 on the x1, is it 500% better and different than the x360 version ? of course not. AT ALL.
        definitely, there isn’t really a huge difference in graphics, that would justify a next-gen purchase, without hesitation, and after that, stopping playing games on the x360, as those look 100 times worse.

        NO. last gen games, specially those from 2010-2013, simply looked great. that’s why a game like the last of us, may look like 20-30% better on the ps4… and that’s all. the difference between a ps2 and ps3 game simply isn’t there.

        and guess what ? sony and microsoft want people to buy a next-gen console, new expensive controllers, new battery chargers, new accessories (i haven’t searched yet, but i would bet 1000$ that the bluetooth remote for the ps3, simply doesn’t work with the ps4)… and NEW GAMES.
        they don’t want people to buy a ps3 and grab 3 or 4 great games from the bargain bin, for 5-10$ each. no. they want people to buy a next-gen system, and buy 1 or 2 ps4-x1 games, for 60 bucks each (or 85-90$, if we convert prices from euros…yeah, they are expensive, in europe. and before the dollar become weak, a few years ago, a ps3 game, once converted from euros to $, would cost like 120-130$- in 90& of countries in europe).

        sony and microsoft don’t want gamers to buy a cheap ps3 + a bunch of cheap games, and play those games during 6 months, without spending a dime on gaming.

        no, they want us to spend all our cash on new stuff.
        that’s why the ps3 and x360 prices remain the same. they want people who don’t own a next-gen system,to keep spending full cash for a new game. and those who own a next-gen console, they don’t want those gamers to stop buying next-gen games, and instead, buy a few cheap last gen games, which, at the end, look almost as good as the next-gen titles.

        the ps4 and x1 are out since nov 2013. where are the ps3 and x360 price cuts ?
        where are a new ps3 ultra-mega-super-slim model, almost noise-free, small, cool and nice, like the ps2 or ps1 ?
        where is that new ps3, sold at 149$, instead of 199$ ?

        sure. announcing an ultra-super slim ps3 and 149 or 179$, and maybe another million people would buy it, with a pack of great cheap AAA games, in 1 or 2 weeks.
        and that new million ps3 gamers, well, they would be busy with their new console, and wouldn’t be purchasing a ps4 or x1 anytime soon. of course, Sony don’t want that.

        that’s why there is no new ps3 announced, and ps3 games are still as expensive. because they want people to think “ok, this ps3 game costs 60 bucks, that ps4 game costs 60 bucks, well, i prefer spending my cash on a more recent game”.

        because if sony announced a price cut for the ps3 + a new version, i am sure they would sell another +10 million units, in a few months. probably they would make some good cash with those 10 million sales. but no, they prefer not making that cash, and instead, forcing people into buying a next-gen console.

        so, to answer the question, yes, they should become cheaper, but no, sony and microsoft don’t want that to happen.

        Reply

  2. Raptor Rants A Lot

    January 14, 2015 at 11:07

    Well it depends I guess.

    If a game releasing is a new title then it still has to have its development costs covered. Plus there is a bit of extra dev costs now as the old gen and new gen architecture is very different. So the hardware subsidised part could be dropped but the reverse development on to older hardware has to be covered.

    That being said, console games are still ridiculously priced

    Reply

    • HairyEwok

      January 14, 2015 at 11:09

      I think they price is so high due to consoles being the main port for gaming, so the cows are easy to find for milking.

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      January 14, 2015 at 11:31

      The day one price is yes. But you get 10% discount when you preorder from BT Games and 10% more for your trade ins when you trade a game for your preorder. That can almost save you anywhere from 33% to 50%

      Or just wait for the game to go on sale. DA:I was R489 on the PSN store the other day.

      Reply

      • Raptor Rants A Lot

        January 14, 2015 at 11:34

        This trade in business. I don’t want to trade my games in lol. I like having them thanks

        Reply

        • Quo Vadis?

          January 14, 2015 at 11:39

          Nah, as soon as its done, its gone. Next week I’m trading TLOU, Fallout: New Vegas, God of War essentials, Bulletstorm and Borderlands – Pre Sequel.

          Reply

          • Raptor Rants A Lot

            January 14, 2015 at 12:16

            No thanks. I keep mine because I enjoy coming back to games after a while to replay

      • HairyEwok

        January 14, 2015 at 11:43

        How would you trade in digital purchases….. See this is why i want physical copies… I hate these digital purchases.

        Reply

  3. Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

    January 14, 2015 at 11:09

    I somewhat agree with you but if we are talking about new games/ IP’s then most of the cost of the game would be for the IP. The hardware portion of the PS3/Xbox 360 game may be able to decrease slightly but I cannot imagine that it would be significant.
    If I look at Far Cry 4 on Takealot.com, PS3/Xbox 360 is going for a normal retail price (lets exclude specials for the moment) of R722 vs PS4/Xbox One at R838. If you look at it that way then it is trading at a lower price presumably the hardware aspect.
    Of course I am completely open to the corporate greed aspect but I don’t think that applies all the time.

    Reply

  4. ToshZA

    January 14, 2015 at 11:10

    With 18.5 Million PS4’s sold to consumers, I think it’s a relevant question to ask. The problem of “no penetration” or “slow adoption” isn’t a problem. And since I can’t yet afford a new gen console, I’d love to be able to get games cheaper for my Xbox 360.

    It just makes more sense.

    Reply

  5. Quo Vadis?

    January 14, 2015 at 11:11

    Also keeping in mind that premium titles are still being released on the 360 and the PS3, Whereas development on PS2 games came to a fairly speedy halt after the PS3 was released (except for the kiddie games). and according to what I read, Playstation has no plans to discontinue the PS3 or games for the console until at least 2018. So why slaughter the goose when it can still lay golden eggs for another 3 – 5 years?

    Reply

  6. CAE9872

    January 14, 2015 at 11:12

    Maybe! But in the end I now just wait for it to get cheaper. I ain’t buying Borderlands The Pre-Sequel for R800. If it launched at say R500 or so I would have bought it.

    And that is now applying to all 360 and PS3 games – if you over R500 I doubt I will even bother buying; just wait for price to drop.

    Reply

    • Quo Vadis?

      January 14, 2015 at 11:15

      you can buy mine from me. Played 10 hours on it. Brand new 🙂

      Reply

      • CAE9872

        January 14, 2015 at 11:17

        What you don’t like it?

        Reply

        • Quo Vadis?

          January 14, 2015 at 11:18

          No not at all. Its funny as hell and fun to play, but the levelling up and the enemies are just too wily and quick to make the game enjoyable anymore. I found it too frustrating! This was also the first borderlands I have played I might mention. Havent touched the game in weeks.

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 14, 2015 at 11:19

            Yes, stick to Candy Crush you filthy casual! trollol

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 14, 2015 at 11:19

            Soda crush now! Get it RIGHT! LOL

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 14, 2015 at 11:25

            Knowing that would mean I’d have to descend from Monster Tower and muck around in the filth. NEVA!

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 14, 2015 at 11:32

            you knew about candy crush… you undercover hipster! 😉

          • Hammersteyn

            January 14, 2015 at 11:29

            I’m on level 90. 😛

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 14, 2015 at 11:33

            I’m on level 21. Rest of the enemies – level 25. Status – impossible. Result – I quit :'(

    • Hammersteyn

      January 14, 2015 at 11:29

      Agreed. But some games I just have to have day one.

      Reply

      • Skyblue

        January 14, 2015 at 22:24

        I guess that makes you… “the problem”… hue hue

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          January 15, 2015 at 07:46

          XD

          Reply

  7. Ryanza

    January 14, 2015 at 11:12

    Microsoft, Sony, EA, Ubisoft, Activision, all of them, don’t give a fuck about you as a gamer / customer. All they care about is money and how much more money they can get from you.

    CD Projekt RED is giving discounted pre-order prices if you own their previous games. The digital pre-order on PSN is also discounted. The DLC, 16 of them, is free. The DLC is not pre-order incentive. Nothing in the game is taken out for pre-order incentive. The retail product is not stripped of costs and sold for more.

    Anyway. Don’t Support DRM. The Witcher 3 is coming.

    Reply

    • CAE9872

      January 14, 2015 at 11:16

      I am not so sure they all despise us – at least not in equal measure and it ebbs and flows. Some years one publisher does, then another takes its place. Square is probably the worst offender!

      At the end of the day the industry is a business, like it or not, so they need to make profits to appease shareholders. And as commendable as CD Projekt is being they still a business and still need to make money and pay costs, returns for shareholders, etc.

      PS – is CD Projekt publishing the game themselves? If so could explain why they managing to get away with this because any of the other bigger publishers wouldn’t have let the developer make that call.

      Reply

      • Ryanza

        January 14, 2015 at 11:21

        I think CD Projekt RED is self publishing in Poland only.
        Warner Bros for North America, Bandia Namco for UK and Europe. Deals have been made with other publishers to get a nice world wide release.
        The Witcher 3 should sell well.

        Reply

    • Spathi

      January 14, 2015 at 12:22

      You must be fun as hell at parties!

      Anyway, I like CD Projekt RED, but just a reminder that they too are after the money. The Witcher 1 was broken as fuck when released, and the game only got a lot better with the release of the enhanced edition. The Witcher 2, while it was good, also had its fair share of problems.

      I really get the feeling that CD Projekt are using this DRM thing much more as a marketing tool than you would like to believe. Anyway, I’m all for CD Projekt and their way of “marketing” 😉

      Reply

      • Ryanza

        January 14, 2015 at 13:17

        No1 said their games were perfect. Witcher 1 their 1st game. Not their own engine. I wouldn’t say broken as fuck. Loading times, ya.

        Witcher 2, their 2nd game. Their 1st engine. Not perfect but they created something good. Quick to remove DRM. Enhanced editions = added support. Still technically a good game even with it’s problems.

        CD Projekt RED should use NO-DRM as marketing. If everybody else is doing NO-DRM then I could understand your point about “marketing” but PC games at retail = DRM. NO-DRM is standing out from the rest.

        CD Projekt RED is improving and on a forward momentum. Engine is improving. Game is getting bigger. And no DRM at retail. They like video games. They think about us the players. They think about us the customers. And then they think about the money.

        If I look at EA, Ubisoft and the like. The main focus is the money. I don’t think the main focus for CD Projekt RED is the money.

        Nothing is perfect. So long as there is someone trying to improve.

        Reply

  8. Blood Emperor Trevor

    January 14, 2015 at 11:15

    There’s no reason to drop the price for new games. People are used to paying it. Development costs aren’t getting cheaper either I would assume. For the console makers themselves this is exactly how it’s planned to work, the longer they’re in the game the more profitable it becomes – there’s no point to loss leading if you reduce prices later.

    Reply

  9. Hammersteyn

    January 14, 2015 at 11:28

    Can’t I pay the proper price for the console and save on games? Or what if I buy enough games so that the consoles price is covered and then pay less on the rest. Even if it means paying four times the machines worth. Because I bet I’ve payed more than ten times that by now.

    Reply

  10. Brady miaau

    January 14, 2015 at 11:28

    Well, I agree with cutting the license costs on the older consoles. This must then by a Sony and Microsoft thinh

    The games takes the same amount of effort to create on Xbox 360 or PS3 as before the newer consoles (yes, yes, new techniques and learning the hardware all make for faster game game dev), so why should they charge less?

    Reply

  11. Lardus-Resident Perve

    January 14, 2015 at 11:28

    I might actually buy one or two more games for my 360 if the price dropped by quite a bit. Right now I cannot justify buying new games until I upgrade, and I won’t upgrade until I am done with all my current games.

    Reply

    • Shas 'O Norm

      January 14, 2015 at 12:57

      “and I won’t upgrade until I am done with all my current games”

      So…. never? *jokes*

      Reply

  12. CypherGate

    January 14, 2015 at 11:36

    Simple answer? Yes. Should be a lot cheaper. Around the R200 – R300 mark.

    Reply

  13. Marcus

    January 14, 2015 at 11:38

    No, the price should remain the same on new games. Is you look at Far Cry 4, the PS3 and PS4 production teams are the same size. This shows that it cost them the same amount to produce it in both format. So why should they drop the price? If they had too drop it just due to the console being old, they simply won’t make new games for the older consoles. People still wan’t new games for the 360 and PS3, the only way to do this is to charge them the same price.

    Reply

    • Marcus

      January 14, 2015 at 11:39

      I won’t work for less money, why should I expect others to do so??

      Reply

      • ToshZA

        January 14, 2015 at 12:07

        Because part of that price goes to MS or Sony to cover costs of the console itself. What Gavin is asking, is why Sony and MS don’t drop THEIR markup. This would leave the Developer portion of the cost untouched… So you, as a game developer, would not be receiving any less for the product, but us as consumers would be paying less.

        Reply

        • Marcus

          January 14, 2015 at 13:14

          I see, makes sense then to drop the price. And now that it makes sense, it will never happen.

          Reply

  14. oVg elfroot slayer

    January 14, 2015 at 12:18

    All Videogames at CNA and Musica are R900 not R800. R850 if you shop online at BT Games.

    Reminds me, while I was still in shock at the GTAV price tag during XMAS shopping I noticed a sales clerk advising somebody to get the R900 DESTINY game for her husbands xmas gift. I walked over and asked her if he had internet at home and if he was an on-line gamer. NO, she said. I then advised her to buy the R900 FAR CRY 4.
    TYPICAL

    I remember buying God of War 2 back in 2007, and it was R550 while the PS3 games were R600 at CNA. The XBOX360 games were R49 cheaper than the PS3 because they were DVD format. Blu-Ray was more expensive.

    The Wii was R3599 while the 7X MORE POWERFUL CORE 360 WAS R1999 IN 2007.

    I also remember the shitstorm 3 years ago when MAX PAYNE 3 was priced at R700, MegaRom raised the price of all Rockstar games by R99. Geoff even had an interview with a representetive from MegaRom SA, they said its because ROCKSTAR deliver 100% quality so Take 2 raised the price.

    Modern console video-games are INTERNET RELIANT, EXPENSIVE, BROKEN, UNFINISHED, EPISODIC BUY INS, 30FPS/720 (1080 if you are lucky) on 8GIG consoles that are weaker than current PCs yet the games are about to break the R1000 price tag next year.

    I am taking time out this year. Its fcking crazy.

    P.S. The worst rated game on the VITA (the 2 year old COD) is still R599.

    Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      January 14, 2015 at 12:48

      I remember that. Rockstar quality my ass. The only times my PC has blue screened in the just over 4 years was while playing Max Payne 3.

      Wait a year, most games will be much cheaper. Unless they’re Activision games.

      Reply

    • Skyblue

      January 14, 2015 at 22:22

      Preach it. R900 for a game is just ridiculous when I think about how I just spent under $10 on the last Steam sale for 3 side scrolling shooters which have improved my Resogun game immeasurably. Wallet Rape is a very apt description.

      Reply

  15. Ghost In The Rift

    January 14, 2015 at 12:35

    Nobody said the New World Order was going to be cheap lol:-P

    Reply

  16. z1n

    January 14, 2015 at 14:38

    I see mixed reactions to this so the question I pose is: if the game developer/producer are marketing the game as having amazing graphics etc. and there is little difference in gameplay between the gens (like C.O.D) then surely it should be cheaper on the older generations since the version of the game that is being bought doesn’t stay true to the marketing. If it’s a game that’s solely gameplay oriented and not relying on graphics than I don’t see why there should be a price difference.
    TL;DR: Games should be sold according to how they’re marketed/what they are. (E.G. App Store games often have different pricing between the old (non-HD) version and HD versions, not to mention tablet vs phone versions)

    Reply

  17. WitWolfy

    January 15, 2015 at 11:43

    Most of the games on PSN drop in price quick, its just some retailers like Musica and Incredible Corruption. That still charge R700 for 2-5 year old PS3 and 360 games.

    Reply

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