Xbox 360 Price Increase – Madness Absolute Madness

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Any of you who frequent the forum will already know about this but for the rest of you I recommend sitting down… I would actually be interested to hear if anyone browses the Internet standing up, but if you are sit down now.

Mi Digital who are the local Xbox 360 distributors have announced to the retailers that the price of the Xbox 360 is going through the roof in January and dragging all the Microsoft first party titles with it.

As of January 2009 the new prices of the Xbox 360 as confirmed by Kalahari.net and Take2 (since MiDigital didn’t deem us worthy of a press release) are as follows

Arcade increased by R700 to R2 499
60 GB increased by R1 100 to R3 799
Elite increased by R1 500 to R4999

If that wasn’t bad enough they have also announced the new RRP for their AAA games will be R999, a thousand Rand a game.. that is insane.

But before we go completely off the high side lets compare it to our overseas compatriots in Rands.

  South Africa Australia USA UK
Arcade R2 499 R1 975 R2 046 R1 872
60 GB R3 799 R2 635 R3 074 R2 506
Elite R4 999 R3 626 R4 102 R3 155

So we need to still add the tax onto the American prices, add 4% tax to the Ozzie prices and remove an extra 3% tax of the UK price

Which leaves us being royally screwed, The Arcade’s new price is idiotically high but at least it nearly competes with the rest of the world, however the 60GB and Elite prices are completely over the top and indefensible.

These are the current exchange rates and there are no indications that the Rand is about to plummet, oil prices have fallen through the floor which makes transporting the goods cheaper and the prices I am comparing to already include the retailers mark up overseas so it’s not like that can be added on either.

The forums are obviously very upset with this news and who could blame them, there is a lot of talk about piracy which isn’t a solution. Stealing because someone is charging to much is not a valid defense.

However there is also a lot of talk about moving back to PC gaming which is now looking like the cheaper way to go. I became a console game because of the ease of use and simplicity around it and that I was bored of continously updating my PC. However at this price I can get myself a tip top graphics card and a couple of games and still have some money left over to pick up a case of beers.

It must be noted that this is only MiDigital profiteering and the rest of the distributors have not made any announcements as of yet.

The informal news is that EA Games is still trying to keep the price of AAA games under R599 while Megarom and SK are doing their best to keep the prices under R699.

As much as it pains me to recommend using stores that are not local I would like to point out that DVD Crave and Play-Asia both reliably ship to SA and unless MiDigital retract these price increases I would highly recommend buying all your Microsoft titles from one of those two stores.

You see it’s not like the international price is going up, just our local one.

Last Updated: December 6, 2008

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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