It wasn’t so long ago that Australia gained some much-needed momentum on the adult-classification front, and now it seems the same is true for the government’s recent announcement into tech price gouging Down Under.
Now, the chances are good that if you’re reading this then you’re an educated gamer. That is to say, you understand that EB Games isn’t the only place to buy new games, and you also understand implicitly that you needn’t look too far online to score compatible games from international vendors at prices significantly lower than your average in-store RRP. In fact, you probably have a sneaky (or not-so-sneaky) chuckle at lay consumers that buy games at full ticket cost.
According to Kotaku, JB Hi-Fi is now in the market of openly and unashamedly selling imported select imported titles at comparatively bargain prices across the nation. Suffice it to say, securing a PS3 copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, for example, for $49 is a wee bit more affordable than EB Games $98 going rate.
Granted, this isn’t exactly a new practice considering that even EB Games sold so-called ‘grey’ copies of The Old Republic ahead of the official Australian launch, and Harvey Norman has its Direct Import facet of its website that does the same thing on a grander scale (http://www.harveynormandirectimport.com/).
The problem with these two examples is they still require a certain amount of knowledge. Those who secured grey copies of The Old Republic probably learnt about that online before chasing it up at EB Games; hell, even bigger fans likely bought their copies internationally. Harvey Norman also requires online knowledge, if only to be aware of that component of the website; and consumers will also have to fork out $3.95 to get their item/s posted to them.
JB Hi-Fi is educating everyday shoppers to want to ask the right questions. By giving consumers instant access to drastically reduced prices for games with a big ‘IMPORTED GAMES’ sign above them, they’re creating an explicit link to the savings that can be had from imported titles, and forcing consumers to query why local prices are so damn high.
While RRPs for games have started to shed some dollars, it’s still not in proportion to the strength and, more importantly, longevity of the impressive Australian dollar. Hopefully, the aforementioned government inquiry will help lower RRPs across the board but, in the high-priced meantime, fingers crossed that JB Hi-Fi’s example can prompt a more immediate solution to a longsuffering problem.