360 Games On Demand Pricing Isn't Exactly Consistent

Did you think that when Microsoft's Games on Demand service launched it'd be an egalitarian wonderland where every game would be the same price around the world? Well sorry. That's not the case.

The service (well, the listing for it; you can't download the games yet) is popping up all over the world for those signed up to Microsoft's new dashboard preview, and along with the game listings are game prices. Not every game seems to have turned up yet, but most have.

Some of them are fine. They're exactly what you'd pay at retail for the game, and although you could say that's still a rip-off (since your digital product lacks a box and printed manual), that's how digital delivery rolls these days. Sorry.

Most games are divided between two main price points.


Mass Effect Need for Speed Sonic the Hedgehog Viva Pinata


Lego Star Wars Oblivion Call of Duty 2 BioShock Assassin's Creed

But others? Others are ridiculous, especially when you compare prices across different regions. Take poor Australia, for example. In Australia, if you want to buy Mass Effect from the safety of your couch, it'll cost you 6000 Microsoft Points.


The game retails in stores for $AUD30-50, but on Games on Demand, that's $AUD99. Over twice the price. It's a similar story with Call of Duty 2; in the US, it's 2400 MSP, but in New Zealand, it's 4400 MSP.

Now, before you go bananas, the Games on Demand service doesn't officially go live until August 11. So there's a chance these might be placeholder prices (or in the case of the previously-unannounced BioShock, placeholder...games?). Then again, they might not be.

We've got some questions in with Microsoft about how permanent these listings and prices are, and will update if we hear back from them.

Kotaku AU Note: We asked Microsoft to clarify the pricing in Australia and were told no information around pricing would be available until the service launches. Microsoft also declined to comment on our questions regarding the prices listed in the dashboard update preview and also our question about who sets the price, Microsoft or the individual game's publisher.

In the meantime, you can consult the GAF thread below, which is being constantly updated with prices from around the world.

[Gowans007 @ NeoGAF]


    Meh i think us Aussies are used to this kind of treatment by now...

      Nah, mate. We *tollerate* it. But only so far.

      Dollar's good at the moment so I, along with many others, import so I get my monies worth.

    originally this sounded awesome...now this Aussie pricing scheme has officially turn me AWAY

    What is Microsoft's problem with Australia? Why do they always have higher prices? It's not just Xbox Live. It's Windows, which is demonstrably more expensive in Aus, and we don't even get the -chance- to buy Indie games on Live. I remember that I once wanted a demo to a game, oh, but it was US release only. Great. We don't get Netflix, or even the Video Marketplace proper... so why do we have Xbox Live again?

    ...anyone have a workaround, so I can connect to the US network? I know you can do it on the PS3.

    6000!?!? As if the advertisements and the avatar shop weren't confirmation enough, this update is entirely to make more money for Microsoft. Losing respect for you pretty fast here, Microsoft...

    Ha, well thats killed the service here before it even has a chance. No one is going to pay that kind of money for 2 year old titles.

    It's a shame the digital download revolution has been corrupted by the exact same forces that have lead to massive piracy problems.

    Hey Australia, here, have your games for twice the cost of anywhere else in the world for no applicable reason.

    It was bad enough when it was in brick stores, this shit happening in digital version is horrendous.

    It started with Steam adding the regional pricing system, which I believe was first exploited by Activision and their atrocious pricing for COD4, at one point, months after it's release, due to the weakening Aussie Dollar, it cost blew out to something like $150 AUD, over $70 more than retail price on LAUNCH.

    This joke by the stiffs in suits quickly spread like a plague across to EA (big surprise), THQ, who also had a period of refusing to actually sell their games on steam to Australians and now M$.

    ACCC can't do shit about it. As far as they are concerned, it's the consumers choice to buy or not, even if it's a horrific rip-off.

      Yeah, you really can't force them to do anything so just vote with your wallet. I wouldn't waste HDD space on these anyway, considering what a ripoff xbox drives are.

      One thing the ACCC could look into is the actual practise of points and the "change" issue.

        Yeah. Pretty much the only thing to do is not buy. Which these prices will sure do to people.

        I imported Mass Effect a couple of months ago from play-asia, cost me $35 AU. Lol. This is just another MS service that people in Australia won't even look at.

      I don't know all the facts, but from what I've heard, its to do with distriubtion here in Australia.

      Like our supermarkets, there is little to no competition to drive the price down.

    I'm just gonna stick with retail.I like having a physical disk anyway. Fuck 'em.

    I was kinda looking forward to paying a little less for digital versions (since with retail theres packaging, distribution, rent, etc to pay for) but they're going for full retail..? That's just a silly move. If you want to make money you've got to give a little back. 'Stinky' made the point of HDD being a rip off in any case, and my xbox has red ringed so I think PS3 will have to be my next purchase by default. I'm selling this piece of crap when it comes back from repairs.

    Personally, I don't mind digital downloads, provided the price is right and I have on option to back the content up to a DVD.

    Fail on both counts. Looks like I too am sticking to disks.

    meh... it is cheaper to just physically buy the games as pre-loved... unless that's why MS is inflating the prices...
    Australia isn't suffering as badly as the American economy so why must American companies touture Australia with overly inflated prices?

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