You've heard about how some of the Xbox 360 Games On Demand launch titles seemed a little overpriced in the recent Xbox Live preview. Now that everyone's dashboard has been updated, let's find out the truth.
Below I've listed all 11 games available day one for download via Games On Demand. Under each I've listed the Games On Demand price in Aussie dollars, plus the currently listed prices one the websites of the three major specialist games retailers (EB, GAME and JB) plus one online retailer plucked at random (Games Warehouse).
Where a full price version was available, I have listed its price. If only a preowned version was available, I have listed that price (and noted its preowned status). I've also noted where a price was currently marked as discounted or where the game is part of a bundle or limited edition. Other costs such as postage for online orders, bandwidth for the Live downloads, petrol for your car to get to the store and that cappuccino your girlfriend bought while she waited for you... haven't been factored in.
OK, let's take a look.
What's interesting is that only EB says it carries all 11 titles. JB has eight, Games Warehouse seven and GAME has a mere six listed in their systems, and even some of them are marked "not in stock". Sure, many of the older games are only available as preowned copies at EB. But outside of the Xbox Live service, EB is the only place you could actually still buy all these games. That's one of the benefits of a digital distribution channel: it's no hassle to maintain stock. As Microsoft told us yesterday, it's about "24x7 convenience." And, hey, it's true.
Moving on to price comparisons now. Microsoft also told us yesterday that "no one retailer has the lowest pricing for every product." And, hey, that's true too!
In not one instance is the Games On Demand price the cheapest, yet in six cases it was clearly the most expensive. Although, in most of those cases it's by virtue of being one of just two or three outlets actually selling the game.
Finally, let's look at the two outlets where all 11 games are on sale: Games On Demand and EB Games. If you bought all 11 over Xbox Live you'd pay $559.45. If you bought them all at EB you'd pay $332.50. Admittedly you'd have a few preowned discs there, but on the flipside you could trade in all 11 once you're done and get maybe half your cash back.
BioShock Games On Demand: $49.95 EB Games: $79.95 or $59.95 w/ Oblivion GAME: $59.95 w/ Oblivion Games Warehouse: $54.95 w/ Oblivion JB Hi-Fi: $38.98
Call of Duty 2 Games On Demand: $49.95 EB Games: $22.95 preowned only GAME: n/a Games Warehouse: n/a JB Hi-Fi: n/a
Kameo Games On Demand: $29.95 EB Games: $14.95 preowned only GAME: n/a Games Warehouse: n/a JB Hi-Fi: n/a
Mass Effect Games On Demand: $99.95 EB Games: $79.95 GAME: $69.95 or $29.00 online only Games Warehouse: $44.95 JB Hi-Fi: $89.98
Oblivion Games On Demand: $49.95 EB Games: $59.95 w/ BioShock or $69.95 GOTY Edition GAME: $59.95 w/ BioShock Games Warehouse: $54.95 w/ BioShock or $63.95 GOTY Edition JB Hi-Fi: $45.98
Perfect Dark Zero Games On Demand: $29.95 EB Games: $14.95 preowned only GAME: n/a Games Warehouse: $29.95 JB Hi-Fi: $44.98
Prey Games On Demand: $29.95 EB Games: $14.95 preowned only GAME: $39.95 or $34.00 online only Games Warehouse: $59.95 Limited Edition only JB Hi-Fi: n/a
Rockstar Table Tennis Games On Demand: $69.95 EB Games: $19.95 preowned only GAME: n/a Games Warehouse: n/a JB Hi-Fi: $45.98
SEGA Rally Games On Demand: $49.95 EB Games: $39.95 GAME: n/a Games Warehouse: n/a JB Hi-Fi: $38.98
Viva Pinata Games On Demand: $29.95 EB Games: $9.95 preowned only GAME: $39.95 or $19.00 online only Games Warehouse: $29.95 JB Hi-Fi: $26.98
Viva Pinata: Trouble In Paradise Games On Demand: $69.95 EB Games: $54.95 GAME: $59.95 or $29.00 online only Games Warehouse: $34.95 JB Hi-Fi: $62.98
So there you have it. Who's up for some Games On Demand?