Microsoft Responds To Crazy Games On Demand Pricing

Microsoft's Games on Demand pricing isn't exactly consistent across this orbiting ball of dirt we all call home. What costs $US20 in one place costs $US40 (or sometimes more) in another. So we asked Microsoft, why the discrepancy?

Microsoft HQ said the pricing decisions outside the US were the responsibility of that particular territory. So, for example, if Mass Effect is priced at 6000 Microsoft Points in Australia (as opposed to only 1600 MSP in the US), then that's Xbox Australia's decision. That's fine. So we asked Xbox Australia. Their response?

No one retailer has the lowest pricing for every product, and our program is about giving people 24 x 7 convenience and selection when shopping for Xbox 360 games.

We're incredibly excited about what Games on Demand means for digital distribution, and will continue to evaluate and evolve the service to meet market and consumer demands.

Anybody think paying double the asking price for a game is worth the convenience? Anyone? Anyone?


    so it's convenient to put me out of pocket by double the amount when times are already tough as it is?

    try again Microsoft...

      The real cost of Digital Download go past the initial cost of the game, I have to pay for the download to.

      Mass Effect would be about ~9gig and it cost me $100AUS for 25gig of usage.
      The real price for me is
      $99.95 for mass effect
      + $36.00 for the download
      = $135.95 total

      I can buy this new for $40AUS RRP, even when it was new it was $80AUS RRP

        Yeah, but not really 9 gig. More like 7.3 gig actually.

        Less if they remove the padding for the online ones.

        Source: have a backed up copy of Mass Effect on the harddrive. Checked the filesize.

        Also $100 for 25 gig? go get a new ISP. Pay $70 for 150 at TPG...

        Also note that the digital download probably has more limited usage rights than the physical copies.

        Can you lend it to a friend or sell it second hand?

    Long answer short... Australian always get ripped off when it comes to games....

    Not just MS, Sony and Nintendo rip Australian Consumers off too. What Austalian needs to do is to boycott the products, and buy imports only until MS, Sony, Nintendo Australia get the message.


    Marketing speak for "talk to the hand".

    Just make yourself a US account.. bingo non-screw-you prices

      'fraid not mate. You cant purchase US content, even if you have tried upgrading a US account to Gold. No bingo...

    If I wanted to be ripped off when buying games, I'll go to EB and get a physical copy of it.

    Except maybe for a small cost for the currency exchange, there should be no reason for different prices for electronic only products. It's not like it really costs more to send something to Australia via the internets.

    That's biggest load of BS I've ever heard. What kind of punk actually goes on the record with that pissy response?

    M$ thought they could fleece Aussie consumers because they thought we couldn't be arsed walking down to a store and realising that Mass Effect can be bought for a little as $30 by a savvy consumer.

    They don't have to procude a disk, case or manual and we get charged 3 times more than American consumers. WTF?!?!?!

    My Xbox360 is collecting dust, this will do little to remedy that situation.

    A big F and a U to Microsoft.

      Speak on it, brother!

    Dear MS,

    I will never buy a game through your download service, unless it's on special at a price below what I can buy the disc at retail.

    I will NEVER buy an avatar or a prop. EVER. (I'm not a freaking idiot with more money than brain cells.) And if you buy an avatar and use it in a game, I shall stick a plasma grenade to your head and tea-bag you in to oblivion just as you were about to return the flag.

    I will never buy a theme pack. Because I'm not fucking retarded. I realize that this makes me part of a special minority within your target demographic.

    I will NEVER buy DLC add-ons like weapon packs in Dead Space or the garbage cheat systems in Madden.

    MS, darling. I'm one of those people who defend your business decisions against piracy and the like. Companies need to make a buck, innovation and effort should be rewarded. BUT, keep trying to nickel-and-dime me, and keep showing advertisements on a system where I already give you money each year, and we'll see which one of us mods our console first. And then we'll see just how much money you make... Your call, you greedy fruitbats.


      you are awesome, sir.

      When you say "theme pack" do you mean a theme? Because using the leftover space bucks (which, i agree, is complete BS) on a theme is a decent purchase and totally worth 200 leftover points.

    if people think its worth the convenience then they are just lazy. its a 5 min drive to a shop to buy a game.

    personally im not a fan of digital distribution at all. ill always prefer a hard copy in my hand.

    i hope people dont pay these sorts of prices for games.

    HELL NO! Especially when you can get Mass Effect (new) as low as $29AUD in retail box form. And lets see there's the cost of the disc, case, print, freight, retail mark-up etc. So i'm to pay twice or in this case 3 times as much so that i can download it whenever i want? I'm quite sure i could drive to a shop, park and buy it then drive home before it downloads the 5-6gig (45min) thereabouts on ADSL2+ which is the fastest common internet in AUS.

    So whats exactly convenient? The true aspect of Digital content is that its cheaper because its in digital form. The convenience is xbox live gold which we already pay a subscription fee for. Of-course digital content is 24/7, that's nothing for microsoft to be marketing as its a fact. Perhaps Xbox Au should take a look at steam and learn a thing or 200. Until then i'm sticking to retail and i'm willing to bet nearly ever1 else will be too.

    F**k that sh**t!

    Not only that what a horrible response!

    Im sick of getting ripped off on games in SA here, thank god we atleast have the internet to check for reviews for the good ones unlike the NES days!

    This. Is. The. Reason. I. Buy. My. Games. From. Ebay.

    "and will continue to evaluate and evolve the service to meet market and consumer demands"

    read: "we'll hopefully milk as much money as possible out of people who aren't paying attention first, and then we'll drop the price and claim it's a bargain!"

      hahaha I think you and I are using exactly the same translator because that's how I read it as well

    "No one retailer has the lowest pricing for every product,"

    But there are plenty of retailers who have lower prices for every product than Games-on-Demand. is selling Mass Effect for $29 delivered. You asshats are selling it for $99. Why? Because you're the kind of people who think selling Avatars is a "compelling experience".

    Not to mention the cost of actually downloading a full retail game, and the fact you have to buy a bigger hard drive if you want to have a reasonable number of games and the hard drives retails for over $150.

    I can say with 100% certainty that there is no damn way I'll but a game from the service. I'm not boycotting, the whole concept has been so ineptly handled as to put me off.

    I look forwarded to a future of downloadable full games for consoles. This service does nothing to push that future.

    they go on about the convenience. yeah because most people are probably up at 3am and thinking "hmmm i think ill buy mass effect right now"

    our internet here is a joke as well. until we get super fast speeds its poinless

    The convenience of waiting for a 5 hour download? The convenience of having to upgrade my internet service to a more expensive package? The convenience of working an extra half-day just to make the price difference? The convenience of having to redownload when my console inevitably craps itself again? Define convenience for my benefit please Microsoft.

    Digital distribution is a great idea and undoubtedly the way forward for the game industry. However for this fundamental change in purchasing habits to really take hold, us consumers need at least SOME KIND of incentive.

    There's already a bunch of negatives with digital distribution (no option of resale, large download sizes and the inability to read the manual while waiting for your wife to finish watching Gilmore Girls), so why add to the list with terrible pricing?

    In fact the only positive I can think of is convenience, but really, how convenient is it to download 5-6 GB in Australia? In my experience, not convenient at all. In fact that would eat up 90% of my monthly quota in one hit, a priviledge I pay around $50 p/month for.

    So the way I see it, Mass Effect via digital distribution would actually cost me:

    - $99.95 for the game
    - ~$40 for the data download
    and no doubt a couple hours of my life while I wait for the download to complete

    Please Microsoft, I WANT to like this new form of distribution, can you please make it just a little bit easier to swallow??

      you say it's the way forward and all your reasons are against it?

      You sir, are a tit.

      Digital distribution is the way backwards and will only have downside effects on the community as a whole.

      Digital distributions means no competitive picing.
      It means drops in sales in retail, which means less jobs.

      and thats just the start..

      so you tell me, sir lazy, is it really the way of the future, or do you just want another excuse to sit on your ass and be screwed?

        Tit? Sir lazy? Why so aggressive??

        Anyway digital distribution is great (when done right) for a number of reasons...

        - lower distribution costs should equal lower prices
        - no wasteful printing and shipping (that's right, I don't particularly care for stroking my game manuals in bed at night)
        - fast delivery in the case of a less than 1GB download
        - ability to purchase content in many small chunks, like individual songs for games like Rock Band

        So to summarise, I wouldn't say I'm lazy or a tit (thankyou very much), I just don't see the need for all that printing / packaging / shipping when what I'm buying is mearly a chunk of data.

    PR spin just makes me sick,

    "We’re incredibly excited about what Games on Demand means for digital distribution"

    Reads to me like...

    "We're incredibly excited to see how many of you schmucks actually use this service so we can find more ways to take your money without leaving the home!"

    I understand Microsoft has a duty to retailers to not completely undercut their sales with this service but come on, we're not paying for a physical copy, we're paying for digital, when did that become more expensive!?

    "...will continue to evaluate and evolve the service to meet market and consumer demands"


      Consumers consistently demand lower prices, in this instance we're demanding fair prices.

    I was actually axcited about the Games on Demand service. Silly me! I should have known Microsoft would balls it up like this.

    I just bought a new Xbox (long story) and was planning on buying Mass Effect via GoD until I first read about all this bullshit.

    In Australia we already feel like second-class citizens when it comes to Xbox Live - no local servers yet we pay the same or MORE than in other regions who do have their own servers, so this whole thing is really just adding insult to injury.
    I'm not even going to renew my Gold Subscription until MS starts treating us Australian customers like more than just an ATM (so, probably never).

    I went to my local GAME today, Mass Effect $39.

    And I'm pretty sure its quicker to drive to my local shopping centre and pickup a copy for less than half the digital asking price and drive home before said download has completed... and I get a shiny case and manual.

    What a disrepectful response. I'd expect that in the countless meaningless press releases that Pulse etc push out week in week out, but this is an official response from Microsoft to a legitimate question. That's disgusting Microsoft and says quite alot about your attitude towards Aussies, and it won't be forgotten. I - for one, will not be buying a single 'Game on demand' and from here on in will also be much more frugal with my XBLA purchases.

    And herein lies the inherit problem with Digital Distribution. Why else do you think that the major game companies are rushing to get this stuff happening?

    MS will own their own market. No competition. No pressure. No third-party to contend with.

    Screw MS' prices for this d/l games.

    What are the major complaints you hear from retailers about the price of games in Australia

    - Comparatively low volume sales to other countries
    - Coupled with far distance shipping

    Both of these issues are outright solved with a downloadable game service. The consumer has every right to expect same-price, or maybe even CHEAPER games. But does MS care about the consumer? No.

    I'm as against the push to downloadable games as I am excited by the convenience.

    LOL, won't be buying that. It'd be cheaper importing a copy from the UK!

    Look guys, of course games are going to be more expensive in Australia. It costs money to ship all those electrons from the other side of the world. Microsoft are just passing on their costs, and adding a little extra so their beleaguered Australian execs can afford to take long lunches. We all deserve long lunches. It is the Australian way.

    I never buy a game for more than AU$50 these days. I'd cap the value of a -non physical- game at less than AU$50 as it has no resale value once you've purchased it, so AU$99 is laughable.

    I really hope this attitude results in the Aussie Games on Demand market becoming a ghost town.

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