Rock Band 4 Is Insanely Expensive In Australia

Rock Band 4 Is Insanely Expensive In Australia

Rock Band has a troubled history here in Australia. The original game arrived a year late, the second game — technically — was never released at all. At all times, the game — and its equipment — has been extremely expensive in Australia.

We’ve just confirmed Australian pricing for Rock Band 4 and surprise! You are going to be paying a lot of money for Rock Band 4 equipment.

For perspective, here is the US pricing:

Rock Band 4 (Game only) — $59.99
Rock Band 4 Guitar Bundle — $129.99
Rock Band 4 Band-A-Box Bundle (Guitar, Drums and Microphone) — $249.99

Alright, now prepare yourself for the Australian pricing…

Rock Band 4 (Game only) — $99.95
Rock Band 4 Guitar Bundle — $249.95
Rock Band 4 Band-A-Box Bundle (Guitar, Drums and Microphone) — $499.95

We’ve confirmed this pricing with Home Entertainment Services, the distributor for all Mad Catz equipment in Australia. That is how much you will be paying for Rock Band 4 equipment in Australia.

When Rock Band 4 was announced we suggested this might happen. Our precedent: the tremendously terrible pricing of Rock Band 3 instruments. Unbelievably, Rock Band 4’s pricing is actually worse.

When we spoke to Home Entertainment Services about local pricing they informed us the prices were high because the purchased stock directly from Europe as opposed to the US. Regardless of the reason, Australians are about to get seriously rorted if they want to be new Rock Band equipment.

You might want to to start digging out your old Rock Band guitars and drum kits.


  • Yet again, ridiculous licensing arrangements where Australian distributors buy from European distributors buy from American distributors bite us in the ass.

    I should be a professional middleman. Make obscene amounts of money for effectively doing nothing.

    • I did this with RB1. All the DLC had to be bought through the US store. Massive pain in the ass.

      • Yeah the Xbox 360 was region locked. Since the Xbox one is region free, things mays be different buy don’t quote me on that.

      • It’s a lot easier to buy from the US store these days, if you are lucky your credit card or paypal will work straight up otherwise buying Live cards from Amazon work without an issue, plus access is as simple as changing a setting in the system menu. The dollar falling has made it less appealling but my EA Access sub is to the US store so I generally keep the console set to US and don’t run into any issues playing AU games.

    • Nobody can tell you right now. Currently on the Xbox I don’t think there is a single regionalised SKU of a game except Chinese editions, everything else is global. Who knows how that’ll go in the future.

      Plus shipping on a box this size isn’t going to be cheap, and our dollar is balls right now.

      • Probably a good part of $75 US for shipping (could be cheaper but Amazon won’t ship it to Australia so you’re stuck dealing with people that need more of a cut), which puts the whole bundle at probably $325 US or more. That’s around $450 at current exchange rate, and our Dollar’s in the process of tanking. By the time the game comes out we could be looking at fairly close to $500 AUD.

        • I’m seeing “this item ships to My Suburb, Australia” on Amazon, which is why I was considering it.

    • I guess buying the game locally and only importing the hardware might be an option. Chances are you’ll be able to buy the game by itself from JB HiFi for around $79 despite the RRP.

    • It’s actually going to be pretty interesting in that regard.

      If you played on PS3, you would lose your DLC access moving to PS4 and to another region – DLC is usually regioned to the game, so you’d need a PAL PS4 copy to access your PS3 DLC.

      Xbox One, though, is much trickier to figure out. On 360, it would have worked the same way as with PS3 – DLC purchased for PAL Rock Band 3 would only be playable on the PAL version. However Microsoft has largely done away with region restrictions on accounts on XB1. You can move the region of your account just by changing a field on the account page.

      What I expect though is that if you imported the game from the US, you’d lose any access to previous-gen DLC from PAL areas. So if that was a priority for you you’d want to buy the instruments and then get a PAL copy of the game on the cheap somewhere.

      I’m actually on the flipside of this. I’m about to migrate to the US, and the big question for me is whether to get a PAL copy of the game so I can access all the DLC I owned (would have spent upwards of $50 on songs, plus had all the stuff carried over from RB1 & 2 and Lego Rock Band) or just leave it and start over. And then if I start over, what platform? I was 360 last gen, but use my PS4 more this gen. Still have my old 360 instruments though and they’re meant to be backwards compatible, so it’s tricky.

  • What a joke. Unfortunately, the fact that Australia is such a minuscule market for the video game industry means that they are unlikely to care too much about how expensive the packages are here.

  • Rock Band 4 (Game only) — $59.99
    Rock Band 4 Guitar Bundle — $129.99
    Rock Band 4 Band-A-Box Bundle (Guitar, Drums and Microphone) — $249.99

    Conversion rates at today’s rate with GST added:

    US$59.95 = AU$92 (RRP $99.95)
    US$129.99 = AU$200 (RRP $249.95)
    US$249.99 – AU$380 (RRP $499.95)

    and you never get those rates in reality, so it would be a bit more than that.

    So the game is priced about right, but the instruments are pricey.

    • The idea is to price it at $499.95 and then discount it down to $380 saying it’s a massive everything must go discount! YAY for discounts!

  • Importing directly from costs ~$409.
    Importing directly from Amazon costs ~$357.

    Import away guys. Not worth paying so much more for the same thing.

    • I was just looking and Amazon US won’t ship the bundle to Australia. The UK version they’re quoting ridiculously low postage for (9 pounds) which I think is an error.

      • They do. I went all the way to the shipping page 🙂

        Amazon generally charge the lowest shipping price which is around $9USD/ $9GBP when it does not know the exact dimension and weight of the item. If you preorder now they will honor your price until you try to make any changes to the shipping type. If you preorder when they have the exact dimension, at that time the shipping will show the actual shipping rate.

        So, preorder away to secure the lowest price!

  • That stings. I was considering grabbing this for the drums alone, but my current ones are well past being in good condition. Not anymore.

  • I’m importing from myself. Looking forward to getting the plastic out and the band back together 😀

  • After having my drums repaired under warranty like 5 times, I up and sold everything (GH1-5, RB 1-2, ac/dc, Metallica, lots of guitars, 1 drums, 1 mic, mic stand etc etc) for a very very healthy amount on ebay to some moron. Seeing this news, and the fact I have no interest in this rubbish anymore, makes me even more happy with that decision. Enjoy paying heaps for the privilege of having their shitty plastic shit break on you all the time.

  • As much as I want it… I could buy 5 games at full price for the price of the biggest bundle. Screw that!

  • Ouch. I was so keen for this, but not at 500 dollarydoos.
    I have a Roland electric kit that I plugged in to a logitech drum module for the last round of games, hopefully that’ll still work but I’m sure that’s just a fantasy….

  • $250 for a Guitar bundle is bullshit! Considering the GH Live bundle is 100 dollars cheaper. Thankfully I bought an unused RB 1 guitar and drum kit from gumtree.

  • At least Rock Band 4 is supposedly backward compatible with previous gen instruments. Maybe my old set has gone up in value and time to sell?

  • I’m gonna buy it for sure, as I always have with Rock Band games – but considering the guitar bundle costs the same price as the Rocksmith guitar bundle, which comes bundled with an actual guitar, you know the pricing’s a bit shit.

    I’ve already got a full band’s worth of instruments, so I’m holding out for the dongle that lets me connect them.

  • Cant believe its still the old crappy instruments. How does a piece of plastic and some wire cost that much? Was looking forward to new guitars n drums. Luckily ive still got the old gear. But they’re shit to play.

    • I guess it costs a lot for the trademark …

      “Wireless Fender™ Stratocaster™ Guitar Controller with Strap”

  • Good thing I still have my old instruments, and they will still work with RB4 (im looking at you Guitar Hero).

    I just cant remember if my previous versions were US or EU for my DLC

  • Here’s what we do:

    Nobody buy it. Then in 9 months they’ll be filling up bargain bins from one end of the country to the other.

    I know Mad Catz is in financial trouble but they won’t get out of it by pricing themselves out of the market!

    Also the practice of Australian distributors buying from European distributors? How many fucking middlemen are we paying here?

  • Sebastian from Home Entertainment Suppliers Pty Ltd. I can understand you may have got the Rock Band 4 pricing from the retailers (price is correct) but where did you get the bit about the pricing directly from Europe, I don’t recall you making contact? I noticed you managed to get the name of company wrong, any chance of that being wrong also?

  • There is another option, we picked up a cheap electric drum kit from Gumtree and then fed it into the console with a midi adapter. The drums feel better to hit, especially the kick and they don’t make anywhere near the same amount of ratatatatatatat as you play. This worked for 1, 2 and 3 so I assume it’s going to work for 4. Cheaper than their drum bundle.

  • I’d just like to point out that American prices don’t include tax. Not that much of a consolation but still note worthy.

  • Could I ask for a little more effort in the article?
    US Pricing excludes taxes, also in USD and comparing with GST inclusive pricing in AUD.
    There is still a huge disparity even when factoring this in, but please make it a more accurate comparison. Maybe ask Lifehacker, since they seem to understand this.

  • Australia is the worst country to live in as a gamer, games themselves are already more expensive for us to begin with and still they continue to treat us like crap.

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