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Aussie gamers are under attack

CHOICE says Aussie gamers continue to face digital discrimination

30 July 2013

A CHOICE review of PS4 and Xbox One games such as Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Destiny found the games will cost 37% more in Australia than in the United States, reinforcing the digital discrimination faced by local gamers1.

The review findings come following the release of the final report by a parliamentary inquiry in the Federal House of Representatives into IT price discrimination that recommended a series of reforms to end geo-blocking in Australia.  
 
The Australian video gaming industry generated $1.161 billion in the year to December 2012 with the top 10 titles accounting for 46 per cent of all sales2.
 
“With the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation games set to hit the high streets around October this year, many gamers are already being discriminated against as they are pre-paying online to secure their copies,” says Director of Campaigns and Communications at CHOICE, Matt Levey.  
 
“Australian gamers are caught in the cross hairs by video game retailers who are targeting their passion for console gaming and hitting them with a massive mark-up. This is yet another clear case of digital discrimination,” said Mr Levey.
 
The CHOICE review, which looked at 10 PS4 games and 13 Xbox One games, compared prices between the EB Games United States online store and their Australian online store and JB Hi-Hi and found that Australian gamers are once again on the wrong side of the digital price divide.
 
“A look at the pre-order prices of upcoming games for the new Xbox and PlayStation consoles shows that Australian gamers will continue to pay more.”
 
“Our analysis of the available game prices has shown that Australians will pay an average of 33% more for PS4 games and 29% more for Xbox One games. This is after excluding Australia’s 10% GST.”
 
CHOICE’s submission to the now finished parliamentary inquiry surveyed over 200 products and found that Australians were paying around 50% more for software, computers, iTunes and (of course) games.
 
“The latest Xbox and PlayStation consoles seem set to continue this discrimination.”
 
“CHOICE will continue to campaign for an end to pricing from international businesses which discriminate against Australians and we will push for the key recommendations from the inquiry to be made law. You can help by signing up to be a campaign supporter.”

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