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Not All Digital Versions of Vita Games Are Cheaper

Save a few bucks on Uncharted, but not on Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

There does not appear to be any mandate from Sony on publishers offering digital price savings.

In unsurprising but disappointing news, not all digital versions of Vita games are guaranteed to be cheaper through the PlayStation Store.

FIFA Soccer, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, F1 2011, and Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour are, dollar for dollar, the exact same price on the PlayStation Store as they are at, say, GameStop or Amazon.

Coinciding with Vita’s early release for those who pre-ordered bundles, more Vita games are now in the PlayStation Store. This follows up on Sony’s promise that most, if not all, Vita games would be available for purchase in digital and retail forms.

Of course, many Vita games are cheaper digitally.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is $49.99 at retail but $44.99 digitally. Similar reductions has been applied to a number of launch Vita games, and not all of them were published by Sony. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, for example, is $34.99 digitally but $39.99 at retail. Elsewhere, all of Ubisoft’s games have welcomed digital price cuts.

Will these price cuts last forever? Who knows. Prediction: no.

Seems like digital price cuts are a thing that will happen on a case-by-case, publisher-by-publisher basis.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
There does not appear to be any mandate from Sony on publishers offering digital price savings.

In unsurprising but disappointing news, not all digital versions of Vita games are guaranteed to be cheaper through the PlayStation Store.

FIFA Soccer, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, F1 2011, and Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour are, dollar for dollar, the exact same price on the PlayStation Store as they are at, say, GameStop or Amazon.

Coinciding with Vita’s early release for those who pre-ordered bundles, more Vita games are now in the PlayStation Store. This follows up on Sony’s promise that most, if not all, Vita games would be available for purchase in digital and retail forms.

Of course, many Vita games are cheaper digitally.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is $49.99 at retail but $44.99 digitally. Similar reductions has been applied to a number of launch Vita games, and not all of them were published by Sony. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, for example, is $34.99 digitally but $39.99 at retail. Elsewhere, all of Ubisoft’s games have welcomed digital price cuts.

Will these price cuts last forever? Who knows. Prediction: no.

Seems like digital price cuts are a thing that will happen on a case-by-case, publisher-by-publisher basis.

Staff
Edited by is343

I want to save money though!

Shoulda' figured this wouldn't stretch out far past the initial launch.

Posted by Moncole

Capcom loves your money

Posted by Crunchman

WTF?!

Posted by GooieGreen

Uhh... Yeah, Sony said it was for First Party titles, like the simultaneous retail/downloadable release dates. Nothing to see here.

Posted by Chop

Of course. Capcom don't really give a shit about the PSN store succeeding or not. They just want as much money as they can get, which is understandable.

Posted by nohthink

If that's the case, just get a retail copy. Those cases are dope anyway

Posted by Ehker

Sony obviously can't force digital discounts, and where did this "Prediction: no" on the discounts lasting come from?

Posted by MolluskLingers

Who cares?

Posted by msavo

At least some publishers will offer the discounts and the big plus here is day 1 on the PSN store. I hope this continues for Vita and is successful so that PS3 and 360 games can get the same treatment.

Posted by Napalm

I find it slightly amusing all of the blue names are voicing their disgruntled attitude at the existence of this article.

Also, charging the same amount for a digital version as you would a retail copy is bullshit. Sure, bandwidth costs need to be covered if people choose to go that route, but it still doesn't make sense, since they don't have to cover all of the expenses that come with retail games. It's also why I don't buy digital now, since pricing is literally the same.

Edited by peteace

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

Posted by kmg90

Well this helps pick out the companies that are clinging to old business models and/or showing their greed. No surprised Capcom and (some extent) EA the worst offenders.

Surprising Ubisoft is jumping on board.

Posted by Animasta

and yet capcom puts out PC versions 10 dollars less than a regular PC game, and 20 less than the console version, so I dunno

Posted by CaLe

Sony should be the ones who have final say in what price games sell for on their store. Of course leaving it to the publisher is going to result in asking for full price.

Posted by umdesch4

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

+1 Insightful

Posted by msavo
@Napalm Does Steam and other online PC download stores charge the same amount on new games as their retail counterparts day 1? I'm not trying to sound like a snarky fuck I just don't go on Steam or Amazon enough to know. I agree that all games should, be somewhat cheaper on any digital platform when compared to their retail counterpart. If a game on the shelf, be it Vita, PC, 360 etc., is say $39.99 it should be somewhat cheaper online.
Posted by cstrang

Surprise!

Posted by langdonx

The initial discount for digital games isn't really necessary for me. I just want to see Sony follow in Valve's footsteps and offer incredible holiday sales. Here's hoping...

Posted by Protome

@GooieGreen said:

Uhh... Yeah, Sony said it was for First Party titles, like the simultaneous retail/downloadable release dates. Nothing to see here.

Actually, Sony claims the Simultaneous retail/download release date thing is something they are enforcing to third parties. I doubt they're being completely honest in that though.

Posted by Beforet

Call me when sony starts having steam style sales. Though I doubt it will happen, with how much control over the store sony gives to publishers.

Posted by msavo

It worked out for me in the end. Only game I wanted to get online at launch was Lumines and it's on the store now so I just bought it. $35.99 online compared to $39.99 in store and no sales tax (13% here in Ontario). No tax could drive me to buy more Vita stuff digitally. It's weird because I don't get taxed on PSN but I do when I use the eshop on 3DS. I don't understand why that is.

Posted by Vitor

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

Ha, good point.

Then again, Steam rarely beats out retail on initial prices for launch games. It's the sales that provide the best savings. Even the permanent price reductions available on titles months after their launch are often nowhere near as cheap as a used retail copy.

Posted by tightestjeans

@msavo: I think they usually do a pre-purchase discount on steam of 10% on new games, like Skyrim, but as of right now steam and retail price for Skyrim are both $59.99.

Posted by PLWolf

Also Hot Shots Golf is $29.99 at Amazon, but $35.99 on PSN. That was upsetting to see, so I had to order it from Amazon.

Edited by PandaShake

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

Is there tax on the PSN store? I don't remember. Our tax here is a moderate 8% so 49.99 x 1.08 = 53.9892 which is more than digital 53.09. It'll depend on your state and if PSN has tax or not.

But, that's why I love Amazon :)

Posted by M_Shini

Thats fine anyway, retail stores will still end up cheaper either way couple weeks down the line for allot of games since digital games take awhile to really go down in price. As long as every game i would want to download is available. The psn store is still massively better for content than what the 3ds has with what they have.

Posted by ZipCrash

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

This is the feeling I've had on the matter since the first announcement but thank you for doing the math on it. It's helpful to see the numbers.

Posted by HadesTimes

Not a huge deal. But it seems to smack of bad practices. I mean you tell me these publishers can't afford a 10% decrease when they don't have to print anything or provide a box. I guess just like Microsoft and Sony's On Demand programs that money is just pure profit. I guess as long as it works, they will keep doing it.

Posted by ajamafalous
@Napalm said:

I find it slightly amusing all of the blue names are voicing their disgruntled attitude at the existence of this article.

Was literally about to say the same thing.
Posted by AgileNate

I prefer Physical property over digital.

Posted by FluxWaveZ

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

Except this doesn't factor in taxes, which is not present on PSN. Here, sales taxes are 14.5%.

Posted by MysteriousBob

At least they don't cost more, as they do on the 360. £50 for Halo Reach? Piss off.

Edited by peteace

@FluxWaveZ said:

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

Except this doesn't factor in taxes, which is not present on PSN. Here, sales taxes are 14.5%.

Forgot about the tax thing I suppose. Although I buy everything from Amazon, so that kind of negates the sales tax for me. They haven't been forced to charge state sales tax in my state yet...

Posted by onan

@umdesch4 said:

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

+1 Insightful

That would only be true if the memory were Write Once, like a DVD-R. Otherwise the equation becomes way more complex, although the value of a small game that you could play all the time and leave on your memory stick can't be understated. A tiny version of Lumines with compressed audio, for example, would be absolutely worth getting digitally.

It's really the value of convenience to the individual, weighed against the replayability of the game, and the resale value of the retail product.

Posted by rotten

I think the publisher's are not thinking long term, because if they incentivize the digital sales it means less copies in the used game market.

Posted by SatelliteOfLove

Save a few bucks on Uncharted, but not on Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. 


 
Yeah, well, that's what people who buy Fighters on a handheld deserve.



Posted by AngelComa

A real shame. Sony could have really boosted its online catalog and still made hand over fist in money. But developers are too damn greedy.

Posted by bluefoxxy

BEST ARTICLE WRITTEN EVER

Posted by RetroBob

Digital distribution can KMA.

Posted by mabber36

man, the vita had the potential to be a really cool download only device, but sony and other companies keep squandering all the potential with small or zero discounts for downloads

Posted by lord_canti

oo good my statue in my garden of a middle finger with "FUCK YOU CAPCOM" written across it can remain standing

Posted by Undeadpool

@peteace said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

Except this doesn't factor in taxes, which is not present on PSN. Here, sales taxes are 14.5%.

Forgot about the tax thing I suppose. Although I buy everything from Amazon, so that kind of negates the sales tax for me. They haven't been forced to charge state sales tax in my state yet...

There's also the matter of whether or not they can be downloaded more than once, which I actually don't know the answer to.

Posted by FluxWaveZ

@Undeadpool said:

There's also the matter of whether or not they can be downloaded more than once, which I actually don't know the answer to.

They certainly can. I don't think there's a limit, actually.

Posted by MikkaQ

Doesn't really matter to me, digital downloads are more about not having to leave the house than saving money.

Posted by stubadubb

For me digital is more about not having to carry game cards around with me. It's hard to spend $36 on a digital copy when the copy from Amazon is only $30, but the "always have it with me" factor is enough for me to justify the extra $.

Posted by Addfwyn

I'd generally be willing to pay more for digital distribution, so I don't see the problem to begin with.

I don't have to worry about what games to carry with me, because I have all of them. I never have to worry about losing a game, because I can always re download it for free. I can get games that I otherwise would have to import for ridiculous sums of money. Why would I ever want anything besides digital distribution? The fact that for some reason, the digital copies are often cheaper is just another perk.

Posted by BradGrenz

Discounts on new games from digital stores are not common. That most Vita games do give you a price break is a great thing. Sony can't dictate pricing, nor should they, to third parties.

But what is with the completely unfounded skepticism over Sony's "all games must be available digitally" policy? There is literally no benefit to publishers going retail only, so that kind of speculation is not only prejudicial, but completely illogical.

Posted by TheBrainninja

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

Except that you aren't throwing away that storage space when you install Uncharted on it...in addition to unlimited (near as I've found) redownloads, you can transfer content between the Vita and the PS3 (and maybe PC, I don't know about backing up actual game data there). So my understanding is that, in theory, you can store all the games/whatever you want to put on your Vita on your PS3, and then transfer what you want to play on a case-by-case basis.

That's my plan, anyway. Because those 32GB cards are way expensive, but hard drive space is way cheap.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

@BradGrenz said:

Discounts on new games from digital stores are not common. That most Vita games do give you a price break is a great thing. Sony can't dictate pricing, nor should they, to third parties.

But what is with the completely unfounded skepticism over Sony's "all games must be available digitally" policy? There is literally no benefit to publishers going retail only, so that kind of speculation is not only prejudicial, but completely illogical.

I dunno if "shouldn't" is quite right. I think it'd be ok if Sony said "all DD copies of games should be cheaper because, hey, it's only fair." Or at least say that the publisher will not get any support from Sony. It's a good business move, it's fair to the consumer and fair to the publisher/developer because there isn't any money going towards manufacturing. Plus, isn't it a proprietary Sony thing that the games are going on? So shouldn't they be able to say "these copies are more because you're using out technology", even if it is just an SD card in a fancy case thingy, essentially.

@FluxWaveZ said:

@peteace said:

If you factor in the cost of space on your memory card, large games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss are actually more expensive digitally, even with their discount, than they are in their retail forms. 32GB card is $99, which is roughly $3 per GB. Uncharted is a 2.7GB download, which equals roughly $8.10. $44.99 + $8.10 = $53.09. The retail version only requires 64MB, which is only about 20 cents. The retail version is actually cheaper in that case.

Suck on that math!

Except this doesn't factor in taxes, which is not present on PSN. Here, sales taxes are 14.5%.

Jeez, 14%?

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