So you think you have it so bad here in the good ol' U.S of A. Well, you are wrong, very wrong. "Oh, poor us. We have to pay $400 for a 40 gig PS3. Boohoo, games cost $60 each, they used to only cost $50 for a new game. We are being ripped off". First off, quit your whining, I'm tired of hearing it. Games are more expensive to make, hence, more expensive to buy. Second, we don't have it as bad as those blokes in Great Britain, or where I am, Germany have it.

I've lived here about a year and a half now. I'll probably be here for a couple of more years. Yesterday I after reading an article on the price of the next gen consoles in merry old England, I decided to see what the good people in Deutschland have to pay for their gaming experience. I can't say I was surprised, I did expected higher prices. I'm just disappointed.

Here's what I found. First, it was hard to find a system that wasn't bundled with one or two (or in the 360's case, 3) games. Granted, the games themselves were quality games, but you had to buy them with the console just to get what you wanted in the first place. (Kinda makes me wonder if these situations are taken in account when the industry compiles it's sales numbers. If you are forced to buy a game you may not want should it count as a sale, or should it not be counted at all?) Second, the prices for the PS3 and the 360 were not much different. The base 40 gig PS3 was 400 euro, no games included. The 360 bundle (no 360s were sold without games) with Halo 3, PES6 and Forza was also 400 euro. Because I couldn't find a single 360 console without a game bundle I had to consider the prices pretty equal. Sure, you get 3 games, but what if you didn't want those games. And yes, some people out there do not want to play Halo. 400 euros, not bad right? Wrong. The euro currently has a higher exchange rate then our almighty dollar. Right now you get about $1.30 for one euro. This figure is not exact (the exchange rate is closer to .68 but using .70 is just easier). That is bad people. What that means is for every 100 euro of price, add 30 to it to get the dollar amount. So, 400 euro equals $520 dollars. And you thought we had it bad.

Games also have inflated prices. The average for a new PS3 or 360 game is between 59-69 euro. That would be about $78-$91 for us. Wii games are 49-59 euro or $65-$78. Still feel like complaining? I sure don't. From what I understand, England has it worse then this. Sucks to be a gamer in Europe doesn't it? Price isn't the only thing that the Old World gets shafted on. Oftentimes, games are released here months after their Japanese or American releases. Why? Transferring the game to the PAL system may be a reason, but is it a valid one? I don't think so.

I'm trying to figure out if the game companies and console makers hate these guys or if it's something else. I've heard a lot of excuses, from it being a smaller market to tariffs and other import taxes. Is it actually the European governments' fault? Is it the console and game makers fault? I really don't care. Just get it fixed people so all gamers can pay a reasonable price to play the games they love.


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