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Xbox One, PS4 in Australia: Are We Really Being Ripped Off?

Since Microsoft and Sony announced the prices for their upcoming consoles at E3 2013 there’s been a degree of grumbling over the international disparities.

In Australia, gamers and some members of the press have expressed displeasure at the local price points for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 compared to the US prices. The sentiment, honestly, is not at all surprising. Understandable, even; especially given some of the gouging we’ve suffered in the past. There’s also the fact that 1 Australian Dollar is buying 96 US cents at the time of writing.

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slapsta721647d ago

well, yeah, we are.

everything gaming related costs more here, despite our dollar being pretty much identical to the USA's. even when it was stronger than the US dollar our games etc cost more.

simple truth is, retailers expect us to pay more. it's pretty lame considering how everything costs more these days (petrol, houses, food, etc.)

Parapraxis1646d ago (Edited 1646d ago )

What is the minimum wage in Australia?

AUS - $15.96/hr. ( National minimum wage for adults)
So that works out to roughly 34 hours of work for the PS4 @AUD $549

USA - $7.25/hr (National minimum wage average)
That works out to 55 hours of work for the PS4 @ US $399.

gamer421646d ago

I've felt pity for them for so long...

slapsta721646d ago (Edited 1646d ago )

you guys have tipping in america though, we do not. i would imagine that tips can go a long way over there.

also, games cost more here compared to other things. there's even been talk about an inquiry into the fairness of our game prices.

WalterWJR1646d ago

Exactly what I was going to say, I don't understand why I always hear how unfair Australians are treated and how sorry people feel for the high prices.

You earn more, deal with it.

snipab8t1646d ago

I'm 17 and I only get paid $9.50 an hour. When we in Australia have to pay $2.19 for 1 song on Itunes or $599 bloody dollars for an xbox it really pisses me off. Honestly we pay $800+ for a phone that would cost about $500 in U.S.
Not to mention all the other costs such as xbox live, controllers, fucking petrol to get to the shops, stores mark up their games heaps and all the other bullshit.

snp1646d ago (Edited 1646d ago )

Why cherry pick minimum wage though? If you're going to use it, why no mention of tips - which would add to the US numbers, but not the Australian? Why no calculation of the tax taken out of those dollars - again higher in Australia (esp since tips naturally aren't taxed at all).

The average wage of US and Australian citizens are almost identical these days, the difference being Australian taxes are higher and Australian costs of living are significantly higher.

The 'average' Australian on an 'average' income, once expenses are deducted, would have to work more hours than a US citizen on their 'average' wage to come up with the same $400 discretionary spending. More again, for the extra $150 they're gouged on top of that.

NioRide1646d ago

Because minimum wage Federal law states it must be above $2.15, Not everyone gets that high of a min wage.

Just so you guys know, many states have there own minum wage standards

http://www.dol.gov/whd/stat...

As well the 7.25 is to balance out if you don't make enough tips, If you make more than 7.25 a hour with your tips you are only being paid the min wage of the state, which again could be as low as $2.15 hour from your employer, with the other $5.10 being made up by your customers in tips.

Also port costs, Its super cheap for countries to import things to the US, while in AUS its not exactly cheap, nor a ideal place to sell certain goods that have a heavy restriction on part of the products sold. *violent games in this case*

plmkoh1646d ago

@snp

Tips in America is 10%, but let's be generous and assume it is 20%: 7.25*1.2 = $8.64

Is there even a point to mention tips?

Ok let's move on tax, in Australia they have $18,000 tax free, where as in America they have 10% up until $8925.

Assume both the Australian and American part-workers 1000 hours in a year.

Australian:
1000*$16.96 = $16,960
tax = 18,000>16960 = 0
cash on hand = $16,960

American
1000*$7.25 = $7250
tips = 1450
tax = $7,250*0.1 = $725
cash on hand = $7975

snp1646d ago (Edited 1646d ago )

Still doesn't explain the decision to cherry pick 'minimum' wage when average wages are nearly identical and surely the more grossly representative number. It's a stretch to suggest the US's reasons for gouging are 'socialistic', which is the implication there for selecting this sub category of the population. Nor does it make mention of costs of living, which again are significantly higher in Australia. And there's more to taxes than income taxes - excise rates on fuel; all the day to day stuff.

If one feels the need to 'separate' minimum wage groupings to front an argument, it would seem honesty to also present 'average wage' equations - including costs of living comparisons - when the virtual 'opposite' to what is being argued with minimum wages is shown there, and applies much more broadly.

I will grant, i'm surprised to hear tips only account for 10-20% of wage. I realise they're only 10-20% the surface price of expense normally - ie. $10 meal, you might give $1-2 tip - but i'd have thought this would be a signifcantly higher percentage of total income of worker. A waiter only earning $1.50 off tips in a lunchtime or evening crowd spread over an hour doesn't sound right.

ed:
NioRide

"If you want the full reason why its more expensive, its because you live in the middle of no where any shipping isn't cheap."

Your argument about Ports is fine, shipping not so much though. Most of this stuff comes to Australia from countries much closer to here than they are the US.

"And really, who's going to stop them? There is no laws against setting the prices of your product."

Bingo. If you want to gouge, you can gouge. It might be unethical, but you can get away with it. Just, however, don't expect people not to complain or to takes complaints seriously when you feel others are cheating you in some way (eg. China). Live by the sword and all that.

NioRide1646d ago (Edited 1646d ago )

If you want the full reason why its more expensive, its because you live in the middle of no where any shipping isn't cheap.

And really, who's going to stop them? There is no laws against setting the prices of your product.

snp1646d ago (Edited 1646d ago )

Couple of specifics plmkoh, then i think i'm done..

"Ok let's move on tax, in Australia they have $18,000 tax free, where as in America they have 10% up until $8925."

Sure, but you'll also notice up until this year that number was $6000 tax free in Australia. Reason for the change - because a carbon tax was introduced (one of the most expensive in the world). The $18,000 tax free rise was basically an offset - taxes are still coming out on these lower salaries, just not via income tax. (Indeed our excise fuel tax as well is 39cL versus ~12cL for the US - there's copious of these examples. Which is why blunt 'here's our justification for gouging' that ignore actual disposable incomes arguments are such horseshit)

"Assume both the Australian and American part-workers 1000 hours in a year."

The 'part-time' bit confused me, until i realised the US tax rate in the next division is only '15%', whilst the Australian is '19%'. And the division after? 25% versus 32%. The next - 28% versus 37% etc; then 33% versus 45% (although granted these latter brackets aren't minimum wage workers). I'm guessing this is why you chose to make our theoretical worker 'part time'?

As for the tips, unless there's something i'm missing i'm pretty sure you're conflating the percentage of the expenditure the tip is - ie. 10-20% of price of goods (meal etc) - with the percentage tips (untaxed) make up of a minimum wage workers wage. If so, they're not the same thing.

A hypothetical waiter, for instance, working say a dozen tables over two hours dinner crowd would be earning 10-20% the price of _each meal_ (say $3-5), not 10-20% extra as a percentage of 'her wage'. As a percentage of her wage tips - untaxed by income tax, and with significantly lower alt taxes of other kinds - would quite be considerable. In this, admittedly extreme example, up to two-thirds/three quarters. Though, will add, of course this is going to vary from job to job - many, but certainly not 'all' minimum wage jobs have tips as a fallback.

I'm perplexed why people go to such lengths to justify gouging - whether it be this weird minimum pseudo socialism argument (which aside from Aus/US comparisons, doesn't hold up for US versus many low income countries anyway) or any of the others. I'm can only presume it's misplaced patriotism. For the record i'm not having a shot at America or Americans - actually i'm very fond of you lot and your country - just this particular behaviour of your companies. And equally if/when/where my country does similar shit, i don't condone it either.

NioRide1646d ago

Snp, why is Australian beer and liquor imports so much more expensive then miller light and my jack?

Because it wasn't made here. Shipping costs, advertisements, marketing, it all comes down to it. Plus they don't have a reason not to charge a load of money for it.

Let me ask you something, do you think that MS or sony are setting the prices, or that maybe, just maybe the retailers are the ones screwing you.

snp1646d ago (Edited 1646d ago )

"Snp, why is Australian beer and liquor imports so much more expensive then miller light and my jack?"

Scale - quantities. And yes, all the costs of getting the goods to the US from their manufacturers here in Australia. These aren't goods intended for and produced for a worldwide market, though - they're specialty goods. I don't think anyone minds, or expects not to, pay a premium on more dilettante type products/markets (and that's the same in every country).

"Let me ask you something, do you think that MS or sony are setting the prices, or that maybe, just maybe the retailers are the ones screwing you."

The RRP is set by the co's. Actually, in many cases day-one shops here are selling at near cost just to be competitive with the US import alternatives (bulk stores - BigW, JB etc). Though unfortunately for them this is still roughly $20 more than US prices healthy retail-profit-including RRP (eg. very high $70's on a $100-110 RRP, versus US $60 RRP).

However you cut it it's a rort. This my last post - out of bubbles. Obviously most people will believe whatever makes them comfortable - looking at the 'agrees' on some of the posts pushing this patriotric, largely nonsensical, and in terms of numbers factually incorrect minimum wage sideshow it's clear people want to feel US co's aren't the bad guys or taking advantage (no matter what).

If people want to play the devils advocate, that's cool. But know it's nonsense.

Welcome2Die1646d ago

The reason they get paid more is because everything is trying to kill them while theyre working.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 1646d ago
gamer421646d ago (Edited 1646d ago )

Never mind I goof'd my math and it looks like I was wrong about australia's minimum wage!
Parapraxis knows what he's doing

steven83r1646d ago

Well since it's region free couldn't Aussies and other parts of the world just but it online from US and ship it over? Assuming your home has the 120v outlets built in or an adapter perhaps?

the_bebop1646d ago

except once you pay for shipping and the currency exchange, it usally cost the same or more.

ALICE6661646d ago (Edited 1646d ago )

i remember when i bought my PS2 for $799 back in the days, and $999 for my PS3.

A far cry from being ripped off like from those days.

We aussies also earn more now too so I see it as a bargain actually at $549.

the_bebop1646d ago

another thing to remeber is the insane amount of inflation on just about erverything, for a small example I work at a Woolworth shop and about six or seven years ago a 600ml bottle of coca-cola used to cost around AU$1.50, it is now AU$3.00.

These days some are better of then others in the end I think its the price of games that are the real problem, for example the regular edition of "The Last Of Us" cost AU$98.00.

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