I'm going to start this blog off by saying F.U. Sony. Yep, you read that right. A big F.U. to Sony.
I bet you're wondering why I, whom everyone insists is a huge Sony fanboy on this site, would say such a think right? Well the answer is because Shadow of Mordor is $70 here in Canada, and that's everywhere.
Now I have known that Sony increased game prices in Canada awhile back, but up until now there have been 2 truths where I'm concerned.
The first truth is that the increase had never been more than $5. Any time I bought a new PS4 game and went for the physical copy, it was $64.99, and looking at the U.S. cost of $59.99 showed the $5 increase. Considering I've only bought 2 physical games on the PS4, that's really not that bad I'd say.
The second truth is that when I would go to buy a digital game on PSN for the PS4, it DIDN'T have the price increase. It was $60 flat for me. Don't know if that was common or not, but that's just been my experience.
Today however, everything is $70. $70 even for the digital copy. To all you pro-digital only gamers out there, let me ask you something. What possible reason, with the exception of load times and the lack of tax, would I or any Canadian have to purchase digital versions of games at $70? The game has no case (thus no costs associated with making a case), no manual (same deal), no shipping costs, no other fees associated with selling the product in whatever country, and yet it costs the same, minus taxes, as if I were to go to my local EB Games or Walmart or Best Buy and pick up a physical disc version.
I would really love for you pro-digital only gamers to explain to me what exactly is GOOD about that situation please, and while you're at it please tell me how, given the current situation, anyone should want a total digital distribution only future compounded with the associated DRM, lack of resale options, and the associated risks of not having a physical version of your game to play.
From where I'm standing, digital games are actually worse than physical games. At least with physical discs you can resell them if you no longer want them, they'll work so long as they can be read by the laser (and aren't bound by ridiculous always online B.S.), they don't take up space on your harddrive and if they do you can always delete the information on a case by case basis and do so knowing that you can just reinstall later without worrying that the game has been taken off the servers.
Where's the advantage?
Now before you PC gamers come in here, this isn't about PC. The PC market is doing digital correctly, with the understanding that the lack of a physical option should come with obvious discounts, so I don't really need to hear from you. I want to know what the benefits are on consoles beyond load times and a lack of taxes.
To be fair though, Microsoft is guilty of the same B.S. with their game prices in Canada, but they haven't raised their console's prices. That's why I'm giving them a break on this. This shows that both companies have a choice to make, and Sony is losing that battle. Microsoft is like "hey, we are going to raise the cost of our games, but our console isn't going to increase in price" and Sony is like "tough sh*t Canadians, we're in the lead and can do what we please, pay us more."
The B.S. excuse of "a change in market environment" means nothing. Currently, one U.S. dollar is worth 1.08 Canadian dollars. You're telling me that .08 of a dollar means you have to raise the PS4's price by $50 and PS4 games by $10? Those 8 cents cost you that much?
I guess I shouldn't expect anything less. Canada has always had to pay more for practically everything, but at least from 2008 up until this year Canada had price parity with the U.S. in games and consoles.
I'm incredibly annoyed by the fact that there may as well be absolutely no difference between buying physical and buying digital on consoles. Load times and no taxes is nothing.
I used to think that the prices of digital mirroring the prices of physical are due to the retail partners exerting market pressure on publishers, but I've come to know that it's really just because publishers know what they can get away with. They know what we're willing to pay for games, so they have no incentive to lower the prices and in fact just increase them. It's frustrating and insulting.
So please, someone, tell me the advantages of digital distribution, because from my perspective it's a colossal failure.