The Invisible Hand of Adam Smith Extends its Middle Finger

12 06 2009

As I get ready to trade in another 6 games I haven’t played in a while to Gamestop just to get one new game, I am reminded of the problem the game industry has with the cost of games. Ever since this console generation, game prices have shot up to $60, something we hadn’t seen since the N64 days. We were told that the switch to disc media would benefit the consumer because game prices would go down. That hasn’t happened. I doubt it will even with this current economic crisis. Now while some people blame Gamestop for their trade-in policies, I choose not to. After all, used games was how I built up the game collections of my Genesis, my N64, my PS1, my PS2, and my NES. The problem is that Gamestop has to make money off of the secondhand games market, and sadly with game prices the way they are now, they can’t drop prices dramatically on used games for the current generation of consoles.

So we’re back to the big problem, the price of a new game itself. ranging from $40 on handheld systems, to $50 on the Wii, to $60 if you’re buying for the PS3 or 360. These are pretty much the highest prices each company’s current-gen console has had for a game, apart from the aforementioned $60 N64 titles.
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