Is The Price of Digital Downloads Completely Wrong?

Screenshot 2014-02-21 14.51.07I am not talking about DLCs (we can have a discussion about that in the future as well, I think it’s worth a mention of its own), but about the price of full, digital games. Is the price of digital games completely wrong or not?

This question came to my mind after I started thinking about buying Persona 4 Golden for the PS Vita. Right now it’s £34.99 on the PlayStation Store, while Amazon UK is selling it for £15.99. Initially I wanted to get the digital version of the game because I wanted to keep my PS Vita digital only, both because I think it is a very suitable choice for a handheld console and because I already have a good collection of digital PS Vita and PSP games thanks to the voucher included in my PS Vita bundle.

Obviously, I have already reconsidered this. The price difference in this case is just too big to justify the digital purchase. And this is where the big question comes in: should digital games cost more than their physical counterparts?

One could argue that they should be (much) cheaper because publishers earn more money on digital versions since there are no production expenses like for physical games. On the other hand, though, one could say that it is right for them to cost more than physical games because of their advantages (they are always tied to your account, no risk of loss, you can carry them all with you without the need to carry a bunch of boxes or cartridges around, you can buy them even outside shop opening hours etc.) But then again, physical games can be resold as preowned, making them even cheaper.

I personally think that digital games have undoubtedly many advantages over physical games, but if there needs to be a price difference, this should not be too big. For sure, digital games cannot cost more than double their physical counterparts.

What do you think? Is the price of digital downloads too high or is it pretty much right (i.e. their many advantages justify their higher price tag)?


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