I’m eagerly awaiting the release of GTAIV’s first DLC content The Lost & Damned, as I’m sure many are. Microsoft paid a pretty penny for the exclusive rights to the first DLC release. So next Monday, 14 Feb, we could possibly see the biggest DLC release too date for any platform and I, along with millions of others will be rushing online to get their fill of new stuff in a tired Nico Ballic world.
I’m not sure why you would release an addon on a Monday, as a Thrusday / Friday release would have proved to be good days but hey its Microsoft. The obvious sometimes eludes them.
Originally this post was going to be a moan about the stupidity of a globally standard pricing structure. 1 world, 1 price system but in reality is 1 world, yet many differenct costs for said pricing system.
Microsoft has gone on record as saying they think the user wants a standard pricing structure the world over, as its easier to deal with and for them easier to promote. Um, yeah. Thats what Walt Mossberg thought too (FYI The Zune uses the same points as the 360)
“To buy even a single 99 cent song from the Zune store, you have to purchase blocks of “points” from Microsoft, in increments of at least $5. You can’t just click and have the 99 cents deducted from a credit card, as you can with iTunes. [..] So, even if you are buying only one song, you have to allow Microsoft, one of the world’s richest companies, to hold on to at least $4.01 of your money until you buy another.”
You would think with the NZ dollar tanking, that if anything we would be paying more than America, but somehow it isn’t the case. So as I hunted around trying to get the cheapest live points I could, I discovered inconsistancies in per point worth depending on where you get them from, and strangely found the cheapest place to get MS Points is from MS themselves! Not only that, but you have more point options as you can buy packs of points from XBOX.COM in 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 lots.
The cost of The Lost & Damned is 1600 Live Points. I did some hunting around and found:
1500 Points @ Dick Smith $29.95 = 2c p. 1 MS Point
2000 Points on XBOX.COM $NZ33 = 1.6c p. 1 MS Point
1600 Points @ Amazon.com $US19.49 = $NZ37.72 = 2.3c p. 1 MS Point
Lost & Damned Retail Box @ Gamestop USA $US19.99 = $NZ38.68
The Lost & Damned can be picked up for 25% less than American gamers. In Your Face.
I suppose the biggest jib of all this though, is that in NZ you can’t even buy 1600 point cards (as you can in America) so you will need to buy 2x 1500 points cards to have enough to buy a 1600 points addon. There are no lower point cards in NZ anymore so basically if you follow the most obvious process to get the addon (Buy addon card, load code, use points to buy addon) you get screwed. Thanks Microsoft, for taking something simple, then making it overly complex and at the same time, ripping off your users a little.
Of course I should also mention how last week I purchased WipeoutHD for my PS3 which uses real money and charges your credit card in a real currency $NZ33.90. Not too hard to understand, and possibly a little easier than the “Need 1600 points, can only buy 1500 points” deal Microsoft offers.