The Romanian Competition Council is criticising PlayStation for abusing its monopoly on the console market by only permitting the sale of digital games through the Play-Station Store and not through other retailers.
The gaming giant, PlayStation, is allegedly trying to maximise profits by only allowing digital games to be sold through its own shop, where the pricing of games can be easily controlled. As a result, the council will be looking into Play-Station’s digital sales.
The Romanian Competition Council issued the following statement in a translated press release: “The competition authority has indications that Sony may have abused its dominant position in the video game console market both by selling online video games exclusively through the PlayStation Store platform and by prohibiting the sale of game activation codes for video compatible with Play-Station consoles by competing distributors.”
PlayStation price rise
PlayStation just announced that it’s raising prices on all tiers of Play-Station Plus – you can find more about the existing benefits down below, but on 6 September 2023 things get more expensive, as follows:
- PlayStation Plus Essential 12-Month Subscription: From $59.99 / £49.99 / €59.99 to $79.99 / £59.99 / €71.99
- PlayStation Plus Extra 12-Month Subscription: From $99.99 / £83.99 / €99.99 to $134.99 / £99.99 / €125.99
- PlayStation Plus Premium 12-Month Subscription: From $119.99 / £99.99 / €119.99 to $159.99 / £119.99 / €151.99
You may still renew your membership at the existing rates through September 6, 2023, so make sure to get in early and do that if you know you’ll need it. However, this is a significant price increase across most locations, especially in the US.
How much does PlayStation cost?
The monthly price of PlayStation Plus is initially set at £6.99, $9.99, or €8.99 (until the price hike in September 2023 as we noted above), but as you move through the tiers and receive additional features, the monthly cost rises. The costs for the three available alternatives are listed below.
The standard tier of PS Plus can be paid for monthly, quarterly or annually.
Monthly membership costs £6.99 / $9.99 / €8.99. It is £19.99 / $24.99 / €24.99 for 3 months, or you can pay for 12 months upfront for £49.99 / $59.99 / €59.99.
You can sign up for PS Plus Essential either through your console or the PlayStation Store online. Physical vouchers have been discontinued but will still generally be redeemable against an Essential plan.
PS Plus Extra is now available in multiple locations (see region details above). It includes all the benefits of the standard plan plus access to a catalogue of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games to play at no extra cost.
It is priced at £10.99 / $14.99 / €13.99 per month, £31.99 / $39.99 / €39.99 for 3 months, or £83.99 / $99.99 / €99.99 if paid for yearly.
Since pricing for games on the PlayStation shop often only decrease during discounts, this would result in higher game prices. The council contends that these moves are harmful to Romanian consumers and may deter Romanian firms from creating Play-Station-compatible video games.
Play-Station hasn’t responded to the allegation yet, but it’s safe to assume that it’s helping with the inquiry by the sports organisation. This is actually a part of a larger conversation about video game prices in general, as many consumers feel that games are becoming too expensive in modern times. Companies like PlayStation and Nintendo have come under fire for raising the price of their exclusives, like The Last of Us Part 1 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and have received negative feedback as a result.
Even though they are the same game, digital games are sometimes lambasted for being just as expensive as physical versions when they are first released. This is because the packaging and disc, which add to the game’s overall cost through production and manufacturing costs, are not included in digital games.
Sales of PlayStation games have actually been lower lately than normal, and the price hike is most likely to blame. It will be fascinating to observe how sales numbers and pricing evolve over the coming months given that Play-Station just unveiled a variety of new games and even a new system during a recent PlayStation Showcase.
Are video game sales physical or digital?
According to the Entertainment Retail Association (ERA), digital downloads made up 89.5% of video game transactions, with traditional copies making up the remaining 10.5%. Even though 90% of video game purchases go into this category, the decline isn’t quite as sharp as it would seem. Mobile gaming is one explanation why that may be the case.
Are physical PlayStation games cheaper than digital?
Both CDs and digital games cost around the same and provide an often comparable gameplay interface.