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Price War

About a month ago I got an Xbox 360. About a year after other people I know, but better late than really late. It’s a good console, even though one might argue that the timing wasn’t that good; the Wii was released a few weeks later and the PlayStation 3 is just around the corner in Europe. I decided to go for the 360 because I’ve never been a fan of the Nintendo style of games. The PS3 will launch at a ridiculously high price, in the US of A you can get a Wii and a 360 Core system for the price of a single 60GB PS3. The 360 with hard drive clocks in at a massive USD 400 below the 60GB PS3, and the PS3 won’t be available in Norway until March 31.

As you know I’m a big fan of the Great Grand Theft Auto computer game series. Since it’s still a while until GTA IV is released – if all goes according to plan, it will be available on the on October 16 this year – I laid my eyes on what can only be described as a desirable GTA clone: Saints Row.

I tried the demo and it felt a lot like GTA, me like, so I decided to get the game while waiting for GTA IV. For some reason it was a bit hard to find it in the stores downtown. When I finally found a copy my crave for the game disappeared as soon as I saw the price tag. It was 699 Norwegian kroner (NOK)! To put things into perspective; NOK 699 is USD 110 at the current exchange rate!

So I decided to check out the online stores to see if it was possible to get the game a little cheaper there. No luck. The best price I found was NOK 549 (USD 86), which is still a tad ridiculous, and with P&P it would get close to the store price anyway. Amazon.com sells the game for USD 53.99 (NOK 342), and that’s an acceptable place.

Can someone please explain to me what the fuck is going on that makes it possible for Norwegian stores to sell computer games for twice the price of Amazon.com? In my quest for a cheap copy of Saints Row I stumbled across an auction site and that affair ended up costing me USD 150 and beyond. But that’s another story.

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