Tough Luck: Game prices in the next generation

Who here enjoys spending $60 for a game that might suck? Hmm… no hands raised.

Game prices for the XBox 360 and PS3 are for the most part set in stone for the “next generation,” clocking in somewhere between $59.99 to $69/$79 for “premium versions” that have unfortunately cropped up in stores. And aside from a Nintendo promise that Wii 1rst party titles will be $50, there has been little news on third party titles (and VC titles, for that matter).

So, it was with some degree of satisfaction that I read a critique today from (UK-based, so get out your conversion charts) about rising next-gen game prices. It’s more about the XBox 360’s influence than anything, but if it means less expensive games I’m all for it. “Twenty pounds, the level software hits on budget re-release, is often cited as the ‘impulse purchase’ level […] Thirty pounds, even thirty-five at a stretch, is a price an affluent consumer will pay for a game which they spot on the shelves while browsing. Beyond that level, you’re into the realms of purchases which are serious money […] and once you hit fifty pounds consumers are going to be asking very tough questions about the actual value of the entertainment experience they’re buying.” Tough questions, GameIndsutry says, that are as of yet unanswered by today’s developers. I happen to agree.

But it’s worth it, vendors say. “In some cases, this almost rings true – but in the vast majority of Xbox 360 games currently lining shelves at retail, these arguments are hollow and blatantly false. Many publishers in the last nine months have released games simultaneously on Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and PC, with the Xbox 360 version costing significantly more than its peers – and it has been blatantly apparent to even the least technical of gamers that the Xbox 360 version is a tarted-up port of the PS2 version. By no means does the gameplay experience or the development cost justify the price premium.”

I believe I’ll be paying $50 (and below?) in the next few months, roughly $30 a pop for my DS, and I’ll be content doing so. But maybe that’s still too high, or is it not enough? How much game do you think you should get for $50, $60, $70? What say you, Infendo?