Back in January, we brought a story about EB Games Canada quietly raising prices on almost all of their new releases from $60 to upwards of $70 whether they were on current or last-gen consoles. Last month, Microsoft quietly announced that the price of Xbox One games would increase to $65 each. Now, Sony has announced that the price of the PS4 console in Canada will increase along with the price of games and peripherals.
In a statement released last Friday, Sony announced that the price of the PlayStation 4 console in Canada would increase from $399 to $449. The DualShock 4 controller and PlayStation Camera will get a $5 price increase from $59.99 to $64.99. And PS4 games will sell with an MSRP for up to $69.99. The original Canadian prices are the same as the current US prices.
Sony chalked up the new prices to “changes in the market environment.” The only real change in the market environment was the value of the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar. On the PS4’s launch, the Canadian dollar was at $0.95811. On Friday, the CAD ended the day at $0.90070 which represents a value decrease of over five cents. So at the start of this generation, Canadians were spending $57.48 USD and $54.03 on Friday. At $69.99 CAD, that’s now $63.04 USD which likely means that smuggling games across the border is about to get popular.
Interestingly, this does almost negate one of the PS4’s big competitive advantages over the Xbox One. The PS4’s $100 price advantage over the XB1 is one of the biggest reason’s for the sales gap between the two consoles. While that hasn’t changed in America (which is the biggest single market), in Canada, the advantage has shrunk considerably. Between this price change and Titanfall’s release, the Canadian sales gap is going to close considerably over the next few months.
So it looks like EB Games wasn’t doing their own greedy thing as a result of the devalued Canadian dollar. Okay, it sort of was because they preempted the official price increases. After a long while of not having to worry about regional pricing, it looks like Canadians will once again be subjected to regional pricing that makes the price higher than neighbouring America.
And here I was waiting for a price drop to get into this generation and then the opposite happens.
Source: Financial Post