Extra Credits: Mailbag #3

This week, we suddenly realize that we haven't done a mailbag episode in AGES.

Recent Comments:

  • And In America Minimum wage is usually about $7.50, it varies state to state. So half what it is in australia.

    Then there is no problem. If anything, games should then cost twice as much over there as they do here, but it's only about a 50% difference or so. In other words, games are cheaper in Australia than they are stateside due to differences in minimum wage.

    You can't just base things off of minimum wage as the minimum wage is literally the minimum you're expected to live by. Living costs in Austrailia are a lot more so they'll of course have a higher minimum wage. The average wage though is most likely higher in the US and considering the AUD is actually worth more than USD the Austrailians do indeed get shafted when it comes to the costs of their games.

    You really can, though. You get paid more, in a currency that is worth more, so you pay higher prices than we do. Even if your services cost more than ours, you're paid more so it washes out.

  • There;s another explanation I can think of for the region lock that makes sense from a company standpoint, not a consumer standpoint. Game rating systems. Japan has CERO, USA has ESRB, and Europe and Australia each have their own ratings organizations. Sometimes, a European release of a game is edited from the original American version, or vice versa, due to what is allowed in those cultures, and what constitutes a rating for a certain age group. Japan and Europe are less sensitive to nudity and more sensitive to violence, while the USA is generally the opposite. Berserk on PS2 got a Japan CERO rating of 18+ (essentially AO by ESRB standards) and if it had been released would likely only get a T ESRB rating in the US. IIRC, Australia and New Zealand won't let games come into the country that have been rated with too high of an age rating.

    The region lock allows them to release a game with content edited to fit the laws of various regions, without having to worry about shops carrying the unedited versions from other countries.

  • [img:3hd4h2no]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v488/blaksol87/Persone/Thing/st1.gif[/img:3hd4h2no]
    Pricing issues aside we get a raw deal in the games market in general. Delayed realeases, sometimes months after the US. Games getting compleatly ignored by our market, the .hack series or Avalon Code for example.

    you mean the .hack//G.U series, you can buy .hack from the UK (and if your hopeful in Australia) but G.U was only ever localized in the US, for those of us stuck in PAL, we got the .hack//G.U Trilogy Anime which cuts out most of the game......ofcause if you have about AUS$400 you can get .hack//G.U and play it, 200 of it goes towards an NTSC PlayStation 2 which just adds more room and you can't import .hack saves since G.U can't seem to detect PAL saves so then if you want the bounoses you either buy .hack NTSC or you download a save game. .hack//LINK has, as far as i know, not been localized outside Japan so maybe .hack//QUANTUM will get fans into "The World:RX" and motivation to release LINK outside japan (though it probably wont make much sense in story since Hasaio shows up in it and from what i've heard, the original members of Project G.U and their project head try to create Aura and apart from the Terminal Disc, you would know Aura is still alive and normal from playing G.U)

    a couple months back on the 7PM Project (now called the Project, other aussies should know what show i'm on about) there was a report that the retail price for video games was going to drop down to $70.....ofcause i have yet to see this, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is still $100+ for the PS3 (got the Crystal Edition so mine was $140), probably just like the R18 rating and some useless politician has done something to get it delayed and now it's forgotten (R18 was delayed all thanks to the NSW elections taking place at the very last moment)

    Region locking isn't all that problematic depending on the system, when Super Smash Bothers for the Wii was delayed, a retailer in the city ordered US copies and sold them with a free copy of Freeloader that bypassed the region lock on the Wii and my PS3 seems to be region free when it comes to PS3 games, i got Orange Box and it says Region 1 on the back and the rating son the cover and disc are that of the US rating system, ofcause most of the time i buy the games from the UK, Australian PS3 clearly display they play Region 2 games and you can pick up Borderlands GotY for about AUS$30 from the UK (includes postage)

  • I did want to mention that the cute little, "Oh look at the time" gag they pulled at the end was... cute.
    To be blunt, I must honestly reflect and say that we all know the show is planned out frame to frame; so why must there be a need to a pull a fast one like that? Wouldn't it have just been much more direct to the audience to have announced that in the beginning, this mailbag would be a short "2 part" mailbag episode?

    I wasn't bothered by it. It was cute, like you said. It's a nice way to wrap up an episode.

    I don't think it's totally necessary to tell the audience what the next episode will be at the beginning of a current episode.

    Especially when it's not a true two-part topic. No need to be direct. Or that's how I feel.

  • .

    Then there is no problem. If anything, games should then cost twice as much over there as they do here, but it's only about a 50% difference or so. In other words, games are cheaper in Australia than they are stateside due to differences in minimum wage.

    You can't just base things off of minimum wage as the minimum wage is literally the minimum you're expected to live by. Living costs in Austrailia are a lot more so they'll of course have a higher minimum wage. The average wage though is most likely higher in the US and considering the AUD is actually worth more than USD the Austrailians do indeed get shafted when it comes to the costs of their games.

    You really can, though. You get paid more, in a currency that is worth more, so you pay higher prices than we do. Even if your services cost more than ours, you're paid more so it washes out.

    That is really not the way it works at all.
    The award wage or minimum wage is set based on the average cost of living, in general terms.
    So having a higher minimum wage is neatly offset by the amount we pay on other things, most notably utilities, and petrol.
    So saying that we get paid more is largely a misstatement because we don't you just need to remember that pay is based around what it costs to live, and cannot be extrapolated on a one U.S dollar to on AU dollar basis.

    Now if we were paid a higher margin of profit vs living costs, then your argument would be correct, but even if that were the case, being charged more money simply because we have a higher profit earned, well that would be like charging Bill Gates, $1000 a gallon for petrol.

    Because Australia is so remote in comparison to most of the western world, and since up until recently our economy has not really been much to write home about, we are in a position where companies either do not take us seriously as consumers, or instead place a surcharge on anything we buy, this is true of many more industries than simply the gaming.
    I would like to hope that it will change, but it just does not seem likely since we are still invested in the global market and people will continue to buy things they want.

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