360 Games On Demand Pricing Isn't Exactly Consistent

Did you think that when Microsoft's Games on Demand service launched, it'd be an egalitarian wonderland where every game would be the same price around the world? Well sorry. That's not the case.

The service (well, the listing for it; you can't download the games yet) is popping up all over the world for those signed up to Microsoft's new dashboard preview, and along with the game listings are game prices. Not every game seems to have turned up yet, but most have.

Some of them are fine. They're exactly what you'd pay at retail for the game, and although you could say that's still a rip-off (since your digital product lacks a box and printed manual), that's how digital delivery rolls these days. Sorry.

Most games are divided between two main price points.

$20

Mass Effect
Need for Speed
Sonic the Hedgehog
Viva Pinata

$30

Lego Star Wars
Oblivion
Call of Duty 2
BioShock
Assassin's Creed

But others? Others are ridiculous, especially when you compare prices across different regions. Take poor Australia, for example. In Australia, if you want to buy Mass Effect from the safety of your couch, it'll cost you 6000 Microsoft Points.

6000.

The game retails in stores for AUD$30-50, but on Games on Demand, that's AUD$99. Over twice the price. It's a similar story with Call of Duty 2; in the US, it's 2400 MSP, but in New Zealand, it's 4400 MSP.

Now, before you go bananas, the Games on Demand service doesn't officially go live until August 11. So there's a chance these might be placeholder prices (or in the case of the previously-unannounced BioShock, placeholder...games?). Then again, they might not be.

We've got some questions in with Microsoft about how permanent these listings and prices are, and will update if we hear back from them.

In the meantime, you can consult the GAF thread below, which is being constantly updated with prices from around the world.

[Gowans007 @ NeoGAF]