Gaming consoles, hardware and PC software have been around a few years, in fact it’s now over 20 years since I got my first PC and about 25 since I got my first gaming console.
Ever since day one the poor folks in Australia have been paying substantially higher for their software and gaming experiences than pretty much everyone else in the world but that may finally be about to change as the slow wheels of government have finally ticked over and they have now started to investigate why they are being charged an Australian tax.
As a blinding obvious example to keep you in the loop, it will cost me R459 to pre-order Diablo 3 from BT Games and yet that same game made in China (which is closer to Australia than South Africa) will cost AUD$88 (R713) at EB Games
And there is no excuse for this, the government isn’t plastering on any higher taxes than our government is (that I’m aware off) and the tax rate in Australia is actually 4% less on retail goods (10% GST compared to our 14% VAT)
And it’s not just EB Games that fleeces it’s customers, in my time I lived there it took me a whopping 4 months to realise that everyone is ripping the ring and to rather just import games instead and risk them being picked up by customs.
But this insanity may be about to end with the government starting an investigation later this year, by which time I suspect the blatant price collusion would have started to fall apart and the prices would have started to come down.
But for now, our software prices are yet another reason why it’s better to live in South Africa rather than Australia.