Double surprise! Sony hikes Aussie PS4 prices



blog In case you are the type of Australian consumer who still retained some confidence that multinational corporations like Sony and Microsoft have Australians’ best interests at heart and want to treat us equally with our cousins in the US, think again. Following on from the news this morning that Microsoft would deliver a modest price increase on its Xbox One console to Australians compared with the same hardware in the US, Sony this afternoon confirmed the local pricing on its PlayStation 4 console. According to a Sony spokesperson:

“The local Australian pricing is $549.00 RRP.”

Internationally, Sony has priced the PlayStation 4 at US$399 in the US (or US$100 less than Microsoft’s Xbox One console. This translates to AU$423, meaning Sony has slapped a markup of AU$126 on the PlayStation 4 launch in Australia, or about 30 percent (not counting US sales taxes, which can vary between states — the Australian prices are likely to contain GST). The move still makes the PlayStation 4 cheaper than the Xbox One in Australia — but less cheaper than it is in the US, if that makes sense. Given that the PlayStation 3 was historically more expensive than the Xbox 360, the move will likely be viewed as something of a levelling of the playing field between the two consoles.

The publication of our previous article on the Xbox One pricing has sparked a significant debate on the pricing of these consoles in Australia. Most people appear to feel that the price rises aren’t significant compared with what Australia has seen in the past, and that a $50 to $100 markup is pretty much expected. I agree with this. However, I would also say that neither Sony nor Microsoft have done enough to justify these increases. ‘Good enough’, or ‘we can put up with this’ isn’t the price parity Australia deserves for products this popular.

Both companies have massive existing distribution outlets in Australia through retail suppliers such as EB Games, and would also be capable of selling these consoles directly as Apple does so successfully with its online store. Given the the number of gaming consoles bought in Australia — it usually ranges into the millions — it’s hard to argue that there’s not enough scale in Australia for this type of product to achieve price parity.

If you’re interested in Microsoft’s thoughts on this issue, I recommend you read my article about the appearance of Microsoft Australia chief Pip Marlow in front of the the Federal Parliament’s IT price hike inquiry. Marlow didn’t really give much detail to justify Microsoft’s Australian pricing behaviour.

Image credit: Sony


    • Why aren’t you complying with my media attempt to manufacture outrage at this modest price increase?

      Stop thinking for yourself, dammit, and just swallow what the media tells you. Don’t you know your role in this circus? Consume and be silent!

      • This is an outrage! Now I’ll have to continue playing games on my brand new PC gaming rig, just like I planned to anyway!

      • @ Renai

        Because its a console, nobody really cares about consoles

        All the best games require a PC to play, as they allow customisation by end users and have a life span of decades :)

        Consoles are bad

        PC’s are good

        The best console I ever had was my Atari :) sitting in my jimmity jams playing space invaders; good times!

        • “nobody really cares about consoles”


          *goes back to playing Dark Souls PvP on my PS3*

          *I do also own Dark Souls on PC, but the PvP community is nonexistant*

        • I have been a PC gamer for years. I love my PC. I think it is a better gaming machine than a console.

          But I am not one of these Elitists who think that all consoles are crap. The only reason I don’t have an Xbox360 or PS3 or even a wii is because I have kids and they are bloody expensive.

          There are some absolutely brilliant games on console that will never see PC. (Dammit)
          The recent “Last of Us” for PS3 is a perfect example. If I had the spare change I would have bought the console for that game. The PS3 for crying out loud. Its about to end life and I am considering buying it for one game. I bought the PS2 for one game. GTA3.

          Console gaming has its place. PC gaming has its place. The 2 don’t need to come into conflict.

          Altho I do wish people would stop making rash statements like FPS on PC is dead. That’s just stupid, everyone knows FPS on a console is like running a race with a pack of bricks on your back. You can do it, but why the hell would you. If consoles ever truly want to be king of FPS, they need to support keyboard and mouse controllers.

          Anyway, OT, yes why are we being charge more MS and Sony. Stop it dammit. And while you are there, EA, Activision, and all the other big name publishers, stop charging us a premium as well. If the game is $59.99US in the US store why the hell is it $79.99US in the AU store.


  1. So if Microsoft are removing a key feature of their Xbox One, TV, will Sony remove a key feature of their PS4, Gaming?

    Hmm… makes you think…

  2. The umm plastic that gets imported to Australia needs to be umm sprayed for insects because of Australian strict policies… Yes I think that will cover it! *excellent*

    • I was thinking it was because of the power plugs. Those things dont change themselves, you know…

  3. Its hard to feel sorry for companies that do this.

    But one factor beyond GST that could effect these companies is the ACCC warranty requirements.

    The regulation in this area is pretty much unique to australia, and running an online store wouldn’t change that, nor would the volume of sales.

  4. I wonder if they geo-locked, will we be able to buy them on ebay from HK and use them here ?

    • Apparently someone on reddit emailed Sony about this and they said it was not geoblocked therefore you could buy it from amazon cheaper. Of course you’ll need to buy a power adapter

  5. It’s cheap than Europe and the UK though, so they are fucking over everyone outside the US.

  6. I might just leave this linky here

    $399 on the Amazon store, about $424 with 2 – 5 day shipping…though it all might cost a bit more than that with currency conversion…makes you wonder why you would bother buying it in a brick and mortar store, games also appear to be cheaper online overseas to.

    Also, does not appear to be region locking on the PS4, so there is another strike against buying games locally.

    In other words, brick and mortar shops are doing a good job at putting themselves out of business.

    • Its not the brick and mortar shops putting themselves out of business the manufacturers and international distributors.

  7. Isn’t the main draw of these (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) consoles the exclusives? Unless something amazing, some PS4 or XBone exclusive, comes along, I’m not interested.

    On the off-chance one of the big budget cross-platform releases isn’t on Steam… you know, I’ll probably just do without. But if it’s something amazing that they for some reason refuse to release on PC… I guess I’m leaning towards getting the PS4, for many of the reasons given in the article, but also because that’s the way all of my friends lean.

    To be honest though, for me, money isn’t really an issue, having the time in the day is a far greater concern. But it does feel off when we get smacked with a significant price-hike for no other reason than we live in Australia. We aren’t ALL making big bucks on the mines, Sony/Microsoft/Adobe/Apple.

  8. Well given you’re comparing one with sales tax and one without, it seems hardly a fair comparison.
    I calculated roughly a $45 mark up here. Should be $499 but Sony always seem to mark it up here.

    • $549/110% = $499.09
      $399 US = $422.54 AU (currently, acc. to Google)
      Markup = $499.09-$422.54 = 76.55
      Markup% = $76.55/$422.54 = 18.1%

      Still very significant.

      Doing it with the XBone:

      $599/110% = $544.55
      $499.99 US = $529.48 AU (currently, acc. to Google)
      Markup = $544.55-$529.48 = $15.07
      Markup% = $15.07/$529.48 = 2.85%

      So Microsoft’s Australian pricing is very close to their US pricing, if you omit GST. So Microsoft is fairer than Sony, to Australians.
      Having said that, you’d still pay more for, it SEEMS, an inferior offering if you get an XBone instead of a PS4.

      • Except Microsoft is selling a console that will be missing its big head features (according to the presentations anyway).

  9. What I don’t get about the pricing – I can order one from overseas, plus a power adaptor, and still land it here cheaper than they can (in fact my last PS3 came from Hong Kong).

    They must have some pretty bad negotiators if “the public” can get better shipping deals than they can.

    That aside, it looks great, and seems much better value for money than the XBox One. I also like how Sony didn’t lock down second hand games and allow “off the net” gaming…

    • I agree with the argument above regarding the unique australian expense of statutory guarantee obligations.

      From memory the wording is similar to – a product must be fit for purpose for a reasonable amount of time.

      That means that if another RRoD type event occurs, significant cost may be incurred by Sony or Microsoft. Also given the increasing product life cycles with each generation of console, what is considered a “reasonable amount of time” for warranty purposes is also likley to increase.

  10. I don’t understand how anyone can be surprised that Australia is again forced to bend over and pay more. This happens time and time again and why people are shopping online. Al the major stores have made their money buying cheap from overseas and jacking up the prices. People like Dick Smith, who bragged in his ads about importing directly.

    Now they complain about the average aussie doing the same thing. Well boo hoo. Time to follow Tinman_au and import a PS4 or XBox.

  11. Hahaha, here we go:

    “•An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

    •Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.”

    • I wouldn’t really trust them now they’ve let the cat out of the bag. It’s obviously the way they want to go, and seems to be basically a “switch flip” on the back end to change, so no doubt they’ll get the changes in incrementally at a future date (as they’ve done with many windows changes).

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