Five Questions You Should Never Have To Ask In 2016

Ah the internet, never will you find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, to quote a certain movie. Everyone has an opinion and are lot of them are just plain wrong, so going forward here is your handy cut-out-and-keep (or bookmark) guide to why things are they way they are in the videogames.

1: Why prices on Xbox and PlayStation digital stores are higher than those on the High Street

At present, the majority of videogames are purchased from brick and mortar stores or through online retailers. Publishers need to keep GAME, Amazon, Gamestop and other retailers onside, because if they stopped stocking their products or went out of business, the publishers could very well find themselves struggling financially. This means Ubisoft, EA and all the rest can’t undercut retail prices on digital stores, especially as many of those retailers rely heavily on games being traded in, which you cannot do with digital copies.

Of course, it’s a win-win situation for the publishers at the moment, as they either make money from a retail sale or they can make a little bit more online at the full RRP. The only way this will change is when the majority of games are sold digitally – like PC games on Steam – and the high street’s hold on publishers is relinquished, but with the high prices online, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation.

Don’t expect those crazy RRPs on the PlayStation Store to change any time soon.

2: Why the prices on the UK and EU PlayStation Store higher than those the United States

The first part of this is easy to explain, the US PlayStation Store does not include tax, ours does, and this instantly adds 20% to the price of the game. When the Americans go to the checkout on their PSN store, that’s when their sales tax is added in. It’s a hidden cost over there, albeit a lower one.

The second reason is a little more complicated and involves the currency exchange rates. Whilst relatively stable they do fluctuate from time to time, and part of the problem for consumers is that large companies will not transfer small amounts of cash between currencies. You might pay £30 for an EA game in September, but if EA decide to convert that £30 into their home currency of dollars, they will only do so when they’re working with substantial sums of money.

The exchange rate will change during that period of time, and if it goes the wrong way then EA will be losing money through no fault of their own. Thus a ‘buffer’ is added in to the price which should cover any losses due to currency fluctuations. EA are a business, and they would be negligent if they did not prove to their investors and shareholders that they are removing as many risks as possible.

Your EU and UK games cost more due to tax, currency conversion costs, and currency fluctuations, and not because publishers are trying to scam you.

3: Why you have to pay for PS2 Classics on PS4

Sony have announced that certain PlayStation 2 games will be playable on PlayStation 4 and whilst most have welcomed the opportunity, the internet has given a voice to those who think the games should be free as the have purchased them already on PlayStation 2 or as a PS2 Classic on PlayStation 3.

The first question that needs asking is where does this sense of entitlement come from? The back cover of Manhunt doesn’t have a little box-out with “You can play this on any PlayStation, including ones that have not been invented yet”. The games purchased for PlayStation 2 are for the PlayStation 2 console, nothing more. Sony, and indeed the publishers of any of the many PlayStation 2 games, are under no obligation to get these games working on PlayStation 4.

Making PlayStation 2 games work on PlayStation 4 takes time and money, especially as Sony have added new features including trophy support. That money has to come from somewhere, and as we have already established, the original game which you bought did not include support for future consoles. Playing PS2 games on PS4 is a nice feature, but certainly not one demanded by a huge number of people, so Sony have decided not to pay for this one out of their own pockets.

Of course, there are plenty of examples where companies have covered this cost, as a gesture of goodwill. A number of developers on PlayStation – admittedly usually indie devs – offer their games with Cross-Buy, where you can buy the game once and have access across any combination of PS4, PS3 and PS Vita.

More recently, Microsoft introduced free backward compatibility on Xbox One for a growing range of Xbox 360 titles. It’s a lovely, and no doubt quite costly gesture, but it also fits with their need to play catch-up in terms of console sales, and letting people keep and continue to play some of their existing games collection on a newer console is a great PR move.

PlayStation 4 is a different format to PlayStation 2, just as DVD is a different format to Blu Ray. You don’t get free upgrades from DVD to Blu-ray for movies, do you?

4: Why a two year old PC game which you can pick up on Steam for £3.99 costs £30 when it comes to Xbox One

Once again, it’s a case of following the money. It may come as a shock to you, but time does not negate development costs, unless you are Doctor Who.

Converting a game from PC to console or from one console to another costs money. While the price of a game will fall over time, the brand new version needs a team of developers to handle the port, needs to go through rounds of Q&A both internally and with the console manufacturer, and needs all of the certification paperwork to be filed and so on.

Converting a hit PC game to consoles costs money, so whilst the price of the PC version will fall over time, the brand new console version is created over a period of time by developers who need to be paid, thus the higher price.

5: Why DLC content does not mean parts are cut from games

First let’s acknowledge that in the past this may have been true, especially when DLC was in its infancy. Asura’s Wrath, which had the full end of the game locked away behind a paywall, and Assassin’s Creed 2, which had two chapters ripped from the middle of the game, are obvious examples.

However these days, the main game and the DLC that follows are very separate, and work often doesn’t even start until after the full game has shipped. In a fairly extreme example, Fallout 4 will have DLC, but even though you could buy a season pass at launch, Bethesda publicly stated they did not yet know what it would include.

The perceived problem of content being ‘cut’ from a game occurs when DLC development occurs in tandem with the full game, or when companies announce what the DLC will be before the game’s actual release. Day One DLC regularly brings cries of “why wasn’t this included in the full game?” and the answer is simple; economics.

Let’s say you are hungry and pop in to a newsagent. You buy a Mars Bar and pay for your purchase. Do you then demand a Twix because it’s produced by the same company and popped out of the factory on the same day? Of course not, the Twix and Mars bar have been produced by different teams, with different budgets and different sales projections. Now replace the Mars bar with your favourite game and Twix with DLC. That.

You also have to remember that like films, video games are subject to thorough editing and some ideas get dropped purely because they cannot be made to work within the time and budget assigned for the game. Some of these ideas may end up as DLC, but they were cut for timing or story issues, rather than to make a quick buck down the line.

Bonus Question: Why Deadpool on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One costs £45 when it has not been enhanced in any way

Because any old tat will do when there’s a movie on the way…


  1. Why do they keep rereleasing games from PS3/360 & then call them remastered editions?

    Well maybe because just buy chance some people who just came from 360/PS3 never had the opportunity to play them & missed now this is their chance to play them again. Or maybe just maybe I’m sad enough to want to replay the game again on PS4.

    Why isn’t PS4 able to play PS3 games?

    Because Sony have a thing called PS Now, see no one really uses it but it’s Sony, they just try to do things for the players. Also who buys a console to play PS3 games on it, I mean dude just keep your PS3 if you want to play PS3 games

    • The answer to your second question also has a lot to do with the architectural differences between PS3 and PS4. The asymmetrical nature of the Cell CPU and the manner in which developers often turned to the smaller SPEs for graphics processing make trying to adapt this for the PS4’s more straightforward CPU architecture nigh on impossible.

      The Xbox 360 architecture lends itself much better to emulation, but even then, we’re seeing the Xbox One can sometimes struggle with match the native performance.

  2. I believe Deadpool is £30 in Game at the moment (which is a sale price, but still) if I recall correctly from when I popped in yesterday. Didn’t know it wasn’t enhanced in any way though. Glad I didn’t consider buying it now!

    Decent game, but don’t need to buy again if it is no different from the one I already own! :O

  3. None of these really bother me tbh.

    1. I don’t buy digital and never will.
    2. I never check the US store. What I don’t know can’t hurt me.
    3. I don’t want to play PS2 Classics.
    4. If I think it’s too much, I’ll wait til the price drops.
    5. I rarely buy DLC.

    I guess it is kind of annoying when they release the best weapons or outfits as DLC.

    • Bonus Question… Because Deadpool is awesome.

      • And is one of the few people to bitch slap Wolverine and get away with it! He once murdered the entire Marvel Universe in his totally not biased book called Deadpool kills the Marvel Universe that was written by Deadpool, editied by Deadpool, Published by Deadpool.

        Downside to Deadpool’s upcoming film is the lack of voices but i think Ryan Reynolds said that Fox were already taking a risk thus want to see if it works before he pushes for dead pool’s internal voices.

        I hope they get Nolan North to do Deadpool’s voices in the second film.

    • “What I don’t know can’t hurt me”

      That sound likes an awesome line to a new superhero parody.

  4. 6. Where is the 2 part PS4 exclusives articles for 2016 to match the xb1 articles? Has the cheque got lost in the post?

    Calling yourselves Sixth Axis implies PlayStation, yet it’s now nearly weeks since you posted the 2 part XB1 exclusives stories.. Are the posts timed exclusives?? Are there far too many great PS4 games coming and its taking longer than planned?

    • Oh for fuck’s sake! This is getting bloody annoying now! Just stop with the fanboy BS! Look at the damn site for the damn articles. Chances are, there wasn’t enough to justify a damn 2 part article. Not because MS fucking bribed TSA, a very fucking small site in their view. Just stop it. STOP IT!

      TSA was a Playstation centric site during it’s birth then it branched out and reports on all platforms. Just stop with the “TSA is paid by MS shills.” “MS Shills are out in force.” “People are morons” crap! JUST STOP IT! ARGGGH!

      • Well said. Sweary and angry. Perfect. :)

      • I could understand if this was IGN or Eurogamer where they deliberately post clickbait articles but TSA at least try to be objective.

    • This was down to ease of categorisation. The Xbox One had:

      – Ones to Watch in 2016: Xbox One Exclusives, Part One
      – Ones to Watch in 2016: Xbox One Exclusives, Part Two

      The PlayStation 4 had:

      – Ones to Watch in 2016: PlayStation 4 Third Party Exclusives
      – Ones to Watch in 2016: PlayStation 4 First Party Exclusives

      Oh, and then there’s also “PlayStation Indie Games” and the PS VR-centric “Virtual Reality, Part Two”. The Xbox didn’t really have comparable articles.

      Consider this your one and only warning to either cut the baseless accusations of bribery and argumentative rhetoric or be banned.

      • Cheers, Tef. Was just about to type something in along these lines as the PlayStation stuff had the first and third party articles.

        Yay to the ban hammer looming. Finally.

      • You can’t ban him/her! Who would be our resident idiot?!

      • Hey! I thought i was the resident idiot! Guess i need to start accusing people of being shills for the teddy bears and part of a conspiracy to overthrow the human race. :P

      • *raises hand*

  5. Nice article, very enlightening and all common sense too. What’s happened with Star Wars Battlefront though? It’s being promoted at a ‘new lower price’ of £28 on the store but the retailets are still holding the £40ish price tag.

    • Star Wars was on sale for a week or two over Xmas cos Force Awakens. It will go back to full price any day tho.

      “Special price valid from 27-12-2015 to 00:00am GMT 08-01-2016”

      • No, it was on sale before christmas, and then even more on sale afterwards, wasn’t it?

        Presumably once everyone saw the film and realised we didn’t really need the same story told again, everyone realised we don’t really need even more shooters, especially with limited maps and no single player, and so they’re desperately trying to make more money as quickly as they can.

        And yes, I wasn’t impressed by the film. Even with a large “pretend IMAX” screen and ridiculous Atmos sound. I guess the little robot was cute though.

      • Yes, I didn’t cut and paste the pre Christmas sale info as well, they announced on about Dec 18th it would be on sale for about three weeks as a special. As I said previously, reverts back to £49.99 on Friday.

      • Got it, thanks for clarifying.

      • Finally MrYd, someone else who didn’t think TFA was all that. Everybody’s making a huge fuss about it but I just don’t get it. I liked the first half an hour or so but after that something just didn’t feel right. Take away the Millenium Falcon and the Lightsabres and its just like every other bland action/fantasy/remake movie these days. Soulless. I was going to say John Carter but that was a much better movie than TFA. I just didn’t feel that spark that the original movies (and even the prequel trilogy) had. I felt like I’d seen it all before and it didn’t feel like a true StarWars movie for me. It’s watchable but it’s my least favourite out of the VII episodes by far.

      • I haven’t seen TFA. No intention of seeing it either.

  6. (rant begins) For once I’d like to see the word entitlement used right. A bunch of douches on Twitter were complaining about the people complaining abut the PSN outage, essentially asking what gives them the entitlement. Well to clear that up, people do this novel little thing called paying for a service, which strangely enough gives them a right to complain about the product they’re receiving. It’s something to do with consumer rights. Who’d have thought it, eh? (rant ends)

    I’m not sure the PS2 thing is entitlement. Fact is, the competition does it a different way where you don’t have to pay for the game again. Even in the old days it was done in a pretty straight forward fashion. So therefore everyone is inclined to think things can be done better, mainly because they are being/have been done better (is that unfair?). Not one PS2 game says you can play it on a PS4, but that doesn’t mean Sony aren’t claiming you can play certain PS2 games on the PS4.

    • You’re right. It should have read “sense of entitlement”, and so now it does.

      • The analogy of DVDs and BluRays is also quite bad.

        I expect to be able to play DVDs on a BluRay player. For that matter, I expect to be able to play audio CDs on it. Is that a sense of entitlement? No, because I don’t think of suing a company for failing to provide that service; I look elsewhere instead. Of course, in this case, you can’t, because Sony has a monopoly on the PlayStation format.

        Should I be angry that the PS4 will not accept PS2 discs even though it might be able to run them? No. That’s just life. Disappointed? More appropriate. I have stacks of PS2 games I haven’t been able to play for years, and I also have no spare money. I don’t see why I should be thrilled that Sony have provided yet another way for people to spend £15 or whatever it is on re-buying their old games.

        “Entitlement” is just an insulting buzzword, a distraction.

    • I think if the sales were reversed then MS would be charging for 360 bc and Sony would be offering it for free. When you are the market leader you can afford to be a little cheeky. Amd when you’re not you need to try harder to entice people to your product.

  7. Nice common-sense article, expect arguments. :)

  8. but you don’t have to pay extra to play a DVD on a Bluray player.

    i get the bit about it not just being emulated on PS4, with extra stuff like rendering in higher resolution and trophies.

    but they didn’t do that when they did bc on PS3.
    that was straight up emulation, no added extras.

    but could we use our own discs?
    could we fuck.

    it was especially annoying after the way they fucked over europe by delaying the ps3 here to give them time to strip out the chips that provided hardware bc.

    so we paid, a lot, more, and got less.

    but the that’s SOP for europe as far as sony are concerned.

    store prices are higher because of retail?
    ok, i get that they can’t afford to piss of the retailers.

    but you really think that once they have no competition they’ll start lowering their prices?
    well, i have this bridge for sale.

    i mostly agree with the bit about comparing the price of PC and console games, i mean there’s stricter QA/QC stuff, as in there is any, not that that guarantees a working game, and then the console makers get a cut.

    that said, angry birds for 30 quid, is beyond a joke.

    maybe most of the time launch DLC isn’t stuff cut from the game, but there have been instances where it clearly was.
    the most notable being Arkham City.
    where, to quote Rocksteady, “10% of the campaign” was cut out.
    and it was done at such a late stage that it caused problems with the “dlc”

    and lately, though the dlc may be developed separate from the main game, the main game is suffering because they’re putting more resources into the dlc than the main game.

    it’s getting to the point where games are more a platform for dlc than products in their own right.
    look at battlefront, and destiny for example.

    as for the regional pricing issue.
    no, don’t buy that.
    maybe in the 70s or 80s currency exchange would be like that but this is 2016.
    it’s not like they have to take a sack full of money down the bureau de change.
    it’s all digital nowdays.
    i doubt they actually have much actual cash.
    if they did wait to exchange the money, they’ll wait for a more favourable exchange rate.

    and before they exchange it, where is this money kept?
    is it hidden under somebody’s mattress waiting to be laundered?
    in bits floating about the internet waiting for a computer to download onto?

    if not their main accounts, then i’d guess in the accounts of one of their local divisions.

    do these local divisions send back all but a little petty cash every day or week or whatever?
    though, if it was sony and scee we were talking about, i could understand not trusting them with any serious amounts of money.

    and let’s assume your argument is true, then, why do ubisoft games cost more in europe than the us?

    • just wanted to add.

      6: where was The Last Guardian?

      at least hopefully we won’t have to ask. ^_^

    • I have to say that although I loved my 60BG PS3, the PS2 backward compatibility was poor. I’m sure it was perfect for a lot of games but almost all of mine locked the machine up, I had to restore factory settings and wipe the HD after a year, that may not have been the crashes but in my mind they contributed.

      I had a uni mate who worked at Sony Liverpool testing PS1 BC, I think it was during the summer of 2005 or maybe 2006? He had to rinse such shitty games as My Little Pony and Spiceworld to death and log bugs. There weren’t many because the PS1 emulator had plenty of power to play with and apparently the original console has always been easy to emulate anyway. The PS2 had that emotion chip so Sony invested a huge in play testing and bug fixing games to provide a good emulation of the chip, ultimately they didn’t do a great job but I suppose they must’ve spent a stack of money so they packed it in and withdrew the feature. Probably for the best, the PS3 ended up doing such an impressive breadth of stuff, it was a monster.

      I totally understand your region pricing anger, I get it too. I think someone here on TSA has said Scandinavian countries suffer a lot more than us in the UK, I can only assume the price of a pint in Denmark and perceived scaling expendable income in some way influences the greedy boardroom guys pricing recommendations. The problem is someone is paying that high price and I guess those of us used to lower prices in the northwest of the EU think we’re being ripped off. I think our best response is to buy at retail, save our money that way and support good indie devs by spending it on their cheap games that don’t go retail.

    • > as for the regional pricing issue.
      > no, don’t buy that.

      Sorry its true. It’s how big business move money about. The same applies for the commodity trader I work for, accounts move money as and when they need to. They dont just shift about asap.

      >>maybe in the 70s or 80s currency exchange would be like that but this is 2016.
      it’s not like they have to take a sack full of money down the bureau de change.
      it’s all digital nowdays.

      Yes it is. Still doesn’t stop it costing money! Every time you use your credit card, the store gets charged 50p. Digital <> Cheap.

      >i doubt they actually have much actual cash.

      Doesn’t take many £50 games to be sold before the money piles up!

      >if they did wait to exchange the money, they’ll wait for a more favourable exchange rate.

      Oh yes that will almost certainly happen. But it’s a gamble, exchange rates may bit shite for months.

      >and before they exchange it, where is this money kept?
      >is it hidden under somebody’s mattress waiting to be laundered?
      >in bits floating about the internet waiting for a computer to download onto?

      No of course not, it will be the regional account of whatever company – EA UK for example. Then they transfer whatever over to EA head office.

      > if not their main accounts, then i’d guess in the accounts of one of their local divisions.

      Well guessed.

      >do these local divisions send back all but a little petty cash every day or week or whatever?

      EA UK will consist of PR people and not much else. They don’t need they £5 million generated by sales of games over xmas in the UK, that money goes to shareholders of EA. Who are based in the US. Hence the money gets moved.

      >and let’s assume your argument is true, then, why do ubisoft games cost more in europe than the us?

      Er? See point 2? :P

  9. Nice wee article but will still rant on DLC look at Batman with broken Multiplayer and Warner Bros said the next DLC (Robin) will fix that and it wasn’t free.
    Also the Resident Evil 5 DLC shambles where the disc had ‘Versus’ MP locked until a DLC for that to become unlock….. bullshit that and the PLatinum trophy was locked due to some through Versus mode! The Devs have already completed the game 100% and (The Big Bosses) decided to get greedy and cut some out as a DLC.
    I hate season Pass. Does anyone remember Online Pass from EA on PS3?

    • I’m pretty sure Warner bros even said the game breaking bugs in Arkham Origins wouldn’t be fixed because the devs were doing dlc instead. I still think EA only scrapped online passes because of MS’s always online drm and expected Sony to follow suit.

      • Yep, that was exactly it – They came out & blatantly said that they wouldn’t be fixing stuff as the team was working on DLC. For a broken game.

        Genius (but also pretty fecking greedy!).

        Have to admit to not knowing what Del refers to with Resi 5 though? Pretty sure I got the plat for that & never even saw Versus DLC?

      • Basically, RE5’s MP was locked behind DLC despite it being on the disc and when people purchased the DLC, it was revealed that the DLC was content ripped out of the game due to it being an unlock key.

    • Also, concerning dlc,what about when the company goes bust. For example thq, started playing space marines multi-player with avengerr last week and because you need an online pass to get past level 5 I’m stuck with shitty weapons & armour through no fault of my own. Plus the extra dlc levels are no longer on the store so it’s impossible to 100% the game.

      • Yep, capping what is a fully-paid-for game is not on. Damn online passes were just a way to milk more money from the game being sold on. Thankfully we’ve seen the end of those dreadful things this gen.

        Talking of DLC shambles I remember nabbing Uncharted 3 via PS+ only to find the MP with a level cap, and the co-op as a chargable add-on. Part of ND’s ‘cannabilise our most successful games for extra money’ program I know, but still ridiculous.

  10. In regards to no.1, why is it that Europe charges more for digital as opposed to retail,yet the Usa store digital prices are the same as retail???
    And one other question, why in Europe, are we charged more for a digital game on ps4 than what we’re charged on ps3, when, again on usa store they’re always the same price????

    • First question: In the US, the RRP of the game is usually what it sells at in the stores, so the prices are the same. Over here, the RRP of most games are £50 – £55, but every store discounts them on day one (well, most, GAME and HMV dont!), places like Amazon and ShopTo eat in to their profit margin by reducing the price of the game to £45 – £49. American stores rarely do that.

      Second question: PS4 games cost more than PS3 games cos they’re better :P Im not sure about the RRP of PS3 and PS4 games in the states, I would assume the PS4 is higher but I’ll have a look and see if I can find an explanation for you :)

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