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The EU is gunning for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft as it begins a crack down on rip-off Britain.

The European Commission believes companies are ripping off UK gamers by charging more for game consoles and other consumer electronic goods than in the rest of Europe and in the US and Japan.

This is nothing new of course. British gamers have been paying more for their games and consoles than the rest of the world for years. However, the EU is banking on a new naming and shaming policy, which it hopes will shake things up a bit.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, the British launch price for the 60GB PlayStation 3, which was £425, was 27 per cent more than in the U.S. and 68 per cent more than Japan.

The price was also higher than the £399 charged in France and Germany and the £397 in Australia. As we all know though, these prices have come down. has published some research conducted in October 2007 and come up with some average games console prices across a number of territories. Their results show that an Xbox 360 Premium was £269.66 in the UK, £250.53 in France, £178.63 in New York and £161.73 in Japan. has also revealed the average prices for the Wii and the 60GB PS3, which is nearing extinction as Sony phases it out. The research shows how much more UK gamers have to fork out for their game consoles compared with the rest of the world. According to, England is the second most expensive country compared to the international average.

Console manufacturers have repeatedly answered questions over higher UK prices by blaming Government imposed tax. It remains to be seen, however, if the EU's latest initiative will do anything to bring video game console prices down in the UK.

A senior Commission official told the Daily Mail newspaper: "We are screening the markets, taking into account levels of complaints about prices, pricing patterns across Europe and customer satisfaction. We are looking for the kind of retail patterns which raise questions.

"Just exposing the real price of certain goods in different parts of the EU can have the desired effect if undue markups are being placed on items."

And if found guilty of price rigging, companies could receive fines equal to 10 per cent of their turnover. That could mean big bucks for the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

What do you think? Are UK gamers being unfairly ripped off? Let us know in the comments section below.

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User Comments

jklevwjk's Avatar
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If the companys get fined whos gonna get the money? the same government that makes us pay tax ontop of tax? i want to see some of that 10%
Posted 17:24 on 16 July 2008
hairyfbi's Avatar
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about time to we have always been ripped of rip of Briton is the right name for this country
Posted 00:52 on 31 January 2008
UK Gamer's Avatar
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UK Gamer

@Finnish gamer
while it might be currently cheaper in the UK, when the PS3 was launched in europe the pound was much strongerthan it currently is, about 1.7 euros to the pound which means that then £425 was over €700. It simply shows that all countries in europe are ripped off.
Posted 23:27 on 30 January 2008
dbigalow1's Avatar
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I want to know why we pay so much espeacially as the pound is so strong against the dollar - if it costs 1199usd to buy a macbook air in the US why do we get charged £1199 in the uk surely it should be nearer the £600 to 700 area. The same with fuel if oil costs 100usd per barrel how comes the strength of the pound has not reduced the cost of fuel at the pumps in the UK?
Posted 19:16 on 30 January 2008
J's Avatar
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I payed 470 POUNDS for my Ps3
Posted 16:58 on 30 January 2008
J's Avatar
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EU always gets ripped off, but only UK is willing to do something about it.
Posted 16:58 on 30 January 2008
NL Gamer's Avatar
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NL Gamer

correction england might not get the worst deal after all. I payed € 599 and it looks like scandinavia takes the crown.
Posted 16:01 on 30 January 2008
NL Gamer's Avatar
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NL Gamer

Europe in general gets the short end compared to Japan and the US, but I agree that the UK gets the worst deal of all. It would be nice if people could actually see on their receipts how the prices are made up. How much is import tax etc. as opposed to just seeing the VAT on there.
Posted 15:59 on 30 January 2008
Andreas's Avatar
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Quit whining. the launch price for the 60 gb ps3 in denmark was 498 £!
Everything in gaming in denmark is extremely expensive
Posted 15:52 on 30 January 2008
Finnish gamer's Avatar
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Finnish gamer

Oh you mean that English ppl get ripped off? well then you probably didnt know that we here in Finland price was 679€ (504.42 £(?))

Now the 40gb version is around 479€ now..
New games are around 65-69€

So you brittish gamers are already getting them quite much cheaper than we.

count the difrences your selves 1£ = 1.346105 euros
Posted 14:56 on 30 January 2008
Nick's Avatar
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Yea, this always annoys me. I am really chuffed that someone is taking a stand. £50 for a game is extortinate, as is the price for other things for consoles. In this instance, I am supporting the EU.
Posted 14:36 on 30 January 2008
YES we are!'s Avatar
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YES we are!


Posted 14:22 on 30 January 2008
Devise's Avatar
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The problem is not only limited to gaming consoles and games. So I cant see it changing, but it's good to have people fighting for this cause.
Posted 13:55 on 30 January 2008
FantasyMeister's Avatar


I've always felt ripped off, but whether it's due to price-fixing or the extra shipping, import duties and VAT involved I couldn't say.

If it turns out to be price fixing then rather than the EU Commission fining the companies I'd rather they just gave us all a choice of free game(s), which would probably work out the same as 10% of their turnover. That way the consumers who got ripped off due to price fixing get something back rather then those lovely people at the EU Commission getting a lump sum to help with their expense accounts.
Posted 13:15 on 30 January 2008
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