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.