Are There Too Many Game Deals?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Are There Too Many Game Deals?

I have to admit, I spent much of the Christmas weekend perusing the various deals that came up on Xbox 360, and considering the idea that the Xbox One's promotional price was about to expire with the coming weekend. But a greater concept also hit me, and I got to wondering. Are there too many game deals out there? Are we frantically hunting down the best prices and not getting much for the effort? The answer, oddly, isn't very definitive either way.

So while I was perusing all those Xbox 360 deals, and wondering when some interesting games were going to start hitting Xbox One—2015, from the look of it—and two things hit me rather clearly. One, I'd seen many of the deals on Xbox 360 before. Seriously, I had; this time last year, I bought “Bully” on discount because I loved the whole Bullworth Academy thing. I've always enjoyed faction-based gameplay, and it's even better when you get to intermingle among the factions and no one seems to care that somehow you're CEO of the preps and God-Emperor of nerddom. But I've seen “Bully” on sale at least two other times that I can remember, and it got me to wondering: are we seeing too many sales, and thus, seeing too many of the same games going on sale? I can recall “State of Decay” going on sale at least twice this year, and there are probably several others beyond that that went up for cheap.

But then, I heard something particularly interesting. There were plenty of people wondering if, maybe, Microsoft would keep the Xbox One at its “holiday specific pricing” levels going into 2015. Many reasoned that, if the new pricing were helping it out in its ongoing battle against Sony—and somewhat against Nintendo—then it would be about the height of stupid to raise the price back up when the price cutting was doing it some good, right? Well, reports suggest that, as of January 4, the price goes back up to $400, and the various bundles, from the “Assassin's Creed: Unity” bundle to all the rest go back up right alongside it. Disturbing? You bet. With gains from Black Friday, and likely from December as well in its favor, why would Microsoft deliberately hobble itself in such a fashion?

Of course, there might be more price cuts later—retailers are welcome to offer such incentives as same see fit—but without that direct Microsoft cut, will Microsoft's momentum be shut down before it could truly begin? Or does Microsoft figure that it got what it could get while the getting was good, and figures a price hike in January will be met with all the outrage of a price hike on snow-cone sales in Alaska in January?

Naturally, only time's going to tell just what Microsoft's got in mind on this one, but are there too many sales? Maybe. We're seeing a lot of the same things going on sale, and some of the sales are oddly transient. But it could be that the sales are pulling in interest, and what one person bought last year doesn't preclude someone else from buying this year. So with that in mind, we'll have to keep an eye on things; there's a whole year of sales coming up, and who knows what will come along with that?

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