I just read that EA has decided to drop the RRP of Rock Band in Europe ahead of the PS3 / PS2 / Wii release this Friday, to £109 instead of £129 for the instruments edition (game is still extra).
This is good, but I’m not sure whether it will be reflected in the practical price you pay; Play.com were already selling the instruments bundle for less than this lower RRP (£99) right from release in May (on 360), and Amazon matched it fairly quickly. Whether they will also reflect this RRP price drop I’m not sure, I guess it depends if anyone goes first.
There was such a massive backlash against the Rock Band pricing in Europe, which is somewhat understandable but lessened somewhat when you take into account that a) the shockingly high £189.99 RRP isn’t actually what you end up paying (I paid £133), b) we always pay more in Europe anyway, thanks to languages and regulations, it’s why $59.99 games are £49.99 here when they should be more like £35 c) the US exchange rate has come off its highs now, denting the conversion calculations to some degree; but as yet I’ve heard pretty much no consternation about the GH:WT price, which - shock - is pretty much comparable. Play & Amazon have it listed at £159.99, which is £20 more expensive than they’re selling Rock Band for (before any potential reduction from today’s announcement) once you add in the game. They are however bundling a bass guitar which would normally cost an extra £30-60 (depending on which one you buy) so that does make it cheaper if you had needed to buy all 4 instruments. But, if you already own a guitar from GH3 I’m sure you’d rather have the £30-60 off rather than the bundled bass - but of course the reduction in price wouldn’t be anywhere near that large without the bundling, since they’re no doubt doing it at cost. My guess is that eBay will be awash with unwanted GH:WT wireless bass guitars come the November release date.
Whichever way you slice it, there’s not that much difference in the prices. These games are expensive, which sucks, but if you want this unique experience, you have to pay the ante; bitching about it and crying ‘boycott’ will in practice do very little except deny yourself that experience while all the people who do choose to save up for it have a great time. Supply & demand rules apply - despite the vocal boycott brigade, most people will make their own decisions on whether they think it’s worth it. I’m glad I had a load of PS2 Guitar Hero stuff to sell on eBay to help fund my Rock Band experience, but even if I didn’t I would still have bought it, and I haven’t regretted the outlay one iota. The disc hasn’t left my 360 since May and we’ve had hours and hours of collective fun with it. The way I look at it, it cost me the equivalent of about 3.5 normal full-price games, and I strongly believe it’s given me at least that multiple in enjoyment compared to any other single game I own - more so when you add in the collective enjoyment on social occasions. And I don’t see us stopping playing it any time soon - GH2 lasted us a year, and that was without the weekly DLC that makes Rock Band so rich with variety. It may just be a silly game with expensive plastic instruments, but my goodness it delivers a damn fine dollop of fun 😀