Pulse Cannon — Gouge ahoy!

Wow, I didn’t think EB were being conservative.

We reported yesterday the pricing that EB was going to be going with for the launch of the Xbox 360, and I have to say I was more than a little shocked. So imagine my surprise when I find Gamestop has actually managed to top EB when it comes to absurd schemes to squeeze gamers for their money.

Gamestop will actually be selling 4 different bundles come launch day, and wow, they are some doozies.

Firstly, the core bundle:

1. Xbox 360 Core System
2. Perfect Dark Collector’s Edition
3. Project Gotham Racing 3
4. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
5. Dead or Alive 4
6. Call of Duty 2
7. Xbox 360 Controller
8. Xbox 360 Memory Unit
9. 1 Year Product Replacement Plan

Price? Wait for it….$699.91. Yup, thats the same price as the Premium bundle from EB. But it gets better.

Silver Bundle:

1. Xbox 360
2. Perfect Dark Collector’s Edition
3. Project Gotham Racing 3
4. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
5. Dead or Alive 4
6. Call of Duty 2
7. Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
8. Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit
9. Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery
10. 1 Year Product Replacement Plan

Price for this bundle? A mere $799.90

There are two other bundles, the Gold Bundle at $899.88 and the Ultimate bundle at $1199.83, but I can’t complain about those as they are really the customer’s choice. If you want everything at launch, thats what you’re going to pay. In fact I have no issue whatsoever with a company offering bundles for customers to purchase. I do have a problem with customers not being able to just pick up the console and nothing else.

I really take issue with these policies from companys (well, one company shortly) that are supposed to be catering to gamers. Demanding that you pay a premium upwards of $500 before taxes just to get a guarenteed console at launch is robbery, plain and simple. And yes there are people who will say if you don’t like it go to Walmart or Target or whatever. Or wait until the launch has finished and the next batch of consoles hit the market. To them I simply say that this is not the way to endear yourself to customers, especially valued customers. If customer satisfaction means so little to you that you are willing to rape them with a spiked dildo, to gouge them just because you think you can, well, I don’t know that all the sales in the world will save you from going bankrupt due to a lack of customers.

I have heard all of the arguments regarding why they are doing the bundles, why used games take up about 90% of the wallspace in any given EB, why warranties and strategy guides are constantly foisted upon people. It all comes down to money, or the lack of it incoming from game and console sales themselves. All I can tell you is if you can’t make money, you’re doing it wrong. EB and Gamestop are specialty stores. So act like them. Offer products nobody else sells, and sell them at a premium. Or sell them dirt cheap, I don’t care. Compete where you have to, make hay where you can. But don’t expect your main source of income to sit there and smile for very long when you are reaming them. Because if that continues, I will look forward to the day when Walmart takes preorders.