Forums - Gaming Discussion - The cost of consoles in Eastern/Central Europe

I have been wondering for a while now, why the consoles are so more expensive in these countries, where people are significantly less capable of purchasing still today compared to West. I have an idea, but I wanted to know if someone here knows the exact reasons.

I live in Hungary, the pictures are from Szombathely (10th biggest town of Hungary) in an electronical large shop (TV, computers, HIFI, video games, etc...)

To give accurate context :

- Global cost of life in Hungary, considering everything and put into an average, is ~60% of France

- Average salary however is like ~2,5 times lower. Simple math shows immediately that the "local purchasing capacity" for hungarian citizens is still a lot lower than in France, despite a fast economical improvement on the last 10 years.

So In Hungary the costs are :

- PS4 : 367 US$

- PS4 Pro : 489 US$

- Switch : 384 US$

(I just used the Google convertor at the rate of today)



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Well, as there is less disposable income available for people, less will buy a console and those who do have less money to spent on games than ppl in the big economies, which results in console hw needing to be pricier to make it profitable to sell it and lower sell-through volumes means shops will want a higher pay-out from selling each individual items > higher prices (> less people will buy - it's a self-reinforcing cycle).



I am sure a 27% Value Added Tax really helps to drive up prices



Nothing to see here, move along

melbye said:
I am sure a 27% Value Added Tax really helps to drive up prices

Ouch, even from a european perspective 27% VAT is a lot. Orban needs his gold plated palace, eh?



Next time I cross Slovakia, I will try to stop in a shop big enough to check and compare.



Current PB on Secret of Mana remake : 2h27 (2nd)
Strongest worldwide achievement on TGM : 1st European S13 rank
Fastest TI MASTER in Europe : rank Master V in 5min10
Current PB on Power Ranger (Game Gear) : 10min06 (World Record)

Non-geek activity : ThermalHungary

LET'S FACE THIS FACT : The Switch is the last physical video game system of the history who has a chance to beat PS2's sales.

Around the Network
Lafiel said:

Well, as there is less disposable income available for people, less will buy a console and those who do have less money to spent on games than ppl in the big economies, which results in console hw needing to be pricier to make it profitable to sell it and lower sell-through volumes means shops will want a higher pay-out from selling each individual items > higher prices (> less people will buy - it's a self-reinforcing cycle).

This is probably a better explanation than mine. I was thinking that because the market is much smaller, they order less quantity so they have a price per console higher, but still the difference is too much for this, and it should be balanced with the lower local cost of storage.



Current PB on Secret of Mana remake : 2h27 (2nd)
Strongest worldwide achievement on TGM : 1st European S13 rank
Fastest TI MASTER in Europe : rank Master V in 5min10
Current PB on Power Ranger (Game Gear) : 10min06 (World Record)

Non-geek activity : ThermalHungary

LET'S FACE THIS FACT : The Switch is the last physical video game system of the history who has a chance to beat PS2's sales.

Just import from another Euro country.



Eastern Europe has been under the extended umbrella of the Soviet Union for a few decades, so the anti-capitalistic mindset was deeply ingrained in society and politics, and it's a slow process to catch up to the western half of Europe. The difference in economic growth of countries under the influence of the USA and Soviet Union, respectively, can be best seen in the examples of the split Germany and split Korea.

Amazon.de still charges €310 for Switch, that's $347. A PS4 costs €300 which is $336. Germany has VAT of 19%, so once VAT is accounted for, the difference in prices between Germany and Hungary is negligible. Of course there's a large gap in average disposable income between Germany and Hungary, but that's due to Europe's history that was touched on in the preceding paragraph.



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Those prices are way higher than they should be. I'd recommend shopping online.



Amnesia said:

So In Hungary the costs are :

- PS4 : 367 US$

- PS4 Pro : 489 US$

- Switch : 384 US$

(I just used the Google convertor at the rate of today)

In Hungary the taxes are probably already included in the shown price tags, aren't they?

So a comparison to other European countries probably makes more sense

- PS4 bundle (Uncharted 4/ R&C/ TLoU) = 99999 forint = €311; Amazon.de & Amazon.fr = €299 (without games)

- PS4 Pro = 139999 forint = €435; Amazon.de = €396; Amazon.fr = €399

- Switch = 109999 forint = €342; Amazon.de = €309, Amazon.fr = €292

Germany and France probably have lower shipping and distribution costs than Hungary (direct access to the Atlantic, better infrastructure) and probably get better deals for ordering more devices. They also probably have higher competition between retailers due to a better price transparency between the shops thanks to comparison sites.

Germany has 19% VAT, France has 20% VAT and Hungary has 27% VAT (since 2012), so that already makes up most of the price differences.

Average salary doesn't matter much for prices of luxory items (and yes, entertainment products are luxory items).

Last edited by Conina - on 31 March 2019