Just over a week ago we covered Amazon’s plans to halt its discounted video game pre-order pricing. The now-defunct offering gave gamers 20% off pre-orders, saving them in most cases about $12 per game since the majority of triple-A titles cost $60 at launch. The news is not all-bad though, Amazon will still offer a $10 credit for pre-orders of select titles, but customers will need to wait 35 days to get their money back and even at that point, it is an Amazon promotional credit.
Since Amazon is still offering promotional credits for some purchases, this change is not as drastic as when Best Buy shut down its Gamers Club Unlocked program. But when taking this year’s changes into account, it could be a signal that discount programs could be on their way out.
As mentioned, Amazon’s new $10 credit offering only works with select titles. Up to this point, we did not know which titles would make the cut and how many of them there would be. With the launch of the new program today, you can now find a list of eligible games on Amazon.
While something is definitely better than nothing, the landing page only shows 16 games eligible for discount. That is a significant drop in the number of available games to choose from when compared to the 27 we mentioned when covering the planned shut down last week.
Personally, I never took advantage of Amazon’s pre-order savings. The main reason being that it never offered digital games, but instead only listed physical ones. My preference for digital games is primarily because of the convenience that it offers.
With digital games I can launch any title that I own and take my console anywhere I like without the concern of leaving a disc behind. That being said, there are a few of drawbacks to going digital which still can make physical games from Amazon a better route.
As mentioned above, an obvious drawback for digital games is that they tend to be overlooked when it comes to programs like GCU or Amazon’s current offering. I find this surprising considering that companies can save money without the need to spend additional money on physical goods.
The final drawback that I can think of with going all digital is that games cannot be sold after being beaten. While selling a used game will not net you a full reimbursement, even 50% back is a nice amount to use towards your next game.
Bearing all of this in mind, if you prefer to buy physical games, you should bookmark Amazon’s landing page for discounted game pre-orders and keep an eye out for when new titles appear.