R1,000 for a video game is the new reality for South African gamers

The overall decline of the South African rand means gamers have become used to the prices of video games, consoles, and other hardware increasing over time.

Recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic have affected prices even more, with the cost of PC hardware components increasing notably since the beginning of the year.

Unlike PC gamers, South Africans who play on consoles do not need to regularly upgrade their hardware – unless a new console is released.

The next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, are expected to launch later this year, and many South African gamers will be upgrading to these devices.

Gaming consoles are normally less expensive than equally powerful PC builds, especially considering the price of peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

However, the price of console games may often be higher than their PC equivalents.

This is especially notable when comparing older titles and digital copies across platforms, but it is also true for new releases.

The price of games across all platforms has continued to increase in South Africa, to the point where it is now standard to pay R1,000 or more for the standard edition of a new video game.

This is true for digital and physical copies of video games for PlayStation and Xbox, as well as a number of PC games.

This trend is only expected to continue following the launch of the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles later this year, with South Africans continuing to pay more than ever for games on both platforms.

We have compared the prices of video games across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC to illustrate how expensive this software has become.

This comparison includes recently released titles and differentiates between physical and digital copies. Pricing does not include discounts.

Physical video game prices in South Africa

Retail pricing for these titles was sourced from major South African online stores, including BT Games, Takealot, and Raru.

Title PS4 Xbox One PC
FIFA 21 R1,299 R1,299 R1,299
Marvel Avengers R1,199 R1,199 R1,099
Star Wars Squadrons R799 R799 R799
Need For Speed Heat R1,039 R1,039 R1,039
Cyberpunk 2077 R1,199 R1,199 R899
Biomutant R919 R919 R739
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice R949 R949 R819
F1 2020 R849 R849
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla R1,249 R1,249
NBA 2K21 R1,099 R1,099

Digital video game prices in South Africa

Digital pricing for South Africa was sourced from the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, and various digital PC storefronts – including Steam Epic Games, and Origin.

Title PS4 Xbox One PC
FIFA 21 R999 R999 R999
Marvel Avengers R1,069 R1,069 R899
Star Wars Squadrons R649 R649 R649
Need For Speed Heat R999 R999 R1,099
Cyberpunk 2077 R999 R999 R799
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice R899 R899 R799
F1 2020 R1,179 R1,179 R329
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla R1,199 R1,199 $57.99 (R1,012)
NBA 2K21 R1,149 R1,149 R999

Now read: DStv vs Openview – Prices and channels compared

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R1,000 for a video game is the new reality for South African gamers