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PlayStation faces $7.9 billion lawsuit over store prices

Richard Lee Breslin

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| Last updated 

PlayStation faces $7.9 billion lawsuit over store prices

Featured Image Credit: Sony

Sony is one of the tech industry giants of Mother Earth and one of the main reasons for that success is due to its PlayStation console brand.

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The original PlayStation was released in 1994, changing the console landscape forever, and inserting itself as a fierce rival to SEGA and Nintendo. A rivalry that would last generations which later saw Microsoft enter the fray. Well, sadly for SEGA and its fanbase, that brand is no longer in the console market and its focus is purely on making games since the demise of the Dreamcast in 2001.

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As the console generations evolved, so too would PlayStation with the PS2 arriving in 2000. However, while digital stores were not totally new at the time, the industry really began to shift with digital storefronts such as the Xbox Marketplace for the Xbox 360 (2005) and PlayStation Network for the PS3 (2006). Whether it's on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo or PC, digital storefronts offer the convenience of purchasing video games and DLC instantly without leaving home or waiting for a delivery. That said, even in today’s continued rise of digital media, physical content will also have a place in my home.

If there’s one snag that I have about digital stores is that games still sell at the maximum RRP. Physical media has overhead costs such as packaging, physical distribution, marketing and more. As for digital media, it still has its share of overhead costs, but it does not have the additional expense of physical packing. Despite this, the maximum RPP remains intact. So it’s perhaps often wise to wait for discounted sales when you can.

As reported by Kotaku, in August 2022 a lawsuit was filed against Sony in the UK claiming that its customers have been overcharged when it comes to purchasing content on its PlayStation Store. Recently, a London Tribunal has escalated this case against the will of Sony and if the lawsuit is successful, it could result in the tech giant paying out $7.9 billion (roughly £6.3 billion) to its customers in the UK. Sony hasn't been in the good graces of its customers lately, by making egregious decisions such as hiking up the price of its PS Plus subscription service, a move that did not go down well with its customers.

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It’s claimed Sony makes it difficult for third parties to sell on its digital store and that it charges a 30% commission on all sales, instead of lowering that cost and passing on the savings to the customer. Sony attempted to appeal the lawsuit but the Competition Appeal Tribunal did not side with the tech giant, so it’s not looking good for its shareholders. The Tribunal stated that Sony, “failed to establish that the [complaint] has no reasonable grounds for making the claims/no real prospect of succeeding at trial.”

We’ll keep you posted when we hear of any further developments on this story.

Topics: Sony, PlayStation

Richard Lee Breslin
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