With the Nintendo Switch coming out a week from today, many people have their systems pre-ordered through various retailers. I personally have my console and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Special Edition pre-ordered through Amazon. After news of people’s copies of the game being canceled last minute, I escaped that dreary circumstance and still have my copy of the game and the console itself on launch day. This whole situation got me thinking about something; how satisfied have I been as an Amazon Prime subscriber when it has come to buying games?
For those who don’t know, Amazon has quite a few products if you are into video games. They own the very popular and widely known gameplay streaming service Twitch, something our own Allison Adams streams on. They also own Amazon Game Studios, a game development studio that is currently developing multiple games, alongside a game engine called Lumberyard, a free development platform for others to create games. Amazon seems to be quite dedicated to its gaming audience, and have added a few consumer benefits to their Amazon Prime subscription service.
There are quite a few prime reasons (pun intended) to have Amazon Prime for purchasing games. Depending on how you like to purchase games, this can either be supplemental to your normal purchases, or detrimental to your preferred gaming habits. I wanted to take a look at some of the pros and cons of buying games through Amazon Prime.
Pro: 20% discount
Amazon Prime offers a 20% discount on all games within two weeks of their initial release date. This is a pretty good deal, as this makes buying games from Amazon a no-brainer when trying to save money.
Cons: Discount not applied to many things
While the discount on new physical games is pretty cool, the discount does not apply to digital game purchases or purchases of new consoles. The Nintendo Switch I have coming soon will still be sold to me at MSRP, despite me pre-ordering. I personally have started to purchase more and more games digitally, so I’m a little bummed the discount cannot be used towards them. Even though I don't like it, I understand, as the profit in selling me a code isn’t there for Amazon.
Pro: Release-date delivery
When pre-ordering a game, you get free release-date delivery when you have Amazon Prime. This makes it quite convenient to those who wish to have a game on release date, but also want the 20% discount.
Con: Playing games later due to delivery
If you are excited enough about the game to pre-order it, you probably want to play it as soon as it is available to the public. Because delivery time can vary depending on where you live, your package may not be delivered until later in the day, may hours after your friends may have purchased it. UPS deliveries in my area often deliver packages around 2 in the afternoon, and when you are trying to avoid spoilers, that is some precious time. I often find myself having to choose between waiting on my delivery and saving 20%, and buying a game without a discount so I no longer have to wait. It depends on what is more important to you.
Pro: Pre-order for free
Amazon is one of the few retailers which allow you to pre-order a game without having to put a down-payment on it. Places such as Game Stop and Best Buy require you to put a minimum of $5 down when pre-ordering a new game. If you want to pre-order a console, a whole $50 has to be put into a pre-order upfront. Amazon gets around this by not charging you until your product has shipped. This allows those who want to pre-order something, but do not have the necessary funds at the time of pre-ordering, to have access to a product if they can’t pay immediately. This has saved my butt on multiple occasions, as I did not have the funds to outright pay for the Nintendo Switch and Zelda copy when I pre-ordered them.
Con: Running out of stock
Because Amazon is a retailer like any other, it is possible for them to run out of stock of a specific game. Both Nioh on PS4 and Zelda on Nintendo Switch have experienced this recently, and with a discount service that is time-based, this can be a detriment to those looking to purchase a game using the benefits they pay for. If people cannot purchase a product they are looking to buy on the site, they will often go to some other retailer and buy it there. If they are not getting their discount, they are more than likely to purchase the game elsewhere now at full price, as opposed to buying the game past the discount period on Amazon. I have yet to have this particular circumstance happen to me, but It is something I have seen more of recently.
Well, there you have it. Amazon does come with quite a few benefits but depending on your preferences, some of them may seem like a detriment. It definitely is something you have to think about when going to purchase a game. Each person has their own preferred way of buying games, so these situations may not reflect everyone.
What do you think? Does the discount of physical games that Amazon offers discourage you from buying digital? Are you happy with your gaming purchases through Amazon? Leave a comment below or tell me at Twitter.com/quesobros. Happy buying!