No one can deny that we live in a really dynamic economic world. All around the globe, currency exchange rates keep on changing on a daily basis. Forex rates are often affected by a number of factors, including inflation, interest rates, government debts, and speculation, among others. This means that if you’re buying something in a foreign currency, you might end up getting it for less or more depending on the current exchange rates and conversion fees.
As a Vita owner more often than not you will find that your favourite game isn’t available yet as a physical copy in your territory. Or more likely, it’s almost impossible to buy it at retail, even from smaller independent dealers. In either case you’re forced to buy them online. This is why it is often important to compare exchange rates fluctuation before buying games or other stuff in another currency, especially for online purchases. But really, does exchange rates fluctuation affect game prices? Well, the absolute answer is yes, but there’s only one way to find out.
Here are some pointers that describe how Forex rate fluctuations actually affect game prices.
It Affects Importers
Currency exchange fluctuation, in general, tends to affect importers in one of two ways.
- It becomes more expensive to import goods when your local currency grows weaker or when the currency of your source currency strengthens.
- Imports become cheaper to a stronger local currency.
And in places such as the UK where most of these games are not yet being released, currency fluctuations can affect the price of these games in the same way if by chance some dealers happen to import them into the local market.
Sometimes the best option for you is to purchase your games from an online retail platform. Especially if physical games are not being released into your local market, you will find yourself making the purchase in a foreign currency. Unless you have a foreign account in a similar currency, you’ll have to bear the cost of conversion, which is mostly charged at a certain percentage above the normal exchange rates. This is called the currency conversion fee, and its often considered as part of the cost of purchase.
As well as core conversion charges, most credit and debit cards charge their own oversees “handling” charges making international spending even more expensive. Using PayPal can avoid this, although their own currency conversion rates can be even higher than normal exchange rates.
Supply and Demand
The US and China, along with Japan and Germany are among the biggest game producers. This means that in those countries, supply and demand can affect pricing. When the currency of one of these countries grows weaker while your local currency grows stronger, it is highly likely to purchase the game online for less. Nonetheless, the opposite case scenario is also true. Looking at it from a different perspective, it is also likely for you to pay less for a game whose supply is higher than demand in the producing country.
Simply put, exchange rates affect more than just the prices of games. Other important commodities and services such as gas, air travel, groceries, and investments are also often affected by Forex rate fluctuations depending on the source country. Nonetheless, the above pointers shed some light on how game prices drop, increase, or remain stagnant in relation to currency exchange fluctuations.
The Exclusives We Want
The real problem we face is that many games simply can’t be purchased any other way. With just a handful of physical games being released for the PS Vita now from mainstream publishers, our main source of new boxed games are limited edition releases. And almost all of these are produced outside of the UK. Limited Run Games have been the most prolific Western publisher but they’ve been joined by several others across Europe all bringing digital only games to the physical marketplace. Eastasiasoft have done the same in Hong Kong releasing an equally impressive line-up of games through their partner PlayAsia.
All these options have meant that we’re certainly not spoiled for choice when it comes to new games. However, it does mean that it’s no longer a case of knowing how much a game will cost before we buy it. It makes it harder for us to budget for our collections, even more so taking customs charges into consideration.
We may have a much bigger choice of games at our fingertips now, but getting them isn’t as easy as we might think…
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
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