If you’re a gamer in India or someone looking to get into gaming, you’ve probably wondered why PC games are priced at only a fraction of the price of the same games on consoles. While most Xbox 360 and PS3 games retail for Rs 2,499, their PC counterparts sell for anywhere between Rs 499 to Rs 999; it’s a massive price difference! This is something unique to India, and it’s not because India is predominantly a PC gaming market or because publishers choose to promote PC gaming India. It has more to do with India’s import norms and duty structure.
PC games that are sold in India are either manufactured or packaged in India, which means that either the discs are pressed and then packaged here, or the discs alone are imported on spindles and then packaged in India. By contrast, console games are neither manufactured nor packaged in India, but are imported in packaged form, and in India, packaged software attracts high import duties. So although publishers sell the games to their Indian distributors at subsidised rates, the prices get inflated due to the heavy import duties levied on them.
This is not about PC and consoles, but it has more to do with whether games are imported or locally packaged. If in the future Xbox 360 and PS3 games are manufactured and/or packaged in India, the price will drop drastically, which is already being seen with PS2 games, which are now manufactured here and are therefore priced as low as Rs 499 or Rs 699.