How gamers find the best way to get more play for the dollar took two interesting steps Tuesday. Amazon announced a new Amazon Prime benefit that discounts pre-orders and new releases while Electronic Arts is copying the successful EA Access service for the Xbox One to the PC platform via Origin.
Amazon Prime is muscling into the territory previously held by Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked subscribers. The online mega-retailer is now offering 20 percent off video game pre-orders and new releases.
The 20 percent discount applies to all Amazon Prime subscribers who pre-order a physical copy of a game or order a physical version of a game two weeks after release. Naturally, this only includes games sold and shipped by the retailer and not one of the third-party sellers on Amazon. Essentially, game deal hunters are looking at $60 new releases now costing $48 through Amazon.
Amazon Prime costs $99 a year after a one-month free trial. Those eligible for Amazon Student can get Prime for just $49.99 a year with a six-month free trial.
— Polygon (@Polygon) January 12, 2016
The move appears to be in response to Best Buy’s Gamer Club Unlocked promotion. The competing retailer charges individuals $30 for a two-year subscription to receive 20 percent off all game purchases along with other promotions such as 10 percent off used games and a 10 percent bonus toward game trade-ins. Even Nintendo’s Amiibo figures are eligible though not all game accessories are.
For now, Amazon has the edge in shipping with release day delivery guarantee for games plus two-day Prime shipping. However, the discounts being limited to just game pre-orders and new releases limits it compared to Best Buy’s offering of all games plus the chance to earn Reward Certificates for additional savings.
Either way, the competition between the two retailers is good for gamers’ wallets. Amazon was incredibly aggressive with store credits for pre-orders just a couple of years ago before backing off. This allowed Best Buy to step up with its Gamers Club promotion.
— Mashable (@mashable) January 12, 2016
The other surprising move is the announcement of Origin Access. This is the EA Access subscription service formula for the Xbox One applied to PC gamers. It is being offered for $4.99 a month for Origin users with 15 titles available to download and play through “The Vault.”
The list of games included in The Vault so far include:
- Battlefield 3
- Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe
- Battlefield Hardline Digital Deluxe
- Dead Space
- Dead Space 2
- Dead Space 3
- Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Editions
- Dragon Age II
- Dragon Age: Inquisition Digital Deluxe
- FIFA 15
- Need for Speed Rivals Complete Edition
- Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
- The Sims 3 Starter Pack
- This War of Mine
Expect more games to be added to Origin Access over the coming months. EA Access on Xbox One started with a much smaller list when it first launched in 2014 and has steadily grown to include 15 titles since launch. New titles are added to the premium subscription plan approximately six months to a year after they launch.
Additional benefits include 10 percent off the purchase of Electronic Arts-published games and DLC as well as a chance to try out soon-to-be-released games early for 10 hours. For example, Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, Unravel, and EA Sports UFC 2 will all be available to try on the Xbox One before they are released, and so far Unravel and Garden Warfare 2 have been confirmed for PC.
This leaves PlayStation 4 as the only major platform that receives Electronic Arts-published games without the option to get EA Access or Origin Access. A PlayStation representative previously explained that Sony turned the service down for its new console because it didn’t provide a good value, as Inquisitr reported.
What do you think of Origin Access for the PC and EA Access for the Xbox One? Sound off in the comments section below.