Earlier this month, a class-action lawsuit was filed against PlayStation regarding alleged monpolistic pricing on the PlayStation Store. A second lawsuit has now been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Cendejas v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC is an antitrust class action filed by the Joseph Saveri Law Firm. Unlike Nintendo and Microsoft, PlayStation stopped selling digital game codes through outside retailers two years ago. As a result, any PlayStation owner that wants to purchase a digital game must buy one through its storefront thus "creating its own monopoly on digital PlayStation content and thereby allowing Sony to charge inflated prices for these games," according to the law firm.
The digital exclusivity can be frustrating for those playing on PS4 or a Standard Edition PS5, but for those that purchased a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, it's much more problematic; it means those gamers have no other alternative to purchase games. When retailers like Best Buy or Target offer sales on Switch or Xbox video games, the digital versions are frequently offered at the same price point. The PlayStation Store does offer frequent sales, but the prices are often less competitive than those from other retailers.
Cendejas v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC claims that consumers "are forced to pay a higher price for digital PlayStation games than they would in a free and unrestrained competitive retail market." While this new lawsuit does not get into specific numbers, the recently filed lawsuit Caccuri v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC claims that PlayStation Store consumers end up paying up to "175%" more for the same games on the PlayStation Store than they would for physical releases.
It will be interesting to see what impact these lawsuits have on the PlayStation Store! Those that have not yet purchased a PS5 console might want to keep an eye on these two lawsuits and any other similar ones that are filed. The Digital Edition of the PS5 console might be $100 cheaper than the Standard Edition, but if these cases are unsuccessful, consumers could end up paying much more in the long run.
Did you purchase an all-digital version of the PlayStation 5? Do you think Sony's digital store policies are monopolistic? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!