By Spencer . March 21, 2008 . 8:13am
Strange, but true fact: If you live in the USA importing games from Play-Asia is actually cheaper than buying them in Japan, if you include currency exchange. It’s been a long time coming, but the Yen to US dollar exchange rate has dipped below the comforting 100 yen for $1 ratio since last week.
Here is an example. Bangai-O Spirits costs 5,040 yen ($51) in Japan. Play-Asia sells it for $48.90. NCSX is a tiny bit cheaper with a $46.90 price tag. Of course, if you include shipping imported games probably will run a tad more, but this is still an unbelievable case due to the declining American dollar. The real kicker, in the case of Bangai-O Spirits, is D3 Publisher announced it for North America and it will cost at most $30. My guess is D3 will sell it at a more competitive price like $20.
An imbalance like this cannot last forever. If the dollar doesn’t rise soon Play-Asia and other retailers will have to increase their price per game due to tighter profit margins. Hopefully, that won’t happen though. I’m sure I’m not the only one who won’t be thrilled to spend $60 for an import DS game.