Target, Where Assassin’s Creed III Is Discounted Online But Not Available To Buy Online doesn't actually want to sell you this game. doesn’t actually want to sell you this game.

Consumerist reader Ethan wants to buy the new video game Assassin’s Creed III but, like any good shopper, doesn’t want to pay full price if he doesn’t have to. So he was thrilled to see that is selling AC3 for 17% off the sticker price — oh wait, no it isn’t.

See, while the item is being advertised as a “featured” game on and it’s listed with the “online” price of $49.99, clicking on the actual item shows that this particular game is “not sold online,” and all customers like Ethan can do on is see if it’s available at the store.

But as it states in the store locator on Target, “Prices, promotions, styles and availability may vary by store and online.” Thus, Ethan could get all the way to the store and find that it’s being sold at the full price of $59.99. Though Target has declared that it will match competitors’ websites these holidays, we have no idea if the store intends to match its own site — or how much of a pain the store manager will be when trying to convince them to match the price.

And it’s not just the Xbox 360 version of AC3 that’s on-sale-but-not-on-sale at The PS3 version of the game is likewise discounted for customers who only want to imagine they are buying a video game.

Also not a good sign for, when I tested out Ethan’s claim, I also did a search for availability of the game at local Target stores — which are not lacking the Philadelphia area — only to be told that there are no Target stores within 100 miles of my zip code:

Perhaps this is all just a riddle from the makers of the Assassin’s Creed games. Maybe 49.99 needs to be translated into book code, then the Dewey decimal number of that book refers you to a URL where you can actually buy the game… at $59.99.

(For what it’s worth, Amazon already has the PS3 version of the game at that discounted price.)