For years, Amazon was able to win over some video game fans by guaranteeing release-day delivery of new titles. But now that gamers can pre-order digital downloads of their games (for the same price) so that they’re available right away when they go live, Amazon is going after customers who want to save money on these pricey new releases.
Amazon announced today that Prime subscribers will now be able to save 20% off sticker price, not just on pre-orders, but also on new titles during their first two weeks of release.
That second part is important, given the number of high-profile games that have been rushed to market with broken content, this two-week window means that Amazon customers can wait to see if the game has crippling problems (or horrendous reviews) before they buy.
Amazon is putting a number of conditions on the deal.
For example, the games must be bought through Amazon itself, and not through any of the many sellers (even the Prime-eligible sellers) that use Amazon to reach consumers. It’s also limited to disc-based games. Digital download codes will not be sold at the lower price. And you can only buy one copy of a game with the discount.
If you’ve already pre-ordered a qualifying title, Amazon says it will apply the discount automatically.
Polygon notes that Best Buy and GameStop offer similar discount programs that cost significantly less than the $100 annual price for Prime, meaning people who only want the discounted games might want to check those programs out before they fork over the money for Prime. But if you’re already a Prime member, this is a nice add-on to the existing benefits of free shipping, and video and music content.