Micro-transactions in games aren't necessarily a bad thing -- I no longer have the time to hunt down every secret in every game, and if dropping fifty pence here and there enhances a game for me by saving a few hours of gameplay grind, that's fair enough. But £120 for an in-game digital car? That's just taking the piss.
Sony has come under fire after it was revealed its in-game micro-transactions for Gran Turismo 6 veered heavily towards the "is this some kind of joke?" end of the pricing spectrum. Allowing players to purchase credits (GT6's currency) with real money, Eurogamer uncovered the following credit pack pricing:
500,000 in-game credits – £3.99/€4.99
1m in-game credits – £7.99/€9.99
2.5m in-game credits – £15.99/€19.99
7m in-game credits – £39.99/€49.99
With them, you'll be able to buy cars in the game without having to go through the lengthy rigmarole of unlocking them through gameplay. The problem is, add it up and the individual cars get shockingly expensive: the Jaguar XJ13 for example (which costs 20 million in-game credits) costs a ridiculous £119.95. For one car. In a game you've already bought.
Now, in Sony's defence, the Jaguar XJ13 and the other vehicles in GT6's roster of cars can all be earned through standard play without any money changing hands. But, to on one hand recognise that some gamers won't have the time to be able to do that, and on the other then charge them a ludicrous amount for a single vehicle seems simultaneously pointless, insulting and cynical.