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Amazon had gamers buzzing with the announcement that Prime membership would include 20% off newly released video games. However, Amazon has since walked back some of the perks of the program. If you were a Prime member, you could formerly expect those savings on games within 14 days of their release dates. Now, the discount only applies to pre-orders.
The policy still translates to some pretty significant savings, as the MSRP for most games hovers around the $60 mark. This Amazon Prime perk reduces the price tag to roughly $48. If you've got a weakness for Xbox and PlayStation games, and you know you're going to get a new title anyway, the savings can add up fast.
One catch, while small, is that you can only snag the discount on physical games that Amazon ships and sells itself, leaving digital downloads and independent sellers out of the mix. Additionally, Amazon has introduced a caveat that precludes re-releases and re-masters of games from the 20% discount. So if you want to pick up the Final Fantasy VII remake, for instance, it's likely you'll have to pay full price.
While Amazon may be trying to lure more folks into purchasing Prime, Geek.com posits that the sweet gaming discount isn't bringing in that many new Prime members. Instead, they speculate it attracts existing members to make all their gaming purchases exclusively through Amazon (instead of through rivals like GameStop or Best Buy).
Given that Best Buy's Gamers Club Unlocked program has since stopped enrolling new members, that strategy seems to have panned out. Now that the GCU is essentially dead, it makes sense that Amazon would feel more comfortable adding more stipulations to their own gaming discount program. After all, they're swiftly becoming the only game in town.
Still, Prime members can consider the Amazon gaming discount one of the many other perks of membership, which includes free two-day shipping on more than 20 million eligible items — not to mention access to the thousands of movies and TV episodes available via Prime Video.
Amazon also lures in new members by throwing in access to Prime Music (a small but decent music library) and Prime Photos, which allows you to store an unlimited number of pics at no extra cost. Bookworms who have a Kindle might also be drawn to the Lending Library, which lets members borrow one Kindle book a month for free. (Click here for clever tips on how to maximize your Prime benefits.)
What do you think of Amazon's gaming perk? Let us know in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Thinkstock/James Woodson
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