Today then has seen the first step in a new beginning for Steam as the Store European Currency Beta has been launched. You can get the full details of this Beta here, but yours truly has done a little bit of digging around. Read on to find out what this beta actually means for you and I.
I clicked this link and found myself face to face with a Steam Store page with loads of £ signs everywhere, it was a frightful sight after many eons of the ever faithful $ being present. However I decided to press on in the knowledge that the changes would only be present for the duration of my browser session.
I decided to check out World of Goo which has just been made available in Europe. The price I saw was £16.99, now doing a quick bit of money changing I learned that this was a bit more that the £13.39 that it should be priced after converting from the US price of $20.
However, some further searching on the Steam forums revealed that VAT is now being included in the prices for sterling. Lesson learnt with World of Goo, it is cheaper to buy directly and avoid VAT than it is to buy on Steam.
I decided that this was a limited example, so I compared the prices of the top four games in the Top Sellers category with the prices of those games on amazon.co.uk
I discovered something most pleasant, the new localised prices on Steam put the games at nearly the same price as what we see at retail here in the UK. Now considering the way that the pound is performing against the dollar, well soon enough buying games with sterling on Steam will be the cheapest way of getting your games.
All the details on the regional pricing beta can be found here and the early investigation shows that this is certainly a good move from Valve.