Google Play Store's birthday sale is not worth your time

Google is celebrating its Play Store's first birthday by offering discounts, except they aren't actually discounts at all...

Google is celebrating its Play Store's first birthday by offering you what it calls "limited-time gift offers" -- but in fact they're hardly even offers at all.

Among the so-called discounts are apps, movies, books and even music. I must stress at this point, you're better off skipping these deals and going elsewhere.

The content on offer doesn't exactly scream latest and greatest either, with Madonna, Abba and Elvis all featuring in today's deals. While they may legitimately be considered greats, the chances are most of you will already have picked these up from your local HMV's bargain bin several years ago -- for half the price.

Elvis Presley may have died in 1977, long before I was even born, but Google still insists on charging £2.99 for a digital copy of his greatest hits. I did some searching around and you could get that exact same deal from Sainsbury's, albeit you actually got a physical CD, which in my eyes shows better value for money.

Even the Madonna album isn't discounted at all, being either the exact same price as other retailers or even more expensive. I was able to find a deal on Madonna's Celebration on 7Digital that offered almost three times as many tracks as the Google Play version, despite being only £5.49, rather than Play's rather pricey £8.99.

The rest of the albums received the same treatment and I was able to find similar deals elsewhere, all of which were able to undercut Play's 'discounted' price.

There is a silver lining though -- Google is giving away a few apps, free of charge! Oh, wait. They were already free... A word of advice: if you're going to make a big fuss about 'discounted' apps, don't include The Sims: Free Play.

The best discount on offer from Google on Play's one-year anniversary is arguably The Smurfs movie, although if I were to be honest, Google should really be paying us to watch this. I  tried finding a cheaper digital price, but Tesco's Blinkbox and Apple's iTunes were almost double. The DVD, however, is available for the exact same price as Google's 'deal'.

There were other similar offers with movies, with a disc of the film much cheaper than its digital counterpart, but who really wants to pay £2.99 for Bourne Identity? Or 99p to watch a relatively unknown film called Remains -- but that's just the rental price. If you find yourself liking it so much you want to own it, that'll be £7.99.

If you're a big reader you'll find no deals here either, with Google merely price-matching Amazon's Kindle Store -- and yet again with a pretty poor selection of books.

Google has only just launched Play gift cards in the UK, which are available at both Tesco and Morrisons -- but you should probably save those gift cards for something you really want, because these can't even be classed as bargains.

All this makes me feel like Google's not in a celebratory mood, as though it's just wrapped up the Play Store's baby shower gifts and hoped it won't notice. I'd hoped for some actual discounts -- like those offered on Black Friday last year.

What do you think of these deals? What do you wish was on offer? Let me know in the comments or join us on Facebook.


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