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PS4 launch games are all £50+ on PSN, same as Xbox One

Downloadable games from Sony and Microsoft are all several quid more expensive than their physical counterparts, despite no box or shipping costs.

So that glittering digital future, in which all console games will be downloaded and they'll be really cheap, like on Steam? It's not quite here. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 do have digital stores where you can download any game you like, but they're all at least £50.

Sony's prices have today gained parity with Microsoft's, with the Japanese company tweaking its download prices ahead of the PS4's UK launch on Friday, Eurogamer reports.

FIFA 14, Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed 4 and the next-gen frontrunner, Call of Duty: Ghosts, are all £55 on PSN, Sony's online emporium of overpriced delights. All are exactly the same price on Xbox Live. PS4 exclusives Knack and Killzone are a couple of quid less at £53, while Xboxclusives Dead Rising 3 and the execrable Ryse are £45.

You can save yourself at least a fiver on the most popular games by ordering a physical copy of the game -- including a box, a manual and a Blu-ray disc -- from any online retailer. Amazon has the above smash-hits at £47 or £48 each, which is still several pounds more than previous-gen games.

It's a ludicrous situation. You can't play games off the disc on either new console, so you have to plop the disc in the console's drive (if it works LOL) and install the thing, at which point the disc is redundant and the box is just a signifier of your excellent taste, gathering dust on a shelf.

"As PS4 and PSN have not yet officially launched in this region, nothing on the PSN is final, including pricing on the store," Sony told Eurogamer, after outcry at even higher pricing seen earlier in the week. "You will continue to see some prices adjusted over the next few days in preparation for launch on Friday."

There are some download-only titles for significantly less, but even there you're likely getting scalped. Angry Birds Star Wars -- a game that's free on Android -- is £35 on Xbox Live.

It's early days, of course -- the PS4 isn't even out yet -- and when sexy new games like Destiny and Titanfall come along next year, expect these prices to fall on both stores. No doubt they'll have seasonal discounts and special offers of the sort we've come to expect from Steam too. But given there's no direct competition, nowhere else you can download games from for either console, I wouldn't hold my breath for deep discounts.

What do you think of next-gen game prices? Are they stopping you from picking up a new console? Or are they fair prices to pay for amazing new graphics? Have your say in the comments, or on our digital-only Facebook page.

Update: Added clarification on some Xbox prices.