Amazon.com is a lot of things these days: it's an online retailer with nearly everything you can think of, but it also has a membership service with exclusive perks. And a new move to benefit the latter is a bit of a head-scratcher.
As widely discovered today, Amazon is listing several PlayStation 4 and Xbox One console games as being "Exclusively for Prime Members." There's no option to buy these versions of the games directly from Amazon if you're not a Prime member, yet they're ostensibly the same games you'd find anywhere else.
The selection of Prime-exclusive games may vary by region, but it includes mostly common and popular games like Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin's Creed Syndicate for PlayStation 4, and FIFA 16 and Far Cry Primal for both Xbox One and PS4. You can buy them from third-party resellers on the site, but typically for a higher price and potentially without free Prime shipping.
Asked about the Prime exclusivity, Amazon PR told Videogamer, "One of the many benefits of Amazon Prime is access to exclusive selection on a number of great products. Customers who are not Prime members can sign-up for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, or they can purchase those items from a Marketplace seller."
We would understand offering a Prime-exclusive price on certain games, as Amazon does for pre-orders and brand new releases in the States, but not selling common physical games to non-Prime members is a very odd move indeed. Amazon is banking on buyers being so locked into the Amazon ecosystem that they're unwilling to load up a competitor's site or hit the High Street for a copy.
It's a little mind-boggling, but then again, it's not the first time Amazon has made an odd maneuver to try and promote its own services: last year, the company stopped selling the Apple TV and Chromecast devices as it tries to push buyers towards Fire TV products.