When game consoles stumbled into the modern era, their digital-content stores were a mess. Nintendo's Wii locked its customers into an annoying point system. The Xbox 360 obfuscated the value of Microsoft Points by using an odd 0.8 conversion rate. Sony's PlayStation Store listed its items in real, local currency but still forced users to load up digital wallets with a minimum amount before purchasing anything on the marketplace. Over the years, Nintendo and Microsoft fixed their digital-currency problems, aping Sony's up-front pricing and even improving upon it by allowing users to buy content without requiring them to add funds to a wallet system. Sony, on the other hand, hasn't changed. If you don't promise to spend at least $5 in the PlayStation store, you're not allowed to buy anything at all.
This nagging problem has plagued the PlayStation Store for years. Want to pick up a $2 PSOne Classic during a Flash Sale? You'll be charged $5 for the privilege -- two for the game and three to linger in your PSN wallet. Just because. It's a policy that encourages consumers to return to the PlayStation Store to spend their leftover money, but it only accomplishes that by forcing customers to add more funds to the wallet system than are needed for certain purchases. These leftover funds can even compound the problem: If you have $7 in your wallet but want to buy a $10 game, you'll need to add that same minimum $5 to your account to buy it, two bills more than the total cost of the game.