A reader offers three major tips for saving money on video games during the current difficulties, and in general when you’re a parent.
With the announcement that Microsoft will begin charging $70 or £70 for new games there has been renewed debate about the cost of video gaming and the perceived value. Is the value of a game in its production, length, replayability, the online multiplayer, the single-player campaign, etc., etc.
As a father to young children with a house to run, clothes to buy, and food to put on the table, over the years I’ve found that the amount I have to spend on gaming has reduced as the cost of everything else has gone up, which I’m sure is a similar scenario for everyone at the moment, in the current cost of living crisis that we find ourselves in.
Gaming doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby though, with a little bit of patience, and in some cases luck, it doesn’t have to be that expensive. The first piece of advice that I’d offer is really the most simple and it is that a game is only £70 if you absolutely feel that you must play it on the day it comes out and aren’t prepared to shop around a little.
If you can avoid the fear of missing out and are prepared to wait a month or two, then the price of games very quickly starts to come down. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that for all of us there are always going to be certain games/franchises that we will absolutely want to play on day one, but I always keep an eye on release schedules and try to budget for those releases – buying the odd game here or there on day one is also worth doing as it can make the overall cost of gaming cheaper.
My second piece of advice is to always buy physical, I know that there are benefits to buying digital, like being able to pre-load and start playing the second that the game is released, but physical copies often turn out to be cheaper (even for day one releases, if you shop around a bit you can normally save yourself anywhere from a couple of pounds up to a tenner).
Supermarkets can be great places to pick up bargains on games too, admittedly this has become more of a rarity in recent years but if you are in one it’s always worth taking a look and you can always use any money off vouchers through loyalty cards, etc. to knock some money off of a gaming purchase.
The third piece of advice is to trade, I always use CeX to trade in games when I am finished with them (because they seem to offer better rates for trade-in) and then use the trade-in value towards other games, which ties in nicely to both pieces of previous advice.
For example, a new game might have come out in the last week or so that reviewed really well; maybe it wasn’t on your radar (this has happened to me a few time this year) so you weren’t planning to play it, you’re still playing something else and there is another game coming out in a couple of weeks that you’ve been waiting for, for ages.
When the game you’ve been waiting for comes out buy it (as long as it reviews well and isn’t a broken mess) and play it until whatever point it is that you are done with it. For me this is usually when I’ve finished the main game and as many side missions and activities as I can stomach before ultimately I either finish them all or I get sick of the game.
By this point the other game has likely dropped in price but the trade-in value on the first game should still be quite good. You might have to pay a little bit of money to make up the difference, but for the cost of one game (plus a little bit) you’ve played two. If there is nothing that you want to play you can still trade the game in for a voucher that you can use later on.
I apologise if I’m attempting to teach people how to suck eggs. I know GC readers tend to be quite a savvy bunch and many will already know most of this, but if I manage to save anyone a few quid then I’m happy!
By reader RickandRolla
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