How you can get the most from your video game console

July 28, 2015

A video game system or console can be expensive to buy and costs even more when you are constantly paying for new games. By waiting for inevitable price cuts and finding alternative means to acquiring games, you can have fun at a fraction of the cost!

How you can get the most from your video game console

Be wary of the latest consoles

The best way to save money on video game consoles is never to buy the latest console when it's first launched.

  • Manufacturers are careful to manage supply and demand to keep prices right up at list price.
  • Consoles get to their natural prices — about 25 percent lower — after nine months or so. After a year or longer, they can fall to half their original price.

Avoid getting into format wars

  • When a brand-new type of game console is launched, there is always the possibility that it may not make the grade. If the new format proves unpopular, software companies stop making games for it.
  • It's best to hold tight and evaluate the longevity possibility of the console before buying one.
  • Popular consoles will have a never-ending stream of new games and are therefore a far better investment.

Who needs a DVD player?

Many new consoles work as DVD players, able to play back DVD movie discs, as well as games. You could save $40 or more on the cost of buying a separate DVD player.

Buying games

The cost of new video games is also high, and when they are just launched, you often have to pay the full list price — thanks to heavy promotion and pre-launch hype. Here's how you can save money on games.

  • Wait it out: If you can bear not to have the newest, must-have game you'll benefit from waiting a few months to decide on whether to purchase or not. Read the user reviews on the Internet or in your favourite video games magazines to see which games have failed to live up to the hype, and save the expense of buying a dud.
  • Buying used: Stores that sell pre-owned CDs and DVDs also often have used video games for sale. Prices will depend on how new the release is, but they can easily be less than half the price of a new game. You can check the used section for game stores online and online auctions.
  • Borrow a game: Your local library will have a selection of older games available for lending so you can try them out before you purchase them at the store.
  • New games for free: When you've finished with a game, sell it quickly to help pay for the next one. The longer you wait, the less you'll get for it.
  • Swap them: If your children are the biggest game fans in your house, encourage them to set up a games exchange with friends. You will also find video games swap sites online.

Video games and video game consoles can come at a hefty price, so follow these tips and you can stretch your budget without sacrificing your pastime.

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