The Cost of Gaming – Too High?

Long term or future, it’s still us footing the bill.


Forum people seem to be idiots, if you are reading about gaming. For one, too many of us all seem to be fanboys of one ilk or another. And, too many of us all shout and swear loudly that no one but us knows anything, and are doing our very best to prop up the decisions we made with our money, all while seeming to sidestep the fact that we have spent mountains of time and money on our hobby, our gaming costs.

The ‘PC folks’ go on and on about the painfully obvious – about how great a $700 – $1,500 PC (or more) is in contrast to a $130 Xbox/PS3. Seriously, that goes without saying, so beat a dead horse….and BTW, you are trading that money for visual clarity and some frame rate, maybe some LOD. PC folks say PC games are cheaper, yet after spending 7-15 times (or more) what a console player spent, they would HAVE to be. Right?

The Xbox folks go on their rant, because – well, they don’t have the money, and it’s really about ‘ease of use’ and being couch-bound. At one time, it cost a bit of money to buy in, true. Some folks complain that Xbox’s all broke (and also PS3’s) so, they are unreliable. Well, any PCs you build yourself don’t have a warranty. You have to fix it yourself, tune and tweak and optimize yourself. Still, PCs cost multiple times as much. Once consoles cost like $400+ (Xbox) – $600 (PS3)!…yeah, new, like…7 years ago. Been awhile there. Hard to compare that these days….and still sound like you are actually capable of rational thought.

PS3…well, the arguments are quite like Xbox arguments, except the difference is a different corporation someone is favoring. And, yeah – consoles ARE easier to use. Sure, new console games cost more….if you pay full price. If you play PC and pay full price you only saved $10. Now if you wait for awhile, maybe it’s cheaper Sure, some PC games are on STEAM for $3, true. But, many Xbox/PS3 games are that much at gamestop or craigslist. And good luck finding that many ‘used PC games.’ A premium experience commands a premium price. Doesn’t exactly make you ‘a better person’, does it?

PC players go on about how PC games are so freaking superior. Later, they whine about how consoles have corrupted games with all their ports, as some of them are not that much better graphically (or any other way). Nice way to undermine your point, guys.

Still, what is forgotten here within any platform infighting is what matters – and that is the games. We can trash our brothers or sisters all we want, and prove what kind of person we really are behind our precious anonymity…but we forget what the point really is: Gaming. Fun. Enjoyment. Why spoil it because someone doesn’t agree with us? Is believing we are “most correct” that important? Not a healthy comment regarding ones feelings of security, is it?

To me, no matter what I hear, I am hearing the same argument from everyone, and we are all at Las Vegas, cramming bills into a slot machine: “Don’t interrupt me, it’s about to pay off!!!!” At some juncture we are all far too invested in what we like and want, and are just too close to it, and do not like our financial decisions questioned.

So, let’s just all get our facts straight with any new, upcoming consoles:

1) No one is able to compare the new consoles performance-wise against anything, because they are not out yet.
2) Both new consoles are 8 cores, and that means new games will demand 8 cores soon enough. PC players need to put some money aside for an upgrade….because in a year, it will likely be required. This type of thing happened before, remember your history.
3) If you are buying/building a PC now for games, it isn’t the best idea. Better to wait until consoles are released, when other hardware manufacturers are forced to compete with them in the market for your money.

Still, at the end of the day (read: when new consoles are released) all of us will be forced to agree to one idea: Everyone plays games on a PC.

So, for now, just dump all that discussion and lets just get to what’s really what, because we bulldoze money up to corporations and expect our dreams to be fulfilled. More accurately…

Here is the way to figure out our gaming costs:

1) Total cost of game playing device and device additions.

2) Cost of all games purchased (at the price purchased at; gifts are considered ‘free’)

3) Factor how long you have used games & device into a TOTAL yearly cost of ownership.


If I  have 40 games, and some were gifts, others full price, some used or added DLC, I add them all up that way.

Total games cost: $1,000. (DLC can up the cost quite a bit.)

Original cost of Xbox in 2005: (repaired 1x, for free): $560 (add hard drive upgrade, extra  controller, or etc.) If purchased later, use that cost.

Total cost for over 7 years: My gaming costs (estimate) are $222.00 a year or $18.50 a month. ‘LIVE’ would be extra, as would internet access required for use.

Now Think About It…

So…to all the platforms…  If you spent $1,500 right off, things are not looking too good, especially if you only have 1-3 years of use to divide between. Add upgrades. All games and DLC, internet, subscriptions, etc.. Anything you have purchased or used that is gaming related. If you are honest, you might be QUITE surprised at exactly how much you spend and have spent.

Add internet access upgrades if you use them for gaming. If you can get along with less otherwise, well…that factors in then, see? You can factor electricity too, if you wish, as some PC buyers do, when they consider buying new CPU’s. I mean, whether you pay now or later, you are still paying, right? And, it’s really hard to talk ‘green’ and ‘solar’ on one hand and burn through electricity like we own a power plant with our other hand.

So. Just how much does a $2,000 PC (or a $499 console) add to our life? What are our gaming costs? Does it help us work and earn money? Is work or money all that important to us anyway? Does our money, work or hobby add to our relationships with friends and family? Frankly, we can use a barometer on anything. But what is really, truly important here is our TIME. Time is all any of us really have, and a painfully finite amount. When it is done, the current game we are playing will come to a loud, resounding finale. No saves. No restarts. And no “start overs.”

Time is the only commodity we really have to exchange. Worth thinking about.

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