If you’re someone who loves gaming or are a parent who has children who love video games, it’s essential to consider the costs involved.
It’s not exactly news that gaming is big business. Although it’s when you start to look at the figures, you realize just how big it is.
By 2025, the industry is worth around $257 billion, and today one of the most prominent players, Sony Interactive Entertainment, is worth well over $13 billion.
How is all this money generated?
From the estimated 2.5 billion games players worldwide and it’s not slowing down.
So, it’s a fair assumption that if you’re one of those players, you’ll be reaching into your pocket quite often to stay in the game.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you’re clever, you can enjoy all of the excitement of gaming at a fraction of the cost – and here’s how.
The Gaming Hardware
Each time Microsoft or Sony brings out a new console, it’s bigger and better than the previous generations. It’s also more expensive.
Despite this fact, pre-orders are always massive, and pretty often, there’s a worldwide shortage too.
Try and explain that to a child who wants the latest technology or gadget.
While it’s understandable that so many people want to get their hands on the latest technology as soon as they possibly can, it’s not always possible.
However, it’s crucial to weigh up whether an older version of the same console won’t do instead.
I found out about gaming that you can play games on the older model that are just as good.
Equally important is when it generally takes quite a while for a good range of games to be introduced for the new model.
So maybe looking around on eBay, Kijiji or Craigslist for previous generation-consoles going cheap could be another solution.
There will be plenty of games available, and provided that you get a console that its previous owner hasn’t thrashed, it should have plenty more years left in it.
A great example of an older console that should still provide all the thrills you need is the Xbox 360.
I’m looking for an older console for our son who asked for an Xbox for his birthday.
Having gaming systems such as this works out great, slashing the high costs of a new generation console if I can find one.
What this had done was iron out some of the issues that had dodged earlier versions, and it also connects easily via HDMI cable to most modern TVs.
It also has a pretty good library of games available, which brings us to the next point.
The Gaming Software
Once you’ve sorted out the hardware side of things, you can move onto something that should be much easier to find – the games themselves.
With new titles from the big developers like Rockstar costing up to $60, you’ll be amazed just how many used games you can get for the same price.
That’s because people get bored with their games after a while, and they put them up for sale, often at low prices.
Plus, when you’ve had enough of the game, the disc is yours to sell on to the next player in line.
There are also websites like gog.com where you’ll be able to find heavily discounted games from new releases to many old favourites.
Even better than this is when you manage to get your hands on some free games to play. You can find that places like the Epic Games Store give away some titles from time to time.
Even Sony is known to give some away as a gateway to getting players to buy more games from them.
It could be that you want to take out an annual subscription to Sony’s PS Plus or Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold, especially as you’ll find that these come with several free games each month.
But do a little research first so you can be sure that you’re choosing the right one for your taste in games as well as for your budget.
Top Of The Slots
Of course, it’s not just video games that many people like playing today.
Ever since the first online casinos appeared in the early 1990s, their popularity has gone from strength to strength.
Their popularity has led to many players looking for the very best deal from these too, and the sector’s competitiveness means that operators are happy to oblige.
So, players have a wide choice of bonuses and other welcome offers available, which usually take the form of free stake money or a fixed number of free spins on certain specified games.
These differ from other video games you can play because they can also earn you money.
What this means is that snapping up a welcome bonus or two is an actual win-win situation.
More and more online casino players have been choosing to play on their mobiles and tablets – just for the sheer convenience, more than anything.
For gamers, the mobile platform also offers vast scope for cheap, or even free, fun. Our son uses free mobile apps for gaming. However, he’s since been asking for a credit card to make in-game purchases.
It’s fantastic what persuasion marketing can do with advertising, commercials and online ads.
Every year more and more free games are launched, and they are becoming increasingly complex and involving.
Although, this particular business model relies on in-game purchases to make money for the developers.
The initial download or streaming of the game usually costs you nothing.
And, as long as you can resist the temptation actually to make any of the purchases on offer, you’ll be able to play for free wherever there’s a good enough wi-fi connection.
In like manner, this is another reason we deactivated our home phone and cable and went with unlimited wi-fi with Rogers.
Television is a big deal in our house but streaming, gaming and watching movies are our favourites.
It’s incredible how our son learned about a credit card from free online gaming, although it’s allowed us to explain how it works.
So, hopefully, this has given you quite a few ideas about how you can game for less but with all the enjoyment.
Remember, it certainly beats having to check every week to see when that long-awaited PS5s is finally going to arrive at retailers in your area!
Discussion: Do you have any gamers in your house, and how do you handle in-purchase expenses?
Leave me your comments below, please, and I’ll respond.