An Opinion on Affordability in Gaming

Ghost of Tsushima recently came out which is one of the only games in 2020 I looked forward to. I was planning on purchasing it for Playstation 4 but due to unforeseen circumstances that is the dreadful year of 2020 I cannot get it. Ghost of Tsushima isn’t my only issue I face in terms of the problem of costs but its just an example that affects gamers on the problem of affordability in gaming.

New video games cost $60 which for some is just too much at that moment in time. Sometimes I’m able to purchase a brand-new game like Resident Evil 3 and Animal Crossing: New Horizons but for the most part I just cannot continue to purchase brand new games continually. That $60 price does eventually come down but only contingent on demand and, to some extent, reviews. Constantly purchasing $60 brand new games is an entire paycheck for some people.

Luckily, we have a used-game market which allows gamers to purchase video games at a more affordable price. Games I have wanted to purchase brand-new is Super Mario Odyssey, The Last of Us Part II, Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2 and of course Ghost of Tsushima. Because the video games I mentioned still have an above average demand and great reviews they are still priced somewhat high. Thankfully there are gamers that turned them in to Gamestop allowing consumers such as myself to purchase them at a reasonable used price.

Gamestop also contributes to the problem of affordability. Trading in several video games for cash will net you a substantial loss of money whereas in Gamestop credit it gives you more purchasing power with a higher return. You can play the game of what I call Gamestop game swap where you just exchange one game for another while still paying for the game but just much less because your trade-in helped cover some of the cost of the game.

Other costs to consider if you want to pursue more gaming is VR. A VR headset will cost you anywhere from $200 to $300. If you’re like me then you have yet to experience VR gaming due to affordability. Downloadable content or DLC helps contribute to the costs of gaming but it is, for the most part, not optional for the video games but nice to have. For example, I purchased all of the DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate because I wanted to continue having a huge roster of fighters to choose from.

If you are like me you prefer to purchase physical copies of video games but purchasing them digitally has some affordability as well. There are sales online where some video games will be anywhere between 10% and 50% giving you the incentive of purchasing that game. However, most brand new games as well as high rated games and popular games like Super Mario Odyssey or Marvel’s Spider-Man are still priced around $60 despite coming out a few years ago. If you choose to purchase video games digitally then you run a higher chance of taking up more memory in the console making you find a way to transfer memory to an external storage unit, which you have to purchase, to free up space.

While I wait for games to be affordable via waiting over a year until the prices come down I just stick with one game like Animal Crossing: New Horizons or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to keep me busy. However, in November 2020 two new consoles are coming out, the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X. I will already assume they will be priced between $300 and $600 so I will most likely not purchase one at that time.

Gaming is an expensive lifestyle. Having friends and family that game can go a long way because you can borrow their video games when they are done with them. Because of the problem with affordability not everyone will be able to play the top video games at the time until either you know someone that will let you borrow it, the price comes down or it has a reasonable used price somewhere. I purchased The Last of Us a few weeks ago for the first time and I loved it. The Last of Us came out in 2013 but I don’t care if I’m 7 years late. I had fun, played at my own pace and will play it again.

The most important message to gamers in these situations is to not let FOMO (fear of missing out) get to you. Play what you like at your own pace and just have fun with it because that is the whole point of playing video games.


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