There are numerous ways to look at this question, and it also depends on what kind of gamer you are.

For instance, if you're mostly a casual gamer who can spend most of the year playing one or two games online, you probably don't view this as an expensive hobby. But if you're hardcore, and you don't really limit yourself to a particular genre, and special Limited and Collector's Editions of your favorite games often end up on your shelf, you might see it differently.

I've often adopted the following stance: a new game costs $60. You can buy it pre-owned and save a few bucks but for the sake of this argument, let's just go with $60. Well, you could compare that to a movie, for instance; the cost of a new DVD or a Blu-Ray movie is between $15 and $30, right? If it was $20, for instance, and the movie was two hours long, you paid $10 per entertainment hour. If a game is ten hours long and you paid $60, you got a better deal; it comes in at $6/hour. Plus, one is passive entertainment while the other is active.

Similar equations could be made for books and music and playing golf, but in the long run, I really don't think video games are an overly expensive hobby, nor do I see gaming as more expensive than most of the popular hobbies out there. Sports fans will dump thousands a year on going to games, paraphernalia, etc., and gearheads will spend big chunks on new parts and stuff. Gadget freaks are paying constantly; you can't go a month without something better coming out. And don't get me started on those golf bozos…I honestly think it would almost be cheaper to build your own course in the long run.

So anyway, that's my two cents.

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frostface
frostface
10 years ago

For me gaming is expensive. I somehow still manage to keep up, whether it's trading in games or saving for a game I really want.

When I was working I never gave the price of games a second thought but after losing my job to this recession, 50euro for a game is a lot to ask.

So I'll buy used whenever I can. Unless it's a game I really, really want to support e.g. Dark Souls, Uncharted 3, Resistance 3 or an online heavy game like BF3 that requires an online pass.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Yup. I spent way too much money on games this year. Can either be a good thing or a bad thing I suppose. 😛 Next year will be expensive too. Wii U and Vita plus all the new games. But as you said other hobbies can be just as if not more expensive. I spent over 2k on new music equipment this year as well. But that is more of a necessity than a hobby in my case.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

i dont see much that i want to get next year. not interested in wiiU and vita is not a must have for me especially since it's the same price as a ps3. only games i'm interested in are ni no kuni and tales of vesperia(i think), and both of those i'm not completely sold yet. i wanna try mass effect 3 but i'm in no hurry. i kinda have this thing where i have to finish stories. the only reason i want to play mw3.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Yip, it can be expensive Jawknee… but like a few of the folks here have said, after a while you get savvy to the system and if you are patient enough you can cut your gaming bills by half.

I don't mind getting 3 to 5 AAA titles per year on day one, but the rest of the backlog I do wait for games to come down in price, even if I purchase some of them a year later. PSN can yield some very good deals 6 months after release, so it is worth the wait.

I guess for top games like Zelda, Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, Killzone 3 – they are worth d1p's; the rest can wait I guess…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

friction
friction
10 years ago

I feel a lot of games are overpriced at $60…
However some games definitely are worth it, and those are the games I'll buy.

I only buy about 3-5 games on their first day release a year, and another 10-20 used/reduced priced games. After a controller, I usually cant last a year with out breaking it, i spend about 500-600 a year on games, definitely worth it to me, fu**ing love gaming.

MartyRules
MartyRules
10 years ago

Yes, but if the games are good Ill happily pay

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
10 years ago

I've been spending less on preowned and Collector's editions, more on brand new titles like Batman, Uncharted 3, Portal 2, Battlefield 3, you know, the big hitters.

It is defintely expensive, but then again, so are drugs… or golf clubs, course memberships, etc.

Alcohol is rediculously expensive, which is why I don't drink. I know friends who spend at least 100 bucks a week on drinks, whether it's a quiet night with friends or a party out on the town. I'd rather save the money towards a good game.

Quite frankly, I feel like my money is going somewhere good and fun when buying games. If people frown upon it, I just ask them, "Well, what would you rather me spend it on? Drugs? Alcohol? Expensive sports or gym club memberships? (I do have a $15 a week gym membership BTW)

I'm a gamer, and proud of it!!!

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

LOL! I do the same. Though my favorite retort has become;

"What? Would you rather I collected guns?"

main_event05
main_event05
10 years ago

anything worth doing requires sacrifice on some level.

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
10 years ago

Yes I believe it is but what is nice about gaming is that once you pay for the games they are yours forever if you choose. Take gearheads, especially ones who race. You have to constantly pay for gas, oil, new parts when they break. Their stuff doesn't last forever. I also paintball and that is an expensive hobby also. One tournament I can easily spend about $300 dollars on balls for one or two days of entertainment. Gaming by far is one of the cheapest hobbies.

fatelementality
fatelementality
10 years ago

I've noticed that I've became very picky about my game buying over time. I wanted the next hot thing when I was young, but now I see a game that I'm not 100% sure about and wait till the price drops to 30 bucks or less b4 I snag it. I never give myself more than 5 games to finish at any given time. Right now I'm doin Skyrim, Batman, U3, GT5, Metal Gear HD, & Portal 2. One…..two………..s***.


Last edited by fatelementality on 12/18/2011 10:39:09 PM

FM23
FM23
10 years ago

It sure is…but affordable

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

It's an expensive hobby for sure, but it's something I love for a long time now.
I'm willing to spend for it.

In short……..I'M A GAMER AND I'M PROUD OF BEING ONE!!!!!!

CaptRon
CaptRon
10 years ago

It's no where near as expensive as playing paintball… I had to give that up :/

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

Gaming is a very inexpensive hobby. For me it's very expensive though. Ha. I tend to purchase a lot of games.

When the PS3 first released as well as the 360 they both were pretty expensive, in that sense yeah sure you can say it costs a lot to get into it. But once youre in, it's inexpensive for what you pay for.

Games like Skyrim, oblivion, fallout, and others all proved literally hundreds of hours of play time. Then you have all the online games. I look at leaderboards and ever since modern warfare see people with days and days of playtime. When you can spend $60 on a new game and get 15 days out of it, or in some peoples cases more, or even more staggering 360 hours, that's a lot of bang for the buck.

So no I don't think it's an expensive hobby at all. It just depends on how you perceive it. It's weird saying it's not an expensive hobby when I've spent what I have between my PS3 and games, but considering what I noted above it doesn't really have to be expensive. If I was an FPS only guy it would be very, very cheap.

Edit: I just want to add, everything can be expensive… When i was racing Motocross that was and still is expensive. Every race or practice session something had to be replaced, airfilters were replaced constanty, race fuel is just stupid expensive, tires were done after about 50 laps, but I got a lot out of it and still continue to ride. I mean everything costs money. It's all about how you perceive it.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 12/18/2011 11:09:51 PM

tes37
tes37
10 years ago

Only when I'm broke does gaming seem expensive.

Twistedfloyd
Twistedfloyd
10 years ago

It's expensive but worth it (always buy games new). As Snaaaakkee said, it's expensive but it's easily my favorite hobby and is the field I am trying to break into. So along with playing a bunch of games, I study them as in terms of the game design, story and cinematic qualities as well. And as Ben was saying, gaming is more expensive because it's a smaller audience than film (which I don't think will last much longer) and you get more out of the hours you spend within it in terms of money with each hour.

So yeah it's more expensive than some hobbies, but at the end of the day you gotta do what you love.

thj_1980
thj_1980
10 years ago

Yes very expensive hobby. Probably one of the highest considering that the many games that you will have to go buy are $60 plus tax for many console games. More for collectors and less then $10 for most downloadable games.

Gaming prices are definatly inflated very high.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Game prices are not inflated, I find that entire idea to be false. Look at how much it costs per hour of entertainment for gaming and compare it to going to the movies, going to a bar or even simply eating out with friends. People have a 1 or 2 a day coffee habit and buy coffee at starbucks. You want to talk about an expensive hobby? Look at the justification for (and annual cost of) 2 $4 coffees a day…


Last edited by TheHighlander on 12/19/2011 10:42:25 AM

Kai200X
Kai200X
10 years ago

It can be expensive, but only if I bought too many limited editions such as Batman: AA and Uncharted 3

telly
telly
10 years ago

Might this editorial be in some way prompted by the slate gaming club entries discussing this very topic last week? Because reference to the source would be appropriate if that's the case. Or maybe it's a coincidence.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

The what now?

I come up with all pieces on my own. If they are ever inspired by anything at another source, I'll put a link in.

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
10 years ago

Telly, I don't know why, but when I read your post I pictured you wearing a top hot and monocle while smoking a wooden pipe. Anyone else get this same image?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Might this reply be in some way a reference to the reply someone gave to that story on Slate where they wondered whether the story on Slate was in fact related to the story on Kotaku, and in turn related to the story at N4G, which was in turn a re-report of a fart made at Destructoid?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Many other minds read an editorial, realize it's an original piece and don't go manufacturing conspiracy theories that just barely skirt an allegation of plagiarism. A pity that you are in the group with the conspiracy theories…

telly
telly
10 years ago

Jeez, sorry I brought it up Highlander. Ben's piece kind of reads like a counterpoint to what some in the Slate gaming club were saying last week, Ben says that's not the case, thats fine by me.

And I ALWAYS post wearing a top hat and monacle 😉

playSTATION
playSTATION
10 years ago

it sure is hence me being very selective.

THEVERDIN
THEVERDIN
10 years ago

Well now that I'm retired gaming does seem expensive.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
10 years ago

I have purchased 4 ps3s. Two hdtvs, Bluetooths, turtle beaches, over 50games, sixaxis controllers, dualshock 3s, cables, and other accessories, dlc, and other stuff. Heck yes it is expensive. Its okay though, I hav e enough money to manage all this. So, in short yes. I have no idea how much I've spent on all this stuff, it has to be somewhere between 5grand and 11grand. Ooh, this is just from 2006 onward. Its expensive but its affordable. Otherwise I wouldn't have all that. Keep in mind I've spent x much in 6 years. Say I've spent 6,000 on gaming to this day, that's 1,000 per year, not too much.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

at first i thought it was but its years since then. i used to buy every game i wanted day 1 at full price at gamestop. but now its much different. i still get a lot of the games i want day 1 but most of the time they come with bonuses that practically lowers the price to $40 like gaming coupons. i havent paid full price for a game for a couple of years now. even got modnation racers for free because of those best buy rewards certificate before, you know before the gamers reward zone started began sucking. it used to be spend 150 on games get 10 back in certificates.

btw, you know what i see as a waste of money, buying dvds. all they do now is sit on my shelf because i already watched them a few times and dont feel like watching them anymore. on the upside, having 56 different jackie chan movies are always a good thing. i never get tired of those, especially the older ones where he teams up with his comedy gang like sammo hung and yuen biao.


Last edited by johnld on 12/19/2011 12:15:06 AM

Russell Burrows
Russell Burrows
10 years ago

Home Theater as a hobby is expensive where thousands of dollars are spent versus gameing where sixty dollars or was it sixty pennies were the topic??….pffft no comparison.

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
10 years ago

I spend a lot of money games but at least I'm smarter about it now. I used to have a "gotta catch 'em all" mentality when it came to the genres I loved, but now I only buy games I know I can find time to play. OK, well maybe there are some sitting on my shelf that heven't seen the light of day, but I swear I'll get to those someday!

unnavigated
unnavigated
10 years ago

I almost never get games when they are absolutely new – heck, I still don't have AC Brotherhood (which I can get for dirt cheap, now) but I happened to get Unchrarted 3 because I got a great deal on it.

___________
___________
10 years ago

nah, of course not!
the requirement of a TV, games device, and games why would it be considered expensive?
i dont even want to think about how much ive blown on games this year, let alone hardware to run them!

Sol
Sol
10 years ago

Gaming may be an expensive hobby, but what hobby isn't? I remember in my youth spending dollar after dollar on packs of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. My decks didn't just get built overnight. My Alien and Cyberdark decks took years to get to were they are, until I stopped getting the cards. The same appplies to my gaming. I've spent years going through the generation cycles of consoles.

You know what though? Just like with the Yu-Gi-Oh cards, I learned how to make better game purchasing decisions and have develeoped a system of doing things that I have mentioned throughout the years I've been a PSXE member.

Following this system I've managed to get a PS3, and now have more than a few games for it (It took toward the end of the PS2 era to perfect this system). All hobbies are expensive over time, but if you pace yourself and spend wisely, it won't ever be a problem, though if you intend to shell out a lot to get stuff, then you had best budget, and cut back on spending on unnecessary stuff (had I never once gone to the convenience store nearby, or bought those cards, I'd've had a PS3 and perhaps three times as many games, years before I did get one…).

Rogueagent01
Rogueagent01
10 years ago

I feel the same as you Sol almost all hobbies are expensive. So long as the people enjoy their hobbies they'll be willing to shell out the money though.

Being that I was an early adopter to the this gen I dropped around $1500(2 PS3s) just for the systems, another $3000 for an HD TV, then multiple controllers, and tons of games. However I was lucky enough to have a good paying job at the time making me not even notice the cost. My other hobbies astronomy and the drums are also very expensive, but again I don't mind as I have usually had either the equipment I needed or had a good enough paying job to cover the costs. Right now I am out of work and boy does it feel expensive as I can't even afford to buy a single game right now. I am just hoping my systems or controllers don't break as I would not be able to replace them for awhile.

Beamboom
Beamboom
10 years ago

I don't think it is expensive from a hobby point of view, and I fully support the "entertainment-per-hour" calculation.

My other big hobby is RC cars. And the price of a couple of minor *parts* that needs replacing after a racing session can easily match the price of a new game, at least if you buy that game online (as opposed to the overpriced physical stores). Add to that general maintenance cost (oils, cleaning equipment etc), fuel and battery cost, and gaming ends up being the cheap alternative.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/19/2011 2:18:26 AM

Gordo
Gordo
10 years ago

Pretty expensive in Australia. $100au for a new game on average but they do come down to around $70 after a month and $50 after a while longer. You just need to shop around and use trade ins to lower the price and go to JB HiFi instead of EB Games.

Still bought Uncharted 3, Dead Island, Dark Souls, Killzone 3, Mass Effect 2, Move and Sports Champions and numerous other oldies in the 2011 period so can't be too bad! (Though my wife may beg to differ).

YashaZz
YashaZz
10 years ago

In Australia it is, and it stresses me out. 🙁

Bjorn77
Bjorn77
10 years ago

In my opinion it is easy, if you really like something, you can justify the cost and financially afford it then you should buy it.

But that is the way I think. What's the point in earning money if you are not willing to spend it for your own enjoyment?

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

Games I've bought this year: Uncharted 3 & LittleBIGPlanet 2. Those two alone amassed to £90. I'm super-selective when it comes to buying stuff in general, but when it comes to games…I only buy the BEST of the BEST! 🙂

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
10 years ago

Same, I love the Resistance games but I missed out on R3 simply because I couldnt afford it. luckily my flatmate had Uncharted 3 so I sponged off him for that.

But as for next year, Feburary is going to be huge, but I already have put some money aside just so I can buy Final Fantasy XIII-2 on day 1.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
10 years ago

Well I have about 40+ PS3 games, I wont lie many I have bought pre-owned, I just can't afford to buy many games on the launch at the retail price. You can buy 4 new Blu-ray films for the price of 1 game. Sure a game may last longer But I still feel the prices are too much.

& Thats without DLC, you'd think you would be paying enough as it is already for a game on its launch, but when you consider you don't get the full package… I'm not going to lie it doesn't seem worth it. The only DLC I have ever got excited over was the concept of Heavy Rains Chronicle episodes… but they canceled it. I bought the special edition just so I could get the 1st one free, I felt cheated once they announced it was cancled. Worst of all, they now have the ordasity to penalise people who don't buy games new, surely they're already making enough money as it is, was there really any need for Uncharted 3 to have an online code? It's not like it would flop.

I definatly used to buy more new releases than I do now, not becasue I am worse of finacially (Which i'm not, im still a student lol), but because I simply dont feel I am getting my moneys worth, thinking about it, the only game I got on release would have been Catherine, which I imported. Oh and Ico & SotC in HD. Other than that I waited for games like Dead Space 2, AC brotherhood to go down in price, by that time, I kind of lost interest in them.

Though of course, I don't see games beoming any cheaper, the industry has grown so much this gen as it has reached out to a much broader audience, for better or worse.

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
10 years ago

Gaming wasnt expensive until 6-hour games and day-one DLC became the norm. Sure, SNES games would cost more compared to games now, but you got more game for your money and the dev actually completed the game before they started cart production. This is the least efficient generation as far as entertainment per dollar.

That said, I've bought 3 games this year: KZ3, 3D Dot Game Heroes, and Dark Souls. DkS is the only game i paid full price for.


Last edited by NoSmokingBandit on 12/19/2011 6:12:57 AM

Kevin555
Kevin555
10 years ago

Don't any of you Aussie gamers ever purchase online from overseas? You would save yourself a shitload of money. I live in AUS too but i will be damned if i'm paying my hard earned dosh for our inflated priced games. We're constantly getting ripped a fresh new arsehole everytime when it comes to the price of our entertainment so i've decided myself to purchase all games from overseas from now on until our prices start diminishing a little bit. Call it selfish to our retailers, but if i can save my money on as many purchases as i can, i will. To quote an old Australian saying, i guess what i am trying to say is "they can get stuffed!" 😉

To those that don't live here, PS3 at launch cost $1000AU & sometimes brand new games can cost up to $119AU to $109AU, but if you wait a few weeks they will go down to about $80AU like the lad somewhere above mentioned. Furthermore, i purchase U.S PSN cards & buy from the U.S store if i want DLC for my U.S games. So there is never a worry of missing out on DLC. I don't know why others complaining about prices over here don't do the same.

But whatever, it's your money, i am just baffled why you guys still buy games from here when you can benefit far better off purchasing them elsewhere & saving your wallets the stress in the process.


Last edited by Kevin555 on 12/19/2011 6:38:47 AM

Beamboom
Beamboom
10 years ago

This post should be elevated to "Sticky". 🙂

This is an excellent idea for an article, Ben. At least for your overseas readers the amount you can save on online shopping is staggering, no less. Not sure how the situation is in the states but if I were to purchase my games at my local Gamestop here in Norway I would suffer personal bankruptcy in an instant.

Compared to local prices I would say I save at *least* 50% by doing my shopping online. And that's a very modest estimate, probably the real number is above 60%.

Kevin555
Kevin555
10 years ago

What are the game prices like in Norway Beamboom?

Do you guys get shafted too?

___________
___________
10 years ago

nope because A 90% of the time they rip you off with shipping so it ends up being not that much cheaper.
B at least half the crap i have tried to import never arrives, mostly off ebay, i create dispute with both ebay and paypal and both do jack sh*t!
or C allot of games these days have some sort of code which means you need that specific store for it which is a nascences.
plus DLC being a big thing for games these days, so if you want DLC for the game you imported you need to buy the DLC from the same region, that means getting hold of PSN cards and again above problems keep cropping up.
in short its not worth the headache!
50% of the time i have imported something i have saved 10 bucks if that then buying it here, i would of saved more than that trading a game in at a shop here!
40% of the time i did not get the item, so that was a massive waste of cash!
the 10% ive saved a decent amount of cash, and got the item so it was worth it.
just not worth the risks and headaches to get into that 10% instead of 90% not making it worth it.


Last edited by ___________ on 12/19/2011 8:07:15 AM

Beamboom
Beamboom
10 years ago

Here in Norway the shop price on a console game (almost regardless of release date) is 600 NOK = 65 GBP = 101 USD.

I usually wait until an online price drop to 17.99 GBP (27 USD) before I order my games, and unless it's a Sony controlled game (ergo a 1st party dev) that usually happens quite fast. I've recently ordered Arkham City at that price, for example. Arkham City is still full price in the stores here and will probably remain so until spring.

So, by shopping online bargains instead of full price in local stores I save around 40 GBP (62 USD) on each purchase.
Yeah, thats more than 60 dollar *saved* every single time.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/19/2011 10:35:42 AM

Beamboom
Beamboom
10 years ago

@noname: Play has shipping included worldwide so no added costs there. I got 161 transactions on my account there (just checked), and *once* I've experienced to not receive what I've ordered. And that time I contacted customer service and got a new item sent, no questions asked.

My experience is clear: Online shopping is safe as long as you stick to the large, trusted vendors like Play, Amazon & co.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/19/2011 10:42:47 AM

Kevin555
Kevin555
10 years ago

@Nameless,

They don't rip you off with shipping if you know where to look, & most games that are Buy-Now's on eBay are free shipping. Some shipping can cost alot if you do it express & so on but you don't have to pay that much if you just do regular shipping. Also, if you use eBay, do not buy your things from someone with shit feedback percentage. Go with someone with ATLEAST 98%, no lower. If you have been buying from sellers with positive feedback & haven't recieved your items then it sounds to me like you've just got plain shit luck.

As Beamboom said though, if you do import, better off buying online from the bigger name places like Play-Asia, Estarland etc. I've bought ALL of my games from Play-Asia & there was only one time they sent me the wrong item, but i emailed them with a scan of the item & they jumped onto it asap & in 3 days time i got my game with free express post shipping paid for in advance by them because of their mess up. They're damn good, atleast in my experience with them & i've been buying games from them for 4 years.

Also, about obtaining PSN cards, you don't have to import the cards to buy them, you can do it all online & have the code emailed to you without importing. Then type the code in & bang, the funds are automatically into your PSN store wallet & any DLC you so desire is yours.

But hey, it's up to you. Not trying to school you on how to do things, just trying to throw up some money saving advice to a fellow brother.


Last edited by Kevin555 on 12/19/2011 11:55:21 AM