Amidst the hype surrounding hacking and jail-breaking the PS3, the ever present argument concerning the cost of gaming has reared its ugly head yet again. While certain gamers tend to think playing video games is some type of right, many others seek to protect the creators of our treasured libraries. Is gaming too expensive? Not if you use a little common sense. Here’s five ways to save money and get your games legally.
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1) Renting / Library
Sure you know that Blockbuster, GameFly, and many other rental outlets can keep you supplied with the latest and greatest titles. But did you know that some municipal or college libraries also let you check out games as well. Granted the titles are not newly released but any time you can get games on the cheap legitimately, why complain?
In fact, GameFly is a great way to get new games cheaper. Place an upcoming game in your queue and if you are one of the lucky ones, you might be able to buy that newly released game for around $45 a few days later. Hey GameFly paid the developer so you can rest assured that new copy of FIFA 2011 you bought was accounted for.
2) Buy Greatest Hits or Platinum Hit Titles
For $29.99, you can pick up 46 hit titles on either the PS3 or well over 50 titles for just $19.99 from the Xbox 360 Platinum Hits series. Even you own both systems, chances are you won’t be beating 100 titles a year. Keep in mind that new titles will debut in prestigious red or silver every year as well so there’s a constant library of great, more affordable games to appease the games who are not willing to spend $59.99 on a game. Let’s not forget that adding the Wii, DS, or PSP to your collection gives you even more options as all their games are cheaper at launch than their Xbox 360 or PS3 counterparts.
3) Search for bargains
These days usually one store or online site will offer a pre-order bonus, credit, or discount on the hottest titles like Halo: Reach or Gran Turismo. Check out local retailers’ circulars and you can always rely on Amazon.com for their lowest price guarantee when you pre-order a game.
Though many discount or loyalty programs entice to you to spend more money than you normally would, they are not without merit. If you plan on buying more than 12 new games a year, you might as well get a little something extra back in return.
If you are employed with a big company, chances are you may be able to get a small discount on Sony, Microsoft, or other companies’ products. In some cases, you can stack these “employee perks” with loyalty programs to get even more bang for your buck!
Of course there are entire websites dedicated to helping you find bargains so don’t be afraid to embrace your frugal side. Check out the following sources to lighten the hit on your wallet:
4) Wait for price drops
Often times these days, you will find good titles like Devil May Cry 4 or Bayonetta dropping in price within months of release. Sometimes they get overshadowed by AAA titles or suffer because there are too many good options available when they release. Fear not, Rome wasn’t built in a day and your gaming collection doesn’t have to be either.
You always count on Fall or months with several big releases to find a decent deal on a game. After all, these companies are competing for your hard earned dollars. Wait for holidays, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday to find some really good deals, then buy in bulk. Take advantage of all the Buy 2, get one 1 Free deals you can find. Just make sure you set aside money so you can afford to pounce when these deals come along.
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5) Game share with friends
This one is pretty simple. If you’re buying games, there’s probably a few of your friends who do as well. Get together and plan out which games each of you will buy. In this case, the more, the merrier. Imagine a group of 6 people buying two titles a year. That’s 10 games you get to play practically for free! There’s no subscriptions fees, no due dates, and no negative stigma attached to this age old practice.