It can’t be denied gaming can be one of the more expensive of pastimes. It’s not like running or cycling where once you’ve got one piece of equipment you can just go.
No, there’s the console, the games, the subscriptions. Finding the finances can be tough, especially for younger gamers.
The Cost of a Console
Of course the most important thing to fuel a gaming hobby is the console itself. A PlayStation 4 can range from anywhere between $300 to $500, while you’re also expected to pay around the same for an Xbox One in the likes of Walmart.
This is the area you shouldn’t skimp. If you’re going to fuel a gaming hobby you need to invest in a games console. It isn’t like an iPhone where a new, better series comes out each year, they can last years and the better the console, the better the gameplay and the longer it’ll last.
Of course, such an investment is as big as buying a first car for students and college kids. But don’t settle for a lesser model, find a place you can settle in instalments or look out for the best credit cards for college students on trusted sites like moneyunder30.com. This way, you won’t have to settle a full $500 in one lump sum.
Total Cost: $300-500
One of the first things you’re likely to do is order a subscription so you can play the likes of Call of Duty and FIFA 2018 online with both friends and people from across the world.
For PlayStation Plus, a membership which allows you to play online, you’ll be looking to pay around $50 per year, although this again can be split monthly to limit the hit on your wallet.
In terms of Xbox Live, you can pick up their Gold membership for $59 per year or buy monthly passes for a one off $9.99.
They’re generally worth buying and will significantly increase your gaming experience. You’ll also receive a number of games with Live Gold, meaning it will save you cash when it comes to buying games for your console.
Total Cost: $50-60 per year
Buying Games: Just How Much Do We Spend?
Naturally, how much you spend on games will depend on how many you buy. Here, rather than significant experts and paying with installments or credit, we’d recommend your expendable income go on games really.
With the Xbox, games are coming in at around $60 for the latest releases, although you will receive significant discounts for those with Live Gold.
When it comes to buying games it’s worth giving yourself a budget for how much you want to spend on games per week, month or year. This way you won’t have found yourself piling up debt when you buy more games than you can afford.
It can be worth waiting a few months after a games release if you want to see its price drop, in which case you can usually pick up top titles from as little as $30, particularly if it’s a yearly release such as Madden or FIFA.
Total Cost: $30-60 per game
Additional assets for your console don’t come cheap and if you’re hobby is begging you for all the latest gadgets it can be extremely costly. New controllers for the PlayStation 4 are around the $50 mark, while investing in the likes of VR, driving wheels and guns have significant price tags.
Virtual Reality is of course one of the biggest trends currently and bundles for the PS4 VR offering will set you back as much as $400 for a top of the range bundle. Integrated with a console too, their premier bundle is $1,500.
It’s a similar story with Xbox where you’d be looking to pay around $300 for a decent headset.
You’ll find accessories can vary pricewise dependent on the quality, particularly when it comes to driving accessories. Full set ups can cost up to $1,000 comfortably, but you’ll also be able to pick a wheel for as little as $100, so it all depends on how serious you are about gaming.
Total Cost: $50-1,500