5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Video Games
It’s four in the afternoon at my local internet cafe and the kids are already here.
Their faces are glued to the screen, frozen in a zombie-like stare. Illuminated only by the fuzzy light of worn-out LCD monitors, they are oblivious to everything around them. Their fingers deftly work the mouse and keyboard, sending orders to their tiny avatars on-screen. This is serious business. Even in the dark, air-conditioned room, the atmosphere is tense. A roar erupts from the corner. The game is won. Springing up from their seats, the victors laugh and high-five. The losers swear like taxi drivers in EDSA traffic.
via …ven y siente el RUIDO ! on Flickr
There’s no denying that Filipinos are passionate about video games. Ragnarok Online, the NBA 2K series and DOTA all have large and devoted followings. Unfortunately, being a gamer is expensive in this country. Original games go for at least Php3000. For a worker earning Php15,000 every month, it’s difficult to justify a fifth of your salary on gaming, especially with the rising prices of gas and electricity .
It’s no surprise then that many turn to piracy to meet their gaming needs. And who can blame them? We’re a third world country with a first world appetite for technology. We may not make as much as the average American but we’re just as passionate about our consoles. However, piracy isn’t the only way. With a little bit of know-how, gaming can be affordable.
5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Video Games
5. Buy Used Games Online.
via psychox27 on Flickr
Internet forums such as TipidPC and PinoyPS have sections where members of the community can do business. Buy and sell websites such as AyosDito.ph and Olx.ph are also pretty useful. Just be careful. Fraud is always a possibility. Be sure to ask questions about what you’re buying, meet in a public place and inspect the product. Here is a good resource on how to avoid getting screwed. If you prefer buying new games, the website GameOneGadget.com sells them at prices that are slightly lower than Data Blitz. You can buy the games online and have them shipped right to your door.
4. Sell or Swap your Older Games and Consoles.
via Wil Wheaton on Flickr
If you’re like most gamers out there, you probably have a stack of games in your house that you’ll never play again: old NBA Live titles, your little brother’s Animal Crossing and that Assassin’s Creed game you got bored of halfway through. These untouched discs are just sitting in some empty closet collecting dust. By selling some of your older games you get rid of clutter and earn a couple of bucks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to give up your first Pokemon game or your favorite Grand Theft Auto. By all means keep what has sentimental value. But are you really going to be playing Resident Evil 6 again? Now is the time to get rid of all the overhyped disappointments, failed movie tie-ins and outdated sports titles in your library.
The websites previously mentioned, AyosDito, Sulit, TipidPC and PinoyPS are all great places to sell your games. You can also try swapping some older games for titles you’ve always wanted to play. If you have working older consoles that you no longer play, you can sell them too. PS3s still have a pretty high resale value so you should take advantage of that while it lasts.
3. Go Digital.
via THQ Insider on Flickr
One of the most convenient ways to buy games is through digital downloads. If you have an Internet connection that is fast enough, going digital is a convenient option that eliminates clutter and a trip to your local mall. For PC gamers, Steam is your best bet. Steam sales are legendary for their amazing deals. If you are a console gamer, you can also buy from the PlayStation Store or the Xbox Store. Be mindful of the region your account is registered. You may not be able to use a Philippine credit card for US accounts. Remember, digital is not always cheaper. Always compare prices. Also, keep in mind that you can’t sell your used digital games. Cards for Steam and other digital stores can be bought at Data Blitz, iTech and many other local video game retailers.
2. Wait a Few Months After Release.
via A.Currell on Flickr
The easiest, most fool-proof way to save money on video games is to wait. Games don’t stay full price for long. Depending on the popularity of the title, many sell for about a thousand pesos less in a few months. Older games go for as little as Php 800. You also have the advantage of using your friends as guinea pigs. Let them weed out the Dead Islands and Dragon Age IIs. In the meantime, get through that massive backlog of games you’ve been ignoring.
1. Get Your Fix From Arcades and Internet Cafes.
via Blake Patterson on Flickr
For gamers who prefer a more communal atmosphere, arcades and internet cafes are cheap and convenient options. Just a hundred pesos every week can buy you a few hours of gaming time. Some internet cafes even have console games. Not all the latest titles will be available, but if you’re a casual gamer who just wants a quick FIFA match every now and then or a LAN addict who lives for Counterstrike, this is your best bet.