Gaming is no longer just a pastime. It’s a full-time hobby for some and unlike running or watching the TV, it has become one of the most expensive ways to lose a weekend. First, there is the games console, then the games, the accessories and also the yearly subscriptions. Finding enough disposable income to keep up with new games releases and new tech can hard. But do you realise just how expensive it all is?
Buying a games console
The biggest expense is the console itself. An Xbox One can set you back anywhere from £200 to £300, depending on the spec and the bundle that comes with it. A PlayStation 4 will cost the same. Even if you prefer more portable gaming, a Nintendo Switch still won’t leave much change from £300. But to get the most from a gaming hobby, it isn’t time to look at older versions, either. The newer the console, the bigger the memory, the capacity to handle the latest graphics, the capability of dealing with speedy connections and ability to access to live streaming technology too. The latest spec means being able to fully appreciate the very latest games for a more immersive experience.
Additional gaming accessories
It’s rare to buy a console these days that comes with more than one controller, and good luck getting a decent one for less than £50, whatever console you are using. Headsets are a must for gamers wanting to play online. It allows online interaction and getting social with gameplay. A good headset will cost around £50. Then there is the gaming chair, too, because you have to be comfortable spending hours in one place and a normal chair just won’t cut it. Much like a comfortable office chair, a good one will cost around £200. Increasingly, games are heading into virtual territory, so getting a VR headset should be on your list. A PlayStation VR Mega Pack is going to be another £299.99.
The gaming subscription
In order to get online access for games like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six or Fifa 2019, you are going to need a subscription. These can vary from £49.99 for 12 months for a PlayStation Plus to Xbox Gold passes, which come in at around £59.98 for 12 months. For Nintendo, their subscriptions aren’t so much: just £17.99 per year.
Gaming subscriptions, however, can be like other forms of credit. Unless they are pre-paid upfront, it can be tempting for players to overspend on their v-bucks at the Fortnite equipment armoury, resulting in those horror stories of huge bills being racked up. So be careful of your subscription payment choice. Credit card payments experience a similar issue in the casino industry too, where it is equally easy to access credit through online transactions. However, major players in this sector, including the Mr Green affiliate program and online casino, have introduced clear responsibility guides that go hand in hand with their online casino and sportsbook products. It has been keen to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to responsible gambling, offering a green gaming tool to create a safer environment. Yet, so far the gaming industry hasn’t caught up with these practices. Making it easy for gamers to spend more than they expected to enhance their gameplay. So be careful when gunning up against your mates.
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Finally, buying a game
Last but not least a gamer needs their games. Lots of games. And at £50 a go they don’t come cheap. Most versions of games last between 12-18 months before a newer version comes out. For Fifa it’s every year. Some gamers have specific tastes, it might be racing games like Colin McRae or just Call of Duty. For most gamers it means playing a range of different games and the wider the interest, the more will be spent.
According to the Sunday Post, the average gamer will spend around £400 on games per year. Add in the cost of the console, controller and other accessories and a gaming hobby could cost in excess of £1,350 before you even get behind the wheel. Oh yes, we forgot that one, that’ll be another £149.99 for the racing wheel.
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