With the impending launch of PlayStation 4 (and the Xbox and Gamecube coming right behind), the console war to end all console wars appears to be on the horizon. How are gamers with limited pocketbooks going to get through this war with their wallets intact? G-4RCE has a few simple suggestions that will help next-generation gamers survive the upcoming console war without putting their favorite stuff in hock.
Sure, it’s a great game, but won’t it still be great when it’s $19.99?
Rule 1: Never buy a console before the first series of reduced-price games come out.
Repeat after us: There is nothing wrong with the ugly green stripe that adorns the PlayStation’s Greatest Hits releases. Maybe if you keep saying it, you’ll start to believe it. Let’s face it, it doesn’t make economic sense to buy a game at full retail price when the exact same game will be available later for much less. Spending less money per game means that you’ll have more games. Besides, by waiting for the Greatest Hits games to come out, you’ll inevitably get the console for less, too, which brings us to:
Rule 2: For goodness sake, don’t, DON’T buy consoles at release!
This is good news for PS4 fanatics who haven’t pre-ordered (and, likely, even some who have). Historically, early adopters have learned a painful lesson. Many consoles have undergone price restructuring less than a year after launch. With the increased level of competition due to the staggered nature of the upcoming launches, expect price drops to come sooner and be more severe. Think of the poor saps that bought the N64 at full price.
Don’t run the risk of running into launch-related trouble. Remember Sonic Adventure? More than one early Dreamcast adopter couldn’t get defective copies of Sonic replaced and were left with NOTHING to play. Waiting ensures that the games (as well as the hardware) have been field-tested… speaking of which, you should always:
Rule 3: Try before you buy.
Seek and discover demo disks. Demo disks provide a taste of several games at the cost of a single game’s rental. How many levels of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater need to be played before it’s obvious that the game is worth the purchase price? If you’re going to be buying more than one issue of a magazine for the bundled demo disk, subscribe! Save big money by not paying the newsstand price.
Then, when the demo disk is spent, trade with friends for other demo disks. Don’t have any friends? There’s always rental, right? But if you don’t have any friends, then consider…
Rule 4: Don’t pick up a third and fourth controller (or in Sony’s case, multitaps).
Save $40-60 by not purchasing those two extra controllers. Get them only when there will be a use for them. How often is that fourth controller really going to get used? If you’re going to be hosting multiplayer parties every weekend, ask your friends get their own controllers. If you want to get unlimited resources. Download Plants vs Zombies Heroes cheats. It is easy to use. It might seem kind of creepy, but that way you don’t have to worry if a controller gets broken or trampled, and nobody can ever complain about having the bad controller.
Even if multiplayer is not your thing, there is one other way to get a few free plays in your grubby little hands:
Rule 4: Befriend retail employees.
Most game stores in the mall have demo kiosks where you can play. Use the demo kiosks as your own. But since many of the mall stores have time limits, seek out smaller stores that will give you unlimited access. Find local independent stores that encourage you to come in and play. Find retailers that host tournaments on their in-store machines.
Most independent game stores encourage you to hang around and get to know a game before you pick it up. Thank these retailers for providing for your game habit by giving them your business. Buy your console from an independent retailer, who will remember you. Sell them good games in good condition, and the retailer will praise you, because you should always try to comply with…