Beat the Videogame Machine

Christmas is a cracking time to be a videogamer. Of course it’s also a cracking time if you happen to be the one making or selling the videogame, but let’s focus on you, the player.

First of all, the industry knows that most videogames get bought at Christmas. Come November, all the best games start rolling into town. If you enjoy transforming into a trigger-happy maniac, blazing through towns and villages taking on a team of like-minded killers, get your (virtual) guns polished – here comes the latest Call of Duty. Or if you’d rather shine your studs and take out your football boots (again, virtual – don’t kick your shoes at the television or Christmas might not be full of goodwill after all…) then whip out your wallets for FIFA 13.

There is, however, a flip side to the Christmas equation. As already mentioned, the industry knows that most games get bought at this time of year. That means you can’t go expecting massive offers on all these shiny new toys. As the years go by and new consoles get released, old consoles sell for less, and the price of those old games starts to drop. Only problem is, now they’re old, and FIFA 25 just came out. So it seems like either you spend lots of hard-earned cash on brand new games, or you spend a little less and have to make do with old ones.

No need to fret. There are ways out of this predicament. Here are three easy tips for getting the best for less:

1. Be just a little patient – I’m not talking about waiting years, or even months here. Let me paint a picture. Your favourite game franchise just released something sparkling and new, but the retail price is a little too much. Wait a week – two at the outside. Christmas isn’t the only time people get presents – every day hundreds of people have a birthday, and lots of them get new games to play with. And then lots of them get bored, or didn’t want the game in the first place, and a week later they trade it in to a second hand game shop. If you go to one of these shops a week or two after a big release, you’ll find plenty of second hand copies, often at a much cheaper price.

2. Get a points card – Most videogame stores have some sort of loyalty system. This means they give you things for free. Ok, so not literally, but you can still get a good deal. If you sign up, every time you buy a game, or a controller, or even just a guidebook, you’ll start to add up points. Save up enough and when the game of the year gets released you’ll be able to pay for it using zero cash – just let them scan your card and there’s the game. Lots of stores have special offers too, where, for example, you pre-order a game and get double points. Learn to take advantage of these offers – they just might mean the difference between getting a game on release, or being the last person to get your hands on the prize.

3. Trade your old games in – So before I made old games sound undesirable. But really that’s not true. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and it’s surprising how many people get the itch to play that old PS2 game they owned years ago and ended up using as a Frisbee. That’s where the second hand shops come back into play. If you’ve got lots of old games you don’t want any more (at least until you’re bored of the new game) get down to the shop and trade them in. You might just make enough money to pay for something new.

The videogame industry is massive. Companies like Konami, Rockstar and EA make billions every year on everything from copyrights to soundtrack sales – not forgetting the Christmas boost I mentioned earlier. These companies have their own sales channels, and they work wonders. So if you can get something from them, for just a little cheaper, knock your socks off. After all – it’s Christmas.

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Author Bio: Simon hails from Europe as a Blog owner and regular contributor for various financial Blogs, among others the financial Blog of the UK based text loans provider Poundaccess.  He also likes to write in various other topics and fields and prides himself in being a versatile professional writer.

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