The progress of gaming companies is seemingly never ending, but something that goes hand in hand with progress is profits. As games get better they rise in price, it’s one of life’s inalienable facts.
Whilst classic games are now relatively cheap, Triple A titles have risen from £40 to £50 in recent years, with some titles even rising as high as £80. Added to that, the previously free PlayStation online service has followed Xbox Live in charging users for its service.
If you’re a gaming fan your hobby can feel like a bottomless pit of expense. So how much will gaming cost you and are there any cheaper alternatives out there?
The Current Cost of Gaming
PlayStation 4: 500GB (Includes one wireless controller) - £249.00
Xbox One S: 1TB (Includes one wireless controller) - £199.00
PlayStation 4 Wireless Controller - £44.99
Xbox One Wireless Controller - £44.99
PlayStation Plus (12 month subscription) - £39.99
Xbox Live (12 month subscription) - £37.99
Top Games on Each Platform
Call of Duty Modern Warfare - £49.99
FIFA 20 (Champions Edition) - £79.99
Detroit: Become Human - £44.99
If you are an existing PlayStation Plus subscriber, you can avoid spending £44.99 on Detroit: Become Human. This month it is available for free download to PS Plus subs
Total Complete Cost
PlayStation 4 – £508.95
Xbox Live - £456.95
Whilst opting for an Xbox might be cheaper than choosing a PlayStation, it will still set you back a good chunk of money. Excluding London, the average weekly wage in the UK last year was £539, meaning you would have to forego your weekly essentials to buy a console bundle.
If that sounds like too much money to fork out on your hobby then fear not, there are cheaper alternatives…
The remote gambling sector is one of the fastest growing markets in the United Kingdom at time of writing. Online gambling represents just over £5 billion in annual revenues, and as such companies are spending more money on bringing their offerings up to scratch.
What that means for the consumer is that the quality and range of online gambling games is better than ever. Thanks to increased competition in the market, consumer costs are lower than ever as a wide range of online bonuses and offers flood the industry.
Of course, anyone gambling online should keep an eye on the amount of money they are spending and set themselves regular budgets. Some games are more fun than others, online bingo is particularly good for those that don’t want to take their gaming too seriously. There are a huge range of online bingo games, meaning users can play for low stakes, which could be much more cost efficient than continuously buying new games for PlayStation or Xbox consoles.
21 years ago, Netflix launched in the United States as a direct rival to existing chains such as Blockbuster. For the better part of two decades it bobbed along, making steady profits and pleasing customers.
However, in the mid-2000s, savvy Netflix executives drew up plans to create a streaming service that would totally revolutionise the film & TV industry. After witnessing the success of YouTube in 2007, the company did just that, launching its online streaming service to the mass market.
In the years that followed Netflix ruthlessly destroyed the competition, growing into a company with annual incomes of $1.6 billion worldwide. At time of writing, nothing like Netflix is currently in operation in the gaming world, but it will be soon…
In the run-up to Christmas 2019 internet giant Google will release its long-awaited Stadia service, which has been dubbed “The Netflix of Gaming”. For a monthly subscription fee, users will be able to access a wide variety of Triple A gaming titles from a range of devices.
The initial cost to users – who will simply have to buy a controller and a subscription – has not been fully disclosed, but it is thought that it will be substantially cheaper than traditional console gaming.
Once in receipt of a controller Google Stadia users can access their library of games from TV’s, smartphones, laptops, tablets – effectively any Google Chrome enabled device.
The service will support the streaming of games in HDR at 60 frames per second with 4K resolution, with Google promising to double that within a year of the platform’s release.
Google Stadia looks all set to completely revolutionise the gaming industry, and in the process save you money whilst also giving you access to some of the best games on the market.
Everything you need to know – including title announcements – about Google Stadia
Up until this point, this article has covered gaming from a mainly console heavy viewpoint. That does a bit of a disservice to one of the fastest growing areas in the market – mobile gaming.
Apple haven’t forgotten this part of the market, and just like Google, they will be releasing a streaming service later this year. Apple Arcade will be exclusive to Apple users, but it will allow customers complete access to every game on the App Store.
Cost wise, a monthly subscription to Apple Arcade is likely to cost around £10, making it great value for money if you regularly download and pay for games on your smartphone or tablet.
Finally, Freemium Games
It has been impossible to evade the public hysteria caused by Fortnite in the past couple of years. Serious gamers see it as the ‘death of gaming’, parents and teachers think it is ‘rotting children’s minds’ and users simply love the game.
The cartoon like battle royale style game changed all the rules in 2017 when it was released as a free to play game. Millions of people around the world rushed to download it, making it one of the most popular gaming titles of the last decade.
Obviously Fortnite has to turn a profit somehow, and it does that through in-game content, but there’s no obligation to buy all that extra stuff. If you already have a console you can download Fortnite, play to your heart’s content and never spend a penny.
If Fortnite isn’t your thing (and let’s face it, it probably isn’t) then why not try out the multiple freemium games that are on the market now as a response to Fortnite? Apex Legends is an awesome game, and well worth downloading!