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Costs of gaming

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We want to know what you think the real costs incurred are of the whole gaming industry. Write about any of the aspects from the actual price of PC's, consoles and their games. Are the prices too high? Or are they justifiable?
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      07.11.2001 20:42
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      Games, consoles, accessories...all much too expensive. You can afford one or two games, and then you are broke! example: £44.99 for a NEW ps2 game. There are a few games which I would like, but I cannot afford them when they are new. Yes, when games have been out for a while, the price does drop, but not that much. Second hand games can be scratched and in poor quality, and they still are not cheap. I really think that games should be a lot cheaper, and more people would buy more. I would definetly buy more than one games if they cut the price even buy a small amount. The best place to buy them is the internet, so much cheaper, especialy on pre-order. Ok, the price of consoles have come down somewhat, but they are making way for more expensive consoles which lots of people will buy. Trading them in for new games is the only good thing that you can do with them really. If you are going to buy a game, I suggest buying them on the internet. It is the cheapest place to get them. If only they were this price in the shops.

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        23.10.2001 04:42
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        You cannot afford not to read this! Well maybe you can, but lets just assume that you can’t, so keep reading! Thank you! Games, gaming and games consoles, what would we do without them? When it rains, how would we soak up the time if we didn’t have our trusty PlayStation’s to hand? Well, as fantastic as some of these consoles are, they’re not the most essential items in the world, although some would say they are… How much can you really afford to spend on your gaming desires? Well it depends on how much you’ve got!! Gaming is a great thing, you can play with your friends, play on your own or in some cases play against Marcos in Mexico in Quake 3 Arena online, but the costs all add up, we’re not all made of money, but we’re not all in the same financial situation, therefore how can you really define whether gaming is expensive or not? I’m not going to demean anyone by saying “if you earn such-an-such a month, you can’t afford this certain console” that’d be really mean, although could be interesting to see any angry comments. Right. The real costs incurred of the whole gaming industry. Games companies are not all making millions, some are incurring huge losses, Eidos for example have had a recent spell of poor sales, due to lack of releases and the slow transition from 32bit/64bit gaming to the modern day 128bit machines, not helped at all by the Dreamcast console’s demise, and have made a loss, so the games companies do suffer from time to time. But we don’t care about them! Well we might, but when thinking about the cost of gaming, it’s more about how much it’ll cost you to pick up and play what you personally want. The gaming market is one of the only market’s where inflation dares not approach. Because of the rapid and constant advances in technology in this industry games consoles and games are always being released, well a new
        generation enters the market every 4 years or so, but because of the change in demand, the consoles and games do decrease in value over time. For example the PlayStation one console used to cost £300 when first released, 6 years on, it’s now only £80. Ok, the options. Your options – what are your desires? Sometimes when we have all we need, we just have to obey our wants and buy on impulse, or at least buy after a little research. So what can you get for your money? At the moment there’s just 2 games consoles that are in production and on sale in the United Kingdom and they’re both from Sony in the form of the PS one and the PlayStation 2. That’s the home console sorted (Dreamcast is no longer in production), and the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Colour are the handheld market wrapped up in a bag, or two. The PS one isn’t the height of gaming, but for £80, it’s good value – over 800 games available for it, still being supported and still selling well. The PS2 is about to face stiff competition, but it’s already sold around 20million consoles, which is amazing, and it’s a superb console – can play all the PS one games, as well as the PS2 games, CDs, DVD movies and offers the best games I’ve played!! Costs £199.99, but think of what you get. The Dreamcast, discontinued, but is still a good console and at £80, same as the PS one you cannot go far wrong – around 150 – 200 games available for it, some really top games, and it’s got a modem for the Internet, offers excellent multiplayer gaming and some games rivalling the PS2’s top titles. The Game Boy Colour is around £50 now and is being phased out because of the new Game Boy Advance which is also only £80, and it’s a very good little machine, I’d recommend it as a top handheld – some amazing little games for it already. So, the only console over £100 is the PS2 but it
        217;s definitely worth what you pay. Games for all formats start out in life at around £30 - £40, PS2 games are £39.99; PS one games are around £29.99; Dreamcast games, if there are any being released, cost around £25 - £30 when first released, with GBA games at £30- £35 on release. There are still also a few Nintendo 64 games being released, so few that they’re always around £40-£50 when brought out. Can you afford this? Well, don’t go spending out all your hard earned cash on every game, let reviews help be a guide to let you know if a game is worth the money or worth breaking, and try and set a limit on how much you spend – obviously if you’re related to Bill Gates you’ll have enough money to buy what you want, except he’s probably put a ban on you buying anything but the X Box which is due out 14th of March in the UK, at £297.99, should be good! Nintendo’s Game Cube is out soon too, already out in Japan, but will be with us in the spring – will be around £200 I think. The cost of gaming, if it brings you happiness, it’s surely worth the money you pay. Spend wisely my friends and thanks for reading, I’m a girl, I know what I’m talking about ;) FLYING FOX!!

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          13.09.2001 03:27
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          -What’s all the fuss about-? For all you guys and gals out there that are worrying about the price off gaming then you should be shot. You see as the quality off the games gets higher then that means that they are costing the manufacturer more to make, say I wonted to make a high quality game for the playstation 2 then it would roughly be about £10 each but then you would have to pay for the packaging, the peoples wages, shipping etc. So by the time that the game reaches the shop it would probably cost the manufacturer £15-£20. After all that you have to make a big profit to make the task worthwhile and this is why the games are getting so costly. I’m quite happy to pay £40 for a game that will last me a long time and give brill quality. -Still don’t get it- If you still wont to just sit there and moan about how expensive the games are getting then why are you still buying them, this means that the manufacturer will get your money and decide that it will be safe to rise the games prices again knowing that us gamers will pay because they’ve got us hooked big time (and yes I mean big time). So in other words we cant win unless we decide to put a stop to the gaming prices rising by refusing to but the games no matter how tempting and brilliant they look but hey that will never happen, the games are just to good.

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            03.09.2001 02:51
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            Why is it that console games cost more than PC games? They don't have a longer development time, and the task at hand is somewhat easier if anything: the console developer has to make a game that will work on one standard, where they know the resolution, graphics and sound chips, CPU speed, amount of RAM and so on is going to be the same for all their users. On the N64 market, Rare have had a bit of a taste of the PC gaming market, by having to develop part of Perfect Dark to work without an Expansion Pak. But for PC developers, they can't just say their users must have, say, a PIII 800 with a TNT2, a SoundBlaster 128, a specific motherboard and 128MB RAM, as they'd cut down their potential audience. Instead, they need to develop their product to work with a variety of graphics and sound cards, optimise for different processor types, try to get the minimum specs down as low as possible but making sure that with none of the different options have bugs in them. Beta testing a PC game is a totally different story from beta testing a console title. And then there's good old piracy, one of the gaming (and software) market's favourite scapegoats for driving up prices. Consider this. To copy a PC game or piece of software, you whack the CD in your drive, put a blank CD in your CD writer (or your friend's - they're common these days), and get copying. Copy protection? Simple. Get some software off the internet to work around it. No I won't say what software for obvious reasons... alternatively, you can make an ISO CD image, and post it on the internet, meaning that everyone to visit yuor l337 w4r3z siet (intentional typos, don't worry) can download and enjoy. To copy a cartridge is a tricky business, and involves expensive hardware. Admittedly, it only takes (and HAS taken) a few people out there with ROM image dumping hardware to dump the ROM image data and post them on the internet, but getting them to work is
            n't easy. You can get Nintendo 64 games working on your PC, but only some of them, and more often than not, with terrible glitches and you need a powerful computer. A very powerful computer. The other route of copying physical carts is of course a market that exists, but it's NOTHING next to the PC piracy scene. Sure, you can copy CD-based console games easily, but you'll be needing a mod chip (or you can learn the black art of disk swapping, but that's another story). So, is there any excuse? Well, Nintendo's insistence on using carts for Nintendo 64 has little to do with loading times and oncart saves as they've claimed, it's a method of getting them more money, surprise surprise. Firstly, there's piracy - CDs are easier to copy. They take a rather large fee for the production of carts - it was between £14 and £17 on SNES, but that might've dropped for Nintendo 64 to attract fleeing developers - and only Nintendo can produce their carts legally, as each and every one has a chip in it that is copyrighted which is required for the game to work. Make the cart and you infringe Nintendo's copyright, so publishers have no option other than to pay Nintendo. This is how Nintendo have always managed to sell carts cheaper or at the same price as the competition whilst at the same time having larger cart sizes and (on SNES) additional onboard chips such as the DSP-1 (Super Mario Kart) and the SuperFX 2 (Stunt Race FX, the unreleased Starfox 2, Vortex). So third party publishers for Nintendo 64 can be excused for their pricing. However, that still leaves developers for rival consoles, and of course Nintendo themselves. For them, there is no excuse. They have it easy compared to PC developers, and yet they charge more. How can they get away with it? Easy: everyone else has the same pricing range so games will still sell at their extortionate prices. They're getting rather used to making a tidy profit, and nothing
            9;s there to stop them from doing so. As long as they peddle out their lies about piracy they think they can get away with it. For those of you that've ever been shopping on Tottenham Court Road, London for computer-related goods, you'll know the drill: whereas in Japan, the huge competition drives down prices dramatically, there seems to be some kind of a pact between the countless shops on said road to have near-identical pricing. If someone sees the same price on the same thing in several different shops, they'll presume it's the going rate, but that's not necessarily true. The Monopolies and Mergers Commission published a report on console gaming ages ago, with the shocking revelation that games are overpriced. Is there any significant change? No. There never is. There is an alternative, however. My tactic is to buy consoles ages after their release, as then you can get some truly amazing second-hand deals. The most obvious example would be to get something like the good old SNES or Megadrive, but a few weeks ago, I got a Nintendo 64 with an Expansion Pak and a Memory Pak for £40. Admittedly, I only got the EP and the MP because of the incompetence of the staff (they didn't know what the EP was, so they didn't mind me putting one of theirs from one broken '64 of theirs into the one I was about to buy, and they'd left the MP in the pad), but the bargains didn't stop there. First, I picked up GoldenEye for £8, which is a pretty good price for a game that seems to have infinite appeal. But later, I got the classy blaster Turok 2 for £2, F1 World Grand Prix - Nintendo 64's best F1 sim - for £2, F-Zero X for £3, and Blast Corps for £5. Of course, this is partly due to me knowing a pretty awesome second-hand shop, but I'd be surprised if there isn't a second-hand shop near you that doesn't offer some Nintendo 64 games for a tenner or less. Going back a little further back, a SNES is a real barga
            in if you know the system's gems. Titles such as Super Mario Kart and Starwing effortlessly outshine their Nintendo 64 sequels. The console is, in my opinion (duh), the best ever when it comes to RPGs. Hunt harder, and you might have the luck to come across Secret of Mana or even Final Fantasy III. I can't stress just how rare the latter is in this country, though. The actual consoles are going for around £20. As you might've guessed, Nintendo is my area of gaming knowledge, but second-hand Playstations are a great buy right now. Go for some of the older greats of the system - the WipEouts, Soul Blade (a personal favourite), Final Fantasy VII and VIII and so on, and you're going to find some rather nice pricing. The final alternative to paying disgusting pricing that I'll mention is emulation. This is where you use software to imitate (emulate) a given console, then use said software to run games you download off the internet on your PC. While newer consoles such as Nintendo 64 have not been emulated particularly well yet (it's a matter of time, really), older consoles - SNES in particular - have been emulated to near perfection. For instance, if you were to try to play something like Starfox 64 (Lylat Wars here in Blightly), you'd get texture errors, choppy sound most probably, and other such problems. Go for the original (FAR superior) Starwing, and you'll have no problems at all. Not one glitch. If you're worried about the legality, bear in mind that the companies involved can no longer profit from consoles such as SNES. The law is more relaxed here than it is in the US on the subject, but if you're going to play games that are still on sale, if you're to stay on the right side of the law, it should be as a backup. You are legally entitled to backup your software, including your games. So there you have it: the pricing of new games is as extortionate as it has been since the days of NES or so,
            but there are ways of gaming on a budget. I recommend you pursue them.

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              27.08.2001 05:49

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              Whsmithsonline.co.uk is a pretty average service that could do better but is ok. THE SELECTION On WHSmiths you can buy: .Books .Music .DVD & Video .Games .Magazines .Stationary THE LAYOUT The Layout on WHSmithsonline is very good! Everthing is set out in a organised and easy-to-understand fashion. The website is bright and colourful, and has links to all areas on the site on the index page. There is also a quick search and an advanced search option. THE PRICES The prices on WHSmithsonline is are very competetive!! Products are cheaper online than they are in the shops. But you do have to pay postage and packaging. For England Customers it is something like £2.39 + £0.50 per item. A bit of a rip off but acceptable. QUICKNESS AND SERVICE Your order is normally despached in 24 hours and is normally with you within 4 days. The item will be delivered by the Post man and not by UPS or such companies. PAYING WHSmithsonline accept all major credit and debit cards. You transaction of card details is done in a SSL. MY EXPERIENCE I have only ordered one item from WHSmithsonline and it was a successfull transaction. I would reccommend WHSmiths to anybody who live in England as the Postage & Packaging charge is not to bad but for other counties it is quite expensive. OVERALL Overall WHSmithsonline has: .A good selection .A good Layout .Competetive Price .Quickness & Good Service .Good Paying service

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              19.08.2001 03:52

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              Wow! I walk into electronics boutique to buy a gameboy advance (they cost around £70-£80) then I looked "gameboy advance and super mario advance" it was £130!!!!! I almost fainted! What a rip off! All of the people in the shop must think we're made of money or summat! Then I go in the next day, "gameboy advance and super mario advance" £100, so I ordered it for the next day. When it got delivered, they said "ok, that'll be £140"!!!! Then I said "but it was £100!!!" then they replied "according to here it isn't" so I said "can't you sort something out?!?" but they said "no, sorry, it says it's £140 here so thats how much you have to pay" then I said "no, i'm not having it then" but then I still had to pay £2 for them coming to my house! This happens with loads of other games too. Also games magazines-nintendo offical magazine raise their prices about once a month! And their games are a rip off! So are playstation games! This really bugs me! I hate it happening to me! People only try to be greedy and make mony out of ya! The gameboy advance costs more than the Nintendo 64!!!!!!! I wonder how much the gamecube will be?,£180 or summat like that?

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              31.07.2001 14:38
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              Well we all seem to keep handing over our money that we have earned in our offices/factorys/etc. Many hours worth of work is exchanged for a small disc in a square box. And why? Because gaming in some ways has become like an addiction!!! Just think of the Championship Manager series. I myself am a big fan of it, and I own every game since CM2. That means I now have 4 games, with the 5th one hitting our shelves in October, which means I have spent approximately £150 alone in keeping myself constantly updated with this series. I am sure I am not alone! Since gaming really took off after the launch of the Playstation, large companys have exploited us. Yes, they charge around £30 and the reality is it costs about £5 to make the game along with all its packaging. Some of your £30 goes to covering the research costs of course, but the rest, about half, goes straight into the pockets of the cigar smoking men in boardrooms everywhere. So why are we willing to part with vast amounts of hard earned cash? Because gaming has become very close to something that is an addiction, thats why!

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              05.07.2001 07:40
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              We have to view this subject from both sides. The customers can argue that gaming is far too expensive. In total, including packaging, a game costs about £3 to produce. This means that Game producing companies could easilly afford to sell their games at £10 and more than double their money. There are several reasons why this has not happened and one of the main ones is Piracy. Companies lose a large amount of profit due to its products being copied. Companies have to make up for the money they lose by charging higher prices for its products. I would say that games are slightly overpriced but only a little bit. The situation is not as bad as what people like to make out. People say that because it costs the companies under £5 to make a game selling them for £40 is ridiculous but what the companies pay to produce its products is irrelevant. We should base our value on the quality of the product and the amount of enjoyment we get out of it. For example, if you buy a game and play it everyday for 2 years then it is clearly not overpriced. But at the end of the day it is your decision and nobody is forcing you to purchase games so if you dont like it, dont do it.

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                16.06.2001 20:40
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                is the price of gaming today just constantly on the rise or is it just me??? Many people wouldnt have aproblem with departing with £300 over a playstion 2. But is this legal extortion or addiction??? If you wanted to keep up to date with the gaming industry today you will need a heck of a lot of cash. For example the latest gaming consle is £300 (playstation 2) then on top of that you need a TV and also have to pay for games which are around £40 each. So if you wanted a decent games colloection of about 10 games you need to depart with £400 and the £300 for the console!!! see what i mean. When the price is added up it is a hell of a lot £700 just on gaming!!! Anybody with a lot of money wouldnt have a problem with this most most people dont but thenagain most people dont realise. So why are prices rising and rising all the time. Firstly there is the element of inflation here, this is a reasonble amount but not that much. Secondly: if you hink about the proccess of making somthing. To start of with its got to be designed by somone and that somone has to be paid. Then resaerch has to be done. and they have to be paid as well.Then they have to buy the parts buy the equipment to make it. Packaging, people doing this have to be paid and then they have to pay somone to distribute it all over the world, this includes shipping thousands upon thousands of things every where then driving them to places. Then the shop they sell them to has to make some money as well, so they take %409 of the products iniutial value. So if you could buy a Playdtation two dirctly from sony it would cost.`£240 as apposed to £300. So every time a PS2 is sold they shop recive £60. This is wqhy the cost of gaming is so high today Simply because of the echnology involved, this has to be first rate to please the audiance thus a lot of reaserach has to be done and this costs one hell of alot of money thus so does the product. But why do people pay t
                his amount??? Because of the entertainment. It is clear that people thses days are happy to wave good bye to £300 to have a new technologicaly advanced games console in the front room.

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                  13.06.2001 07:57
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                  Prices Perhaps it is not the price that is important, but the value for money? Consider these prices for various other forms of entertainment: Latest movie at the cinema @ 5 pounds for 2 hours = 2.50 per hour Video rental @ 3 pounds for 2 hours = 1.50 per hour Small paperback book @ 6 pounds for 12 hours = 0.50 per hour Arcade game @ 1 pound for 5 minutes = 12.00 per hour DVD @ 18 pounds for 4 hours (watched twice) = 4.50 per hour Okay, I'll be the first to admit some of those figures are very loose estimates, but you get the general idea. Now take a home computer game, be it for a console or a PC, at a rough price of 35 pounds, and consider how long a good game will keep you occupied for. 10 hours? 20 hours? Several sleepless nights in succession whilst you battle against the forces of darkness into the wee hours? Take, for example, Diablo II on the PC, which I bought on the day of release for 30 pounds, due to my fondness of the original Diablo. I really shudder to think how long I have spent playing that game; if it is less than 100 hours, I will be surprised. Now, that's value for money. I also bought SolSuite, a shareware Solitaire game, for 14 pounds, and this has filled many 5-minute periods, either as a break from working, or to relieve boredom... or maybe both! More great value for money. On the flip side, there are games that are flawed, either because they are way too easy to finish, way too hard to play, or otherwise boring. These are the ones that travel from the shop to your computer and then to your shelf, never to do anything but gather dust. This is what I would call expensive. I ought to take this opportunity to give a big thumbs up to Electronics Boutique, who offer a ten-day no-quibble returns policy. This gives you the opportunity to buy a game that looks good, play it, and return it if it turns out to be a dust-gatherer. I have to admit, I don'
                  ;t take advantage of this regularly, mainly because I like most of the games I buy, and because I'm a bit lazy, but on occasions when I have, "no-quibble" is exactly what I get. Pirates Since software piracy is probably one of the gaming industry's main excuses for the cost of games today, and since one of the pirate's main excuses for copying is the cost of the games, it's worth a mention. I, personally, find copy protection annoying. Firstly, I am forced to always use the original CD to play from, and am denied the opportunity to use backups. Although this isn't really that big a problem for me, since I look after my CDs, I really feel for parents that have children who simply don't respect CDs, getting them dirty and/or scratched. That said, accidents can happen to the most careful of us. Secondly, I always have to swap CDs if I change between games, simply so that the game can check whether I have a 'real' copy. Annoying. What does this copy protection actually achieve? Well, it presents a challenge to all the 'cracking' groups out there, who all race to see who can copy/patch a game first once it is released (if not before), and then distribute the game far and wide. This means you can take your mate's copy, install on your own PC, and download the patch that stops the copy protection tests from working. GameCopyWorld is a web site dedicated to this kind of patch, all done in the name of being able to back-up your purchase. In some cases, you can even download an ISO image, pre-hacked, to burn to a CD-R. Of course, once the 'cracking' groups have figured out how to disable one protection system, another one is invented, and so the cycle starts again. So, the only people prevented from copying the game are those with a legal copy; bizarre, eh? Wouldn't it be nice if the games companies, instead of spending money coming up with systems that alleg
                  edly 'protect' their merchandise, just used the money elsewhere, such as reducing the price or further games development. Unfortunately, I know this will never be the case. As a compromise, perhaps, they should just leave a basic protection in place that stops casual copying, and stop giving the more persistent people (who, let's face it, will never be stopped) a fresh challenge once in a while at the expense of the loyal purchasing supporters? Players Here is my biggest gripe about computer games, and - unsurprisingly, perhaps - it revolves around both the prices and anti-piracy measures of most games. Multi-player games have become very common lately and I, like many others, enjoy these immensely. Games such as Age of Empires, Warcraft, Starcraft, Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena - to name just five - become truly outstanding once several human players are able to either exercise their skills against each other or combine forces against a common enemy (whether computer-controlled, or another group of humans). The snag, however, is just how expensive it is to run such a multi-player game. Some games require that every player has a full version of the game installed, thus meaning that a 6 player game requires 6 copies, at approximately 180 pounds. On a smaller scale, having someone join me in a 2 player game of Diablo II would involve shelling out additional money for a 2nd copy. I don't need a second copy of the media, a second manual, or a second set of packaging, just the ability to run the game on two computers simultaneously. Not all games producers are so nasty, it seems. Nox provided two disks, one specifically for installing a multi-player only version of the game, so that two players could join together, but only the person with the first disk could play in single player games. Not a bad idea, but annoying because you couldn't install both versions of the game at the sa
                  me time, and then pass the 1st disk to whoever felt like playing. The best I have seen is probably Warcraft, which let you join a multi-player game without the game CD present, but only allowed two non-CD players for every one player with the CD in the drive, meaning you got three players max from one CD, six from two CDs, and eight (the maximum) from three CDs. A much more generous system, and one I would be happy with. As well as irritating restrictions being in force, I seldom see games well-labelled on this issue. The maximum number of players in a multi-player game is often shown, but the requirements are frequently missing. This means, when you're specifically looking for a multi-player game, it is hard to tell how much it will cost. Where do the anti-piracy measures come in? This is often the limiting factor; often, the game will refuse to run at all without a legitimate CD in the drive, and this inherently limits the multi-player game to one player, one CD. Do the multi-player limitations help games sell more copies? I doubt it. Faced with the option of downloading illegal patches to play a very occasional multi-player game, or having to buy several copies of the same game, I know which option most people take. Interestingly, though, having witnessed 5 people play a multi-player game of Diablo II using one copy of the game and a patch, three of them enjoyed it enough to later buy the game themselves for playing at home. Summary For one player games, I think high quality games with many hours of game play are well worth the money they cost. Value for money is the key feature, not the figures on the price tag, and I will gladly pay 30+ pounds for something that will provide many, many hours of entertainment. Multi-player games, however, seem to be following the trend of requiring one copy of the game per participant, making it excessively expensive to run a multi-player game. Considering
                  some people may organise a multi-player game as a one-off, having to buy multiple copies of the game to do so seems very unreasonable. Being realistic, I can appreciate that games publishers will never remove all copy protection, allow infinite numbers of people to play multi-player from a single copy, nor reduce their prices. I do however, suggest: 1) Utilise a simple copy protection that fools casual copying but doesn't cost the publishers the earth to implement. There's no point fighting the 'crackers'. 2) Insist, if you must, on a legitimate CD being present for single player games, but allow 3 (arbitrary figure) players in a multi-player game per legitimate CD. 3) Label games clearly, explaining what the requirements are for multi-player games. Don't say "1-8 players", say "1-8 players, 1 CD per 3 players, 1 CD provided per box" (or equivalent). I live in hope.

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                    30.05.2001 19:58
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                    The prices of games are justified. Aside from DaChild's opinion here, which shows that hour-for-hour it's cheaper than the cinema, DVDs or going to the pub, there's the simple economics of creating a video game. With increasing complexity, even relatively simple games will take 4-10 people 1-2 years to complete. Compare this with your favourite bands, who (unless they are Stereo MCs, or Pink Floyd) are often quoted saying things like "We wrote the whole album in three weeks, came off tour and recorded it in a month." An album has a potential audience of millions. The best-selling album of all time sold over 50,000,000 copies. The best selling PC game of all time sold 5.5 million! After just 9 weeks on the charts Hear'Say have sold over 500,000 copies of their crap album. Dido's No Angel has sold almost a million copies in the UK alone. Most games never sell that many copies globally... nowhere close. Games cannot hope to achieve similar sales. So greater production costs are defrayed against fewer sales. The obvious result is higher prices. If games sold more, the prices could come down? and this might happen. Although the video games industry is making many people rich, it's not a complete gold-rush. Many famously popular and successful games companies, with many hit games under their belts have gone tits-up. The most famous game in the World is Tomb Raider, a five game series, every one of which has been hugely successful. Yet publishers Eidos are loss making. Then there's the console manufacturer's cut. A sum of around £4, which is taken at source from the game publisher. This figure gets multiplied by the distributor and retailer margins, so by the time you buy the game, there's a tenner of the price that is attributable to the console manufacturer's cut. If this sum were taken from the retailer, rather then the publisher, you could see a £5 cut in console game prices
                    immediately... Someone commented that this was not easy to understand... so I'll try and explain it better. Imagine the developer calculates his material costs, staff costs and profit to be $10. He sells his games to the publisher for for $10 a copy. The distributor marks them up by 50% and sells them to the distributor for $15. The distributor marks them up by 50% and sells them to the retailer for $22.50... The retaler marks them up by 50% and you pay $33.75 a copy... But then Sony/Sega/Nintendo/Microsoft say, "We want $4 from every copy sold, and we want the publisher to give it to us." So the publisher now has a product that cost him $14. So charges the distributor $21. The distributor charges the retailer $31.50 and the retailer charges you $47.50! The figures are just an example, but they show how it basically works. If the retailers had to pay Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft, you could have the game for $33.75+$4=$37.75. But because it's added at the start of the supply chain, and multiplied by everyone's margin, you end up paying $10 more per game. Then... there's piracy. If you want to drive your car, you have to buy petrol. Simple as that! If you want to get drunk, you have to buy beer. If you want to see a film at the pictures, you have to buy a ticket. Or try and sneak in, but most of the scrounging scum who want something for nothing haven't got the bottle to do that. So instead, they steal video games, and the rest of us, who pay for our games, pay for theirs too in increased prices. But again, DaChild showed that measure for measure, you get more hours of enjoyment out of a video game than you do out of a DVD, CD, Packet of crisps etc. And then there's always the ultimate comparison: A years membership to the gym costs £300, most people pay up and then go just three times for an hour each time, meaning a cost of £100 an hour... making Video games 33p an h
                    our an absolute bargain.

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                      23.05.2001 16:50
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                      People always go on about "games are too expensive". Not really when you compare the amount of hours entertainment you get from a good game, compared to the cost of a DVD, CD album, Book, trip to the cinema or night out at a restaurant. Cinema in London costs around £8 for 2.5 hours of viewing. Recent releases on DVD cost £15-20 for 2.5 hours of viewing (you can watch again though unlike cinerma). But you can't interact with either cinema or DVD, unlike a game. Interaction=design/production=major costs! New release PC games are £30. A new Dreamcast game is £30-40, a PS2 game £40, Nintendo N64 games £40. A good game may keep you occupied for 20 hours. Shadowman cost me £30 on Dreamcast and took 30 hours to complete, which works out at £1 per hour, and each hour was very enjoyable. Half-Life cost me £15 second hand for my PC and took me about 20 hours to complete, £0.75 per hour. I like buying PC games because they are way cheaper than console games, even within 2 weeks of release. I get most of my PC games second-hand and rarely pay more than £18 for a game that was released a month before. Older games like Doom or Duke Nukem3D can be had for £5! And I got Shadowman for the PC for £2.99!! Dreamcast games and N64 are much cheaper now too, PS2 games are still pricy as it's a new system. Holding off from purchasing a new system for 1-2 years means you get the hardware and the games for sometimes half the price. Why do games cost so much more than buying an album though? Look at the cost of production. To produce a game may cost anything between £1 million-£4 million and take up to 3 years to create. During that time you have to pay a studio full of coders, artists, designers, QA guys, management - then you have the promotion, advertising, packaging, etc. If they don't make this money back by selling each unit at a realistic retail price, they don't make any more games (which is starting to happen - look at the amount
                      of studios that have gone under this year). A reason that console games cost more than PC games (typically £40 for new Dreamcast/ PS2 games) is the amount of QA a console game needs before it can be released. I visited Sega in Gunnersbury last year and walked into the QA room to find 200 guys sitting behind 14" screens, bug testing the latest DC games. That costs alot of money. Since consoles don't have hard drives, you can "patch" a console game like you can with a PC game. So it must work out of the box, that costs money to employ all those testers. One guy's job was to play the game for 2 seconds, press reset, then play 2 seconds further past the last time, press reset and so on (in other words make sure the game resets at each point in the game). When you know about all this stuff, games aren't really expensive. Take into account the cost of producing the game, testing, etc. and you start to see why it costs £30 or £40. Look at the amount of reply value - for example look at the tons of mods, maps,etc. for Half-Life and the value for money argument is looking very good. Sure a CD album costs only £12.99 in Woolworths, and it may have taken 6 months to record, but it didn't take 3 years of slavery and cost £2 million did it? people try to justify piracy by saying that games cost too much, but that's b***shit: piracy is simple theft, just the same as going into Electronics Boutique and putting the box in your bag and walking out without paying. Keep stealing games and you damage the industry, it's that simple really.

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                        05.05.2001 02:30

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                        Wow…….Online Games are great as they are free. There are plenty of games which are playable and makes you want to play more. There action games like the stickdeath S.W.A.T game where you control I stick man in his cartooney world. There are sort of strategy games like the famous Dope Warz or the not so famous Taipian 3000 where you are a wheeling dealing druggie trying to make money. Then theirs Taipian 3000 which is much cleaner and much better gameplay you often find you have to battle ships to get scrap metal to salvage. These games are fun to play and are difficult to get a high score. Then there are the most popular online games so far. The Casino games are great fun as you are betting with not real money but you can be brave and go to somewhere like riverbelle where you can go for real money. There are pretty much all the casino games ready to play on the internet. If its Black Jack or roulette the internet is good source for all these games especially on shockwave.com There are all the old classic retro games like centipede which is still very playable and there are games like missile command which is my favourite retro game. The second biggest genre for online game has to be the sports. There are plenty of sports games from Fusball (table to footie) to ice hockey. Theirs even Fling ‘a’ Cat bought to use from the notorious newgrounds .com where you get points from catapulting cats into holes for points and prizes. So whats the next step in online gaming? Well I think that games on the tele will just be getting bigger and better and computers games will move on to the tele Chris

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                        18.04.2001 06:52
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                        Is gaming expensive? Really, has the price of gaming gone up so much within the last few years that fewer and fewer of people who want to be playing games can actually afford to? Not really, at least I don't think it has. Obviously there are many forms of playing 'video-games', from your home games console, to the PC to the arcades, and maybe you've got one of those little cheap handheld game things (I don't mean the GameBoy - just those small electronic games you can get in a shop)...Depending on your status, age and specific gaming requirements the cost of gaming will differ. However, in general I believe it's gone down in price, and certainly as technology advances, you'll be able to pick up the 'latest', or what was the latest 'best thing' for a lot less. To make this less complicated, I'll divide my thoughts into sections - with each of the available and 'soon to be released' consoles having their own paragraph, with an arcade and PC section. So, if you're only really interested in one gaming device, then you can easily skip parts of the review! Ok then, here goes! The Consoles (Now): The Sony PlayStation: Sony are an incredibly successful company and now lead the way in the world of home console gaming with their PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles being the highest selling of the lot. The PlayStation has been here for around 6 to 7 years now, and has seen massive price changes, and has had a whole new makeover! The PlayStation is currently being sold in it's slender 'A 3rd of the original size' form, complete with a dual shock pad for £79.99 in most games stores. Now you will be able to get a PSone with a couple of games or more for slightly more than this price, but it's not bad value considering how much it used to be! On release the PlayStation was £399.99, but rapidly came down in price - more than halving to £185.99 in 1997 quarter 1. The P
                        S isn't the latest piece of hardware anymore, and the games do look outdated next to the newest machines, but the console doubles as a CD player, has a vast catalogue of games - over 1000 possibly, and is very popular! The games cost £29.99 new, but their are various ranges like the 'Platinum' range, the 'Classic' range and so on, with games at around £19.99 and £9.99 respectively. You can find some great deals on the slightly older games - for example, in HMV you can get 3 games for £20, but there are currently loads of offers like this so check out all the stores - offline shopping seems to be better for bargains at the moment! The PlayStation games used to cost £39.99 RRP, but this was lowered by 25% making the RRP of PS games pretty good value. If you've missed out on some classics like Gran Turismo 2 and Colin McRae 2 for around £15 or less now - both are great and at really good value too! If you want to get back into games like Tomb Raider then you'll be able to pick these up for next to nothing - £10 for any game is cheap. 2nd hand: You can get your PlayStation chipped and use back up/copied CD games, and that'll cost you hardly anything per game, but I'm set in my ways and am firmly against copying games, getting illegal software and ripping the games companies off because the price of PlayStation games isn't that much, and it's almost like stealing in a way. But hey a lot of people do it. But getting second hand, you can get one of the original - larger - PlayStations for around £50 and you'll get a few games with it too. I've found that the Sony machine does hold its value well, and is incredibly popular still! A console on it's own should cost around £30 - £40. Check auction and advertising sites, but local games stores, and online stores often offer second hand stock at reasonable prices. Overall? The PlayStation is not the forefront of gaming, but you can still have a l
                        ot of fun out of it. It's fairly cheap new and second hand, and could make a nice present for someone! I don't currently own one, and seeing that the PS2 plays PlayStation games, I don't suppose I'll ever get one again! But, the PSX offers reasonable value. Just don't expect the games to be the best available. However, due to the immense popularity of the thing, games developers will continue to make games for it - so the PSX or PSone as it is now known, will probably never leave our shelves (well it will, when people buy them, if you see what I mean)! Okay, next one! The Nintendo 64: Originally, Nintendo were going to name their console the Ultra 64, but didn't. Either way, they made the mistake of making it cartridge based yet again; making the N64 games incredibly expensive, and they still are when new! I've never been a great fan of the Nintendo consoles, as they always seemed a little bit too gimmicky, plastick like and aimed more for children. But the N64 is a great console, and is purely for gaming. You can't play music on it as it's cartridge based, and there're no special additional features! However, Nintendo have had so much success and revenue from their Pokemon franchise that it doesn't matter how many N64s have been sold. A lot of people do own them, but not on the same scale as the amount that own Nintendo's other machine - the Game Boy. If you're a Nintendo 64 owner, then you might be a bit disheartened at the lack of shelf space the N64 now gets, but seeing as only 1 game a month on average is being released for the 'slowly fading away' console, there isn't much point in game stores doing this. How much then? Well the N64 is on its last legs really, but if you haven't played on one then that's a great reason for getting one while they're cheap! The N64 started life back in March 1997 and arrived at £249.99, with the games costing an incre
                        dible amount - really expensive in my view - some games were like £69.99!! Now though, new, you can get an N64 on it's own for around £49.99, but retailers seem to be bundling them with games just to clear stock, so you could pick one up with 6 or more games for around £100 or less. That's not bad, but the N64 hasn't impressed me really. Although there are some great games like Mario Kart (supposedly great), Mario 64, Perfect Dark and Golden Eye, I can't see the attraction - nor can a lot of people. But you can get them cheap now! The games? Well as I say they started off really high, and even today brand new releases (about 1 a month) cost around £50, which is a lot of money. You can't get that many N64 titles now, as the stock seems to have run dry, but you could get some new games, some of the older ones for around £20. It’s not as good value as the PSX games, but then the N64 isn't anywhere near as popular as that machine! Look online though for the latest releases as some places do give a good discount. Very expensive games overall in my view! 2nd Hand? Well there aren't many piracy problems with the N64, but second hand you can get one for around £25 and that are a steal! (Sorry) The better games sell well second hand, but most won't fetch more than £20. You can get most titles for around the £10 mark, but there aren't many N64 games about for sale! Overall, not the most expensive console now, and nearing the end of its 4-year life, and second hand it’s a bargain. It just never really appealed to me, and the lack of games is evident, so I don't personally like it, but it's cheap now! ><><><><><><><>Half time break<><><><><><><> Ok next up, we have...The Sega Dreamcast! The Sega Dreamcast: For some reason, after the relative failure of the Saturn and the hardware add-ons to the Mega Drive in the f
                        orm of the 32X and Mega CD, Sega decided that people may not trust their brand name, and so with their new console, they almost totally disposed of their ‘Sega’ name, removing it from the packaging almost entirely, and labelling their product in a similar fashion to Sony’s PlayStation. However people didn’t really ‘get’ Dreamcast, well some did and more will, but not enough did at first (thanks partly to some dubious advertising strategies) and so the Dreamcast production has now officially ceased. Sega will continue to support the Dreamcast for a good while longer, so don’t worry – don’t sell your machine, as there are some incredible games available for it, with loads arriving soon. Dreamcast has to be the best value console in my view, and just cannot be ignored any longer! How much then? Well, back in October 1999 when it was launched, the Dreamcast cost £199.99 and sold really well to begin with, but then slowed down, so Sega cut the price to £149.99 a year on, and then just after Christmas it became £99.99. I paid the full price of £200, which compared to the PlayStation 2, still would seem in my eyes, good value. However, here’s the best bit. If you haven’t got a Dreamcast yet then read the reviews – most people would recommend them, and I certainly do, as I have done in the past. Right now the best offer, which has just recently passed was at Gameplay.com where you could have gotten a Dreamcast with 4 games for £74.99. Naturally I took the offer up and will sell the console separately and keep the games! But at £99.99 you can get a couple of games: Sonic and ChuChu Rocket I think. This is still great value, although I have seen a DC + 5 games for £110 at ToysRus.co.uk so that may be worth checking out. The Dreamcast has some of the best looking games at the moment and certainly the most playable (Crazy Taxi springs to mind). You can surf the net and send & receive emai
                        l through your Dreamcast, as well as play online games – against people from all around the world due to the Dreamcast modem! There are no other Internet ready games consoles available at the moment, so this is the best in that respect. The games? Well the RRP is usually £39.99 on DC games, but you can get them cheaper everywhere including online stores and offline. The games are really cheap though, as they seem to half in price just a couple of months after release! The best prices I have seen are at comet the electrical store, where you can pick up Soul Calibur for £10 and have change. Great value! Look out for special offers, and never ay £40 for a game! 2nd hand the Dreamcast isn’t that much cheaper than new, with DC consoles on their own selling at around £70, but you could pick up a big bundle with a few peripherals, many games and the console (maybe 10 games) for around £140, which is exceptionally good value. 2nd hand games though cost less than £20 normally, with many games selling for under £10 – great value! Overall, the Dreamcast offers great graphics, loads of great games and is online ready. Great value and definitely the best buy at the moment! Next up? The only console left (left as in currently for sale other than the hand-held machines)…. The Sony PlayStation 2… I have a PS2, and I did pay the full £299.99 for it, and some people, including myself at times, feel that I’ve wasted my money, somehow being ripped off, but to be honest it isn’t that much really. If the Dreamcast were still £200, then the PS2 would probably seem like a bargain to most people. But compare the price to the N64 starting price back in 1997, and you can see that the PS2 offers relatively good value. Sony do make a loss with every console sold, but I’m sure it’ll come down in price – not by a lot, but around Christmas time I reckon the PS2 will be £250.
                        Ok, so why so much? Well it isn’t ‘that’ much considering the PlayStation originally cost £400, but next to the ‘competition’ the PS2 is at least 3 times the price. You can play most PlayStation games through the console though – therefore there is a wide range of games already available for it, but you didn’t buy the latest piece of gaming for 32bit 3 yr old games! So, although I have been quite disappointed with the PlayStation2, it is selling well, and the games are getting better. So in a few months time there could well be games that attempt to rival the brilliant Shenmue on Dreamcast, but let’s wait and see. You do get a DVD player as well as a games machine in the PS2, and although it isn’t online ready and modem equipped (or broadband, as it will be soon), most people will appreciate the DVD function. No it isn’t the greatest DVD player in the world, but it’s comparable with the cheapest models, which would set you back around £140. So that leaves you the latest gaming device for £160, had it not been DVD equipped…still, it’ll get cheaper! The games? Well the PS2 games are £39.99, but some are being sold for slightly more at £44.99, and then there are some at slightly less. The PS2 is relatively new, and so you can’t get many discounts on games, so the best bet if you want a PS2 game for less than RRP is to go second hand. I sold Tekken Tag and Moto GP for less than £25 each, and most games, even brand new ones online at auction sites will cost around 30% less than new prices. Verdict? Well, £300 is a lot of money, and then you’ve got to buy the games, the memory card, the stand, the remote the…and so on, so it isn’t cheap. I’d recommend going halves with a family member or something to spread the costs, but if you’ve got the money, and have nothing to get with it, then Sony wouldn’t say no to your cash. When the PS2 game
                        s pick up in terms of quality and sales, the PS2 will be more worthwhile, and I do think at £250 it’d be better value. But if it’s selling well, and if Sony isn’t stupid, then the price won’t go down for a while yet! Phew…this is getting tiring now! Hope you’re still awake! Anyway, moving onto handheld consoles, arcades, the future, and the USA… The Nintendo monopoly: Nintendo have achieved over 140million Game Boy console sales, and has fought off competition from Sega’s game gear and recently the Neo Geo Pocket Colour. The Game Boy is unrivalled at the moment, and is about to be updated by the Game Boy Advance! The Game Boy is around £60, with the games costing £20-£30. There are no piracy problems here and so Pokemon will continue to sell 10million per colour of game! I’m not that interested in the Game Boy, and if you’ve read everything in this post so far, you probably couldn’t care less, but as I said you might have skipped parts to get here, so I’ll make an effort! The Game Boy is very popular, so the public obviously think it’s worth the money, and let’s face it – who hasn’t played Tetris? Everyone knows someone with one of the mini Nintendo’s, and no one I know complains about the prices of the games. Possibly because they’re so great and last such a long time, or maybe because there’re special hypnotic devices/subliminal messages encoded in the GB games ‘this game is great value – do not complain’? So what about the future? Well the Game Boy Advance is just around the corner, and should land on our shores June 22nd. It’s going to be very impressive and very successful and very good value hopefully! The actual console will be £79.99, with games priced similarly to the current GB games. Nintendo could charge what they wanted, and they do make loads of money from their hand held devices,
                        but everybody likes them, and the market is monopolised in a nice way… The arcades! The arcades typically in England cost a lot at £1 a go, but if you’re the best at the game then you won’t need to spend a great deal! Arcades are great fun, well some are, and the 4 player racing games like Sega Rally 2 are worth the money I think! Anyway, not much to say about arcades now other than it depends how good you are as too how expensive it can get. Always give yourself a limit, as proving you’re good at something shouldn’t cost you more than a few quid & if it does you’re probably no good at it anyway. The Future? The future consoles in the form of Nintendo’s Game Cube and Microsoft’s is just around the corner, and should arrive in under a year’s time. Both console look very strange – check the websites www.xbox.com and www.nintendo.com but hopefully they’ll both be under the £300 price. I’ve got the feeling the GC from Nintendo will be £199.99 with the X-Box retailing at £249.99 or more. Either way whichever way you look at it, the prices will probably be less than the original PSX was. The USA? Well all I have to say on this point is, no I can’t it may offend – they get games at the equivalent price in dollars as we do in sterling. So, for example, the PS2 here is £300, it’s $300 in the US. That equates to around £180! So they’re getting everything at really low prices! Thanks for reading. Spend wisely, and I hope I helped! D1A1

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                          13.04.2001 03:42
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                          It's fair to say that anyone wanting to play the latest games will have to spend a lot of money to do this, however no one is forcing them to and there are lots of alternatives for people to use. --The Past-- Past prices were definetely lower, but as the prices of most things increase I don't think this is completely bad. One example is the box for monkey island 2 I came across yesterday, bought when it was fairly new. Rather than the £30 a new PC game would cost now, it cost £16.99 and for a PC game at the time I considered this fairly expensive (although cheap compared to SNES games). Further back in time I remember buying spectrum games for less than £5 that probably provided me with as much enjoyment as a lot of the games I buy now. Of course not all game prices have increased, some console game prices have stayed about the same or even decreased. An example of this that I can think of is when Street Fighter 2 Turbo was released for the SNES at a cost of £60. Being a big fan of the streetfighter games (and stupid :) I bought this almost straight away, a few week later is was being sold for £40, annoying but it does show that some prices have lowered (if only slightly). --Consoles-- When a console comes out it seems to be at quite a high price, games for the console are also fairly expensive and as the console is new there is no option to buy second-hand for quite a while. Considering the cost of getting the newest console, a few games and a few control pads would cost you quite a few hundred pounds this is quite an expensive option. However, if you are patient the costs of these consoles can be reduced radically, especially if you are willing to buy second-hand. Considering this option is usually available less than a year after the console is released it is not that long a wait, however there is no denying that the desire to own the latest console means that this wait can seem a lot longer. Con
                          sole games, on release, seem to generally be more expensive than PC games, however after they've been out a while the prices can go down quite a bit. A game may come out at around £50 and within a few years only cost you £10, however the popularity of the game itself seems to be quite a factor in this. A very popular game may remain for sale at full price for quite a long time as the demand for the game is still there, however even with these games you will often be able to pick up a cheap second-hand copy. Overall I would say that anyone concerned about the cost of gaming who wants to own a console should wait a year or so for the console to come down in price and then try and only buy games when they have been out a while and also come down in price. Initially the costs can be very high and unless you wait the console and games you want will cost you a lot of money. Of course, for anyone who doesn't mind older consoles, ones such as a SNES or Megadrive can be picked up extremely cheaply (£10-£20) and games for them will cost you between £5-£10 (probably cheaper if you can find someone wanting to sell a console and lots of games together). These old consoles are still extremely fun to play and this is a great cheap way of owning a console if you really want one but don't feel you can afford any of the newer ones. --PC's-- The initial cost of a PC can be high, however most PC's will also have a longer lifetime than most consoles. Many people seem to have the impression that they need the most powerful PC available, however you can save quite a lot of money if you buy something that will do everything you need rather than just go for impressive numbers. At the moment, for most people, the most powerful PC will provide hardly any extra performance than a much more reasonably priced one. Even when buying a reasonably priced PC for gaming you will still be spending a lot more money than you would on any console,
                          so if gaming is all you want a PC may be the wrong way to go. Games tend to be released at about £30 although this does vary a bit from game to game (for example Black & White was on general release at £35 and Worms World Party at £20). After these have been out a few months, unless they are really popular, you can usually find them for sale for around £20, a year or so after this and they will have dropped to £10. Basically, the longer you are willing to wait the cheaper the game will get. Personally I tend to buy games at various prices depending on how much I want them, Black & White I paid the full £30 for wheras Fallout 2 I waited until it cost £10. If you can't afford to buy a game upon release then the only real option is to wait (or hope for a good offer somewhere). I am unsure as to whether prices are too high, considering the life of many games they seem to be reasonable value for money, especially when compared to the price of a new hardback book that might be read only once or a DVD that someone might only watch a few times. Many people seem to simply be feel they "need" to buy a game upon release and yet if they say the exact same game on budget might not even care about buying it. I would personally say that PC games prices are fair and they reduce in price rapidly enough to give people the option of waiting. Of course there are cheaper alternatives to buying a game if you own a PC, the number of shareware and freeware games that can be downloaded for free is quite impressive. While most of these games will in general be of a lower quality than general release games there are some really good quality games that can be downloaded and provide hours of (free entertainment). Considering these options are free (unless you decide to support the author) it is a very cheap way of playing games. As well as freeware/shareware games there are also online games that can be played for free, these vary from
                          singleplayer games such as space invaders to 2-player games like chess to multiplayer games with huge variations in type. Overall there are plenty of free options available that, provided you have free internet access, allow you to quickly find a completely free game to play. Thanks to someone who left a comment about freeloader.com, I forgot to mention this here. Basically the site allows you to freely download high quality games, you have to download them in parts and view adverts in order to allow you to do this but it is a completely free way of getting games. While many of the games here you will not have really heard of others, like Grand Theft Auto 2, are ones that you will have and most of the games here are at least worth a look even if you wouldn't actually spend money on them. PC's also have abandonware and emulation, both of which are not strictly legal but are not so against the law that many people really consider them illegal. Abandonware are games that are no longer being produced and that various sites will allow you to freely download, as these games were actually sold at some time doing this isn't completely legal, but because there is no way for the people who originally made the games to further benefit from them (unless they were re-released) I personally consider downloading these games fine. Same with emulation, while I personally would consider N64/Playstation/Dreamcast emulation fairly illegal because these consoles are still in general release and easily available I don't object at all to older consoles being emulated and feel the ability to play many of the old games from a SNES/Megadrive/NES/Master System/Game Gear/etc. is a great feature of a PC and as many of these games are still extremely fun to play this provides a very cheap alternative. ---Conclusion--- I would say that the cost of gaming upon initial release is high, especially for consoles. Console games seem to be around 50%
                          higher than PC games upon release, even if it's the exact same game. For this reason I would personally advise anyone who wants to get the best value from their games to wait a while, most games will come down in price quite rapidly and while it may be a bit annoying to not own a game you really want to play you will save money by waiting. In terms of PC costs there are plenty of free alternatives that can be downloaded/accessed over the internet, freeware/shareware/abandonware/emulation all provide fun games that won't cost you a penny, if you are short of money and want something to play these are all worth a look. Overall I would say you get what you pay for, if you want the newest game on the day of release it's going to cost you a lot, if however you are willing to wait a while you can get the exact same game for 1/2-1/4 of the price.

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