Video gaming, now seemingly popular with some in nearly every demographic, can cost a lot if gamers aren't careful. Besides the consoles, which range from $400 to $500 for the latest generation, the games alone cost $60 new.
Some games have little to no replay value, so once gamers reach the end of the story, the party is often over. Even for games with greater replay value, enticing sequels and updates will be out soon enough. The good news is there are ways to save: From buying used to renting, gamers can cut costs.
The key to saving is exploring all options, said Adam Chouinard, a manager of a Denver GameStop.
"It's a combination of trying everything," he said.
Here are tips provided by experts in the field.
Almost every store that sells new games also sells used games. Depending on the title's age, popularity and the location of the store, you can snag quite the deal on a used game.
"It's the same game: There's really no incentive to new games," said Chouinard.
At a major retailer like Best Buy or GameStop, the average used title is $5-$10 cheaper than a new game. Local stores often offer more of a discount. Buy Back Games in Wheat Ridge knocks $20 off all its used games, according to manager V Hayatuk.
Trade in old games
You won't get rich by trading in games, but you'll definitely reduce the cost of the shiny new game you covet. While many stores offer gamers cash for their old games, it's usually at a steeply discounted rate, even from trade-in value.
The newer and more popular the game, the more you can expect to get, said Jon Young, owner of Level 7 Games in Denver. Trading in a new title at his store will get gamers $40-$50 back if it's within the first week.
"It's nice for the customer to get rid of things they don't want while they're still valuable, rather than hold onto a collection of things that's going to decrease in value very quickly," Young said.
Trading in games to your local video game store can be better than selling on Craigslist or Ebay because it's immediate and guaranteed, said Chouinard.
If you're planning on buying a lot of games and accessories, joining a membership program is a great way to save. They're essentially a loyalty system with benefits.
GameStop's PowerUp rewards membership has two forms: the free one, which is a rewards program, and the $15-a-year pro membership, which comes with many extras, said Chouinard.
Included in the pro membership is a yearlong subscription to Game Informer magazine (digital or print), a one-time buy-two-get-one-free special on used games, a 10 percent point bonus, 10 percent trade-in credit bonus, 10 percent off all used games and accessories, and 10 percent off all strategy guides.
Best Buy offers a Gamers Club. Aside from the free version, which offers a points-based reward system, the $120 version (two-year membership) offers much more. Members will get 20 percent off new games, a 10 percent trade-in bonus credit, 10 percent off used games, a one-time, 50 percent-off coupon for a strategy guide and a one-time buy two get one free coupon for used games.
Local stores often are more flexible
Although local stores might not have a fancy membership program, they often have cheaper used-game prices, higher trade-in values, unique loyalty programs and rare items such as classic video game systems and games.
Buy Back Games, a local Denver chain and repair center, knocks at least $20 off its used games, said Hayatuk. They also allow customers to try used games in-store before buying.
Level 7 Games is also a repair center, and it offers a 90-day guarantee on its products. It also has a huge stock of retro and rare games, said owner Jon Young. He said purchasing retro systems and games for young children is a great way to save money. Customers can get three classic consoles for about $60 on average, he Young.
Jordan Gonzalez: 303-954-1395, firstname.lastname@example.org