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Video Games to Buy or to Rent

In today’s video game market the standards of quality and experience have rocketed beyond what we all once knew as children. Do you remember the days of pong and pac-man? Those 8 bit days are long gone now replaced by next gen graphics and full on in your face visuals that leave you wondering am I still in my living room or did I just travel across the galaxy and wipe out an entire race of sinister aliens bent on destroying human civilization? Gaming has come a long way since the two button mashing and joystick throttling era. We now live in a society in which the possibilities are limitless to our imaginations and some really breathtaking moments. The unseen element that has come with this next gen upgrade is the upgrade in gaming prices. Today’s average game costs around $50 to $60, a nice sizable chunk out of our wallets for that 1080p experience. Once upon a time cost wasn’t a serious factor, but for the majority of us that live on small budgets and fixed incomes it would be good for us to have a little knowledge about the market options so that our gaming experience can be as enjoyable as possible.

The first thing you want to have prepared is this, what do you want? What kind of gaming experience likens to your taste? Action? Strategy? Shooters? RPG? Simulations? Fighting? Racing? Etc. What are you into? Finding what you like will determine your best option up front before you even get into your purchasing options. The reasoning behind that is determining the amount of time it will take to finish the game type you are looking into. Most action and fighting games can be beaten in under 10 hours, while role playing and strategy games can push the 30 to 50 hour summit. Knowing that will help you choose right away what is best for you, buying or renting.

For the person that wants to buy, you should ask yourself these questions. Am I comfortable with spending this amount of money on this type of game? Will I gain any replay ability from it? (Essentially, is it worth playing again after I have beat it the first time?) Does it have multi-player ability in which I will need this game to constantly play it again and again? Is this something I want to keep? And of course do I want this for myself or as a gift for someone else?
Buying definitely has it’s perks. You always have the game available when you want it. You have that accomplished look when your friends come over and see your large library of games. And the joy of owning something you love. It is a great option for games that have a multi-player option in which you are playing with others in a greater community of gamers, creating a larger experience than you could have on your own. Your not able to enjoy the multi-player option on a consistent basis if you don’t have the game readily available at all times.

For the person that is looking to rent there are a few options to look at before asking the questions of what they are wanting from their gaming experience. Today there are two options in renting, traditional or on-line. Traditional renting involves renting from a store, such as Blockbuster, at a fixed price for a limited time. The going price today for a next gen game is $7 for 5 days. If you can beat a game in under 5 days for just seven dollars, that is a great deal compared to the purchasing it for $60. But of course that depends on the game type involved and your personal lifestyle. If you are a high school or college student that can procrastinate your scholarly duties to play for a few straight days head on than that is great for you but if you are a working, in a relationship or married that may not work well for you. If you have the game past the 5 days you could incur late fees or just rent it for another 5 days for the same price. Online renting, however, has a much more flexible option available to gamers. Plans involve a small monthly fee for rentals that are mailed to you free of charge. You are able to keep them as long as you want without the worry of late fees and when you are done you can send them back and have another sent to you. Pretty simple. Gamefly, an online video game rental company, has plans that let you start out for only $8.95 for the first month and then change to $14.95 a month for a mailing of one game at a time or $21.95 a month for a mailing of two games at a time. With the smaller priced plan alone if you turn around one game a month in four months you would have played for games for the price you would have paid in purchasing one game at retail value. Definitely seems like a great option for those needing time without worry of late fees and the ability to enjoy great games at much less the cost of retail value purchases.

As you can see, the options are varying in degree and are dependent on you personal gaming needs. If you are looking for the comfort of knowing you own a game and being able to jump into a multi-player game at any time than buying is a great option for you. But if you like to speed your ways through games or take your time without the worry of fees online gaming may be a better option for you. (For you Xbox 360 users you can add a sizable increase to your gamerscore this way.) Either way it’s entirely up to you.

With it’s change over the last 30 years, gaming has become one of the greatest forms of media we have seen on this earth. With this understanding, hopefully you too will be able to enjoy all it has to offer in the years to come.

See you on Live.

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