By: Sarah White
As both a gamer and a Staples employee, I can tell you that being a PC gamer isn’t as expensive as you think. There’s an infamous rumour that computer gaming is excessively more costly than simple console gaming. Almost every guy in the technology services department at work is a PC gamer, almost exclusively. There’s been a couple of occasions were one of my coworkers has explained to me that being a PC gamer, or that setting up your first computer isn’t as bad as you think. He actually walked me through setting up a decent standard computer that could preform well with today’s latest games and I was kind of shocked at the price – but in a good way.
The thing to remember is, that Steam, unlike any other gaming developer, platform or store, has the best sales BAR NONE. The various PSN Flash Sales and other Microsoft deals do not hold a candle to the Steam Summer and Christmas Sales. The reason I’m pointing this out is PC gaming may seem to carry a hefty price initially, but once you get set up the investment you made starts to pay off really quick. For those of you who don’t know of the Steam sales, they’re famous for selling AAA games, or big named titles that would otherwise run for $40 plus tax at any normal retailer for less than $10. These games are usually a couple years old but at that price, it’s nothing short of amazing.
Games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, BioShock Infinite, Fallout: New Vegas, all were discounted by 75%, with their prices ranging form $2.49-$7.49.
With the new additions to Next Gen – technically current gen games released for PS4 and Xbox one, or just newly released games, are eligible for the sale as well. Although they may not be 75% cuts on the price, they can still range between 25-50% off for a game that, taxes in, would cost you close to $90.
The other notable thing about PC gaming is that it will never be out-dated. Unlike consoles, when a new “generation” of consoles are released you don’t need to fork out $600 every time technology decides to upgrade. You simply change your graphics card, depending on your preference or at your discretion, if you want better graphics. If anything breaks, you can replace the part, unlike needing to replace an entire console.
Here’s a quick breakdown, number wise: PC:
- Higher starting price – $1000+, typically in the vicinity of $1500
- Games ranging from $5-$40, $60 if you need it the day of its release
- Lifespan 5-7 years, but can be continually upgraded to improve performance
- Lower starting price, generally $599+tax
- Games – for current generation i.e. PS4/Xbox One – typically $69.99+ tax, which depreciate as soon as you buy them but almost never go on sale for less than $49.99 if you’re looking at a AAA game
- Lifespan average 5 years, cannot be upgraded by the average gamer. Any repairs can cost around $150, depending on the problem.
At the end of the day, it’s all about preference. For me, I prefer consoles. But I know many who prefer gaming. Looking at the numbers, over the average lifecycle of a console or generation, a gaming PC seems to rack up the same amount as a console. PC gamers save their money on games, while console gamers save their money on the initial cost of the console. A gaming PC may seem scary at first because WOAH COMPUTERS ARE EXPENSIVE. But if you think of it in terms of gaming or an investment, it’s really just a multifunctional, customizable console.