With the inevitable rise of video game prices, what with the likes of collectors editions and what have you, it’s sadly reaching a phase where a lot of gamers have to check their wallets before making the ultimate decision. Say, students for example – they’re always low on funds. But when that long-awaited title comes swinging what else can you do but cry as you fork over your pittance? Well, you could always rent, of course. That’s an idea most gamers should consider when preparing for the next big release.
Renting video games has its perks. It also has a whole heap of problems, too. It’s finding the balance between and making the decision that’s usually the hard part. And, while buying a game outright is always a luxury in its own way, it just isn’t a possibility for millions of other people. That’s essentially where renting could step in.
In the UK, a renting service called Boomerang offers gamers the chance to play as many new releases as they can get their hands on for as little as £10. There’s no extra postal charge or sneaky terms buried beneath the fine line of the conditions. There’s just an endless spool of games at your fingertips and an excuse to play everything without spending ludicrous amounts of money. Plus, for a few pennies, you can keep your shelves tidy and your gaming library fully stocked.
That being said, there’s no telling when you might fancy playing something that suddenly springs to mind. Say you’ve recently finished a game and have the sudden urge to load up something you played a few years ago. There’s no way you’ll be able to just do it. Instead, you’ll have to locate your renting subscription and add the title to your cache. Three days later it’ll be yours. And, by that point, the urge to play it might’ve vanished. That’s sort of the downside to renting. So, unless you’re prepared to hang fire every time you feel the itch to pick something up, renting might not really be for you.
Countless times we’ve had friends ask us to quickly boot up a game for a quick match. Sadly, with renting, those simple things aren’t as easily done. Because, frustratingly, chances are you sent that certain game back the day before last. So, while technically you could get it back, you’d be letting your friend linger in the lobby a little longer than they’d probably expect to.
There is no denying video games aren’t getting cheaper by the day. I mean, that’s pretty much expected when we’ve got things like VR, Ultra settings, 60fps, and essentially anything worth chipping out the extra cash for. But, as I said – not everybody can afford to take the plunge when it comes to purchasing.
In a recent summary of the average American gamer, stats came back with $216.64 as the rough amount a gamer would spend a year on video games alone. And, while technically that doesn’t seem like a huge amount to some, it is actually 120% more than what somebody would spend to rent the same titles. Heck, an even higher percentage if you take into account the additional DLC, microtransactions, hardware, etc.
Sure, buying anything outright is the more convenient method should you have the option to do so. However, is it worth taking into consideration the crucial savings you’d make if you took the alternative path? That’s something most casual gamers should be willing to accommodate once in a while for the sake of vital funding? Or, you know – not? That’s just our opinion, of course.
Soon enough we’ll likely see the downfall of physical media. Soon enough we’ll see the rise of digitalized editions plastering over the faces of every branch across the globe. Take Netflix for example; that pretty much wiped the likes of Blockbuster off the face of the earth and banished it to an eternal void. So, who’s to say GameStop or any other store won’t be next? Soon enough, we could very well see the demise of discs and portable drives. Eventually, we could be living in an entirely downloadable universe where nothing is physical. That’s sort of where we’re heading these days it seems. But let’s not get too far ahead here.
The main thing to take away from this is the fact that renting services could very much be meeting their curtain calls. With accessible catalogs of games at the press of a button, chances are we’ll see the fall of ambitious services like good old Boomerang sooner rather than later. So, while the scenic routes are very much still available, it’s probably a good idea to contemplate taking the path before it gets obstructed. That’s our fifty cents anyway.
There are billions of dollars to be saved from just taking the time to do some quick research before taking the dive. So, when you next consider the $70 deluxe edition on an upcoming title, think twice about that reliable alternative. Sure, it’ll be a bit of a long wait and it’ll never technically be yours to keep, but it’ll be a fraction of the price you’ll pay for the full release. That’s something I think anybody should at least have a think about.
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Have you saved money by renting video games as opposed to buying them? Or are you the ultimate collector who’d never think twice about walking the renting path? We’d love to hear your stories down in the comments below.
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