The holiday shopping season is now in full swing, and if you weren’t one of those people standing in a 24-hour line in order to land the newest gaming titles you’ve probably got quite the list for Santa Claus. This is the time of year when all the major game companies release their biggest titles, those blockbusters that can now be expected to outperform even the huge tentpole releases out of Hollywood. And you want them all. But after paying for the upgraded system, a handful of new controllers and a monitor that stands up to your uncompromising eye, how are you supposed to afford the games? You’re going to have to put the gamer in you aside for the season and act like a savvy shopper instead. Succeed at your mission using one or more of these five ways to save money on popular video game titles for the holidays.
First of all, do your research. Video game release dates are announced months and sometimes even years in advance, and you should have them on your calendar. This will help you budget sufficient funds to pick up the must-haves, while also acknowledging if you have too many titles on your list and need to bump some down. Of course there’s always Santa to lean on, but let’s face it, you probably haven’t been all that nice this year.
When you do have certain games in mind, look for ways to confirm their worth before plunking down your hard earned dollars. Read reviews, both by industry experts and the game blogs you respect, to avoid the outright clunkers that many developers promote during the holidays. But take it a step further and get your hands on the game. Many popular releases offer demo levels you can play, so you know what you’ll be getting. Check your platform’s downloadable store to see if your favorite upcoming titles have released a demo.
Once you’ve nailed down the winners and luckily avoided the losers, how can you still save money on their purchase? The savvy gamer will take advantage of trade-ins and used purchasing. Most video games have a limited shelf life. Once you beat them, you probably won’t be returning to play any but the most classic. So trade them in to receive in-store discounts and coupons you can put towards other purchases. If you’re an avid gameplayer you’ll have plenty to get rid of. In addition, skip the most current release and buy used. A game that is six months old is often deeply discounted, as stores want to make room for new stock. So if you can wait that long you’ll be able to afford twice the amount of games.
Look around for gaming communities to join as well. Some online communities are completely focused on deals. Members will help each other find discount sites with great prices, or local retailers with the best price tags on new games. At the same time, gaming communities often trade used games amongst members. You could find someone who has already completed a game you want to try, and is willing to trade for a title you are done with. It’s a perfect system, and will reward those with the most patience.
Finally, consider renting games. Almost all of the movie rental services also rent video games, which is a fantastic way to try out a title for $6 or less. Play it for the weekend and decide if it is worth buying, or perhaps you’ll have your fill at that point. Netflix is one fantastic option, and they’ll ship it right to you. Couponloco has Netflix trial offers if you aren’t a member yet. Obviously someone can’t gift you a video game rental. But you can ask for a gift card for any of these rental services, which will end up filling the same need.