How To Save Money On PS3 & Wii – Lifetime Financial Lessons

save money on ps3 and wiiI’ve been watching the news, the long lines and what people are spending on the secondary market for PlayStation 3 and Wii gaming systems and I wonder how people so intelligent can be so financially stupid when it comes to gaming. It’s downright funny that those that like video games will spend hours strategizing on how to best play the games they enjoy, but when it comes to actually purchasing the latest consoles, they head straight into the marketers’ trap without giving it a second thought. If they would step back a second and look at this issue from a financial perspective rather than eat the propaganda hype that the game makers are dishing out, they would see that the best shopping strategy to get the most value for their money in both systems and games would be to play the cyclical nature of the gaming units.

Now I know that the suggestion of not getting the gaming system the second it hits the market is unthinkable to a lot of gamers, but that is simply because they haven’t planned out a strategy. When you don’t have a strategy in a game, your character dies or you lose. When you don’t have it when spending your money, you pay far too much for what you get.

The first step is to to place a little financial perspective into the equation. There is always a huge build up in excitement when a new gaming system comes to market and that means you will have to pay a premium price for the unit. If you are lucky, you’ll spend hours in line and get one at full retail price. More likely, you’ll have to go to the secondary market and purchase it at above retail prices. What this means is that you will need to shell out a lot of cash for the system. That is not mentioning the full retail price for peripherals and games.

The cyclical nature of how the these games systems work is obvious to anyone who wishes to open their eyes. Exactly what will happen is staring directly at anyone that wants to see. The game systems will sell at premium prices until the hype starts to wear off. PS3 prices have already plummeted on the secondary market over what they were commanding in the last week. But the real signal of the cyclical nature comes from what the year old Xbox 360 units are doing. You can now pick them up for as little as $100.

What this all means is that the financially savvy gamers are picking up the Xbox 360 while the crowds are focused on the PS3 and the Wii. But it doesn’t stop with the the core system. It goes to the games themselves. Anyone picking up a game with a PS3 or Wii are going to pay full retail price for it. Those that are picking up the Xbox 360 will also be picking up their favorite games at a discount this holiday season.

Now one could argue that the superior system makes it worth the extra money. The problem with this reasoning is that the best games for a system usually come out well over a year after the system first comes to the market. It takes game developers that long to understand the potential of the new systems. So even when you wait a year to purchase the system. you really aren’t missing out on much because the best games are just beginning to arrive or still to come. As HarcoreWare.net nicely points out:

The other obvious point here is that right now the Xbox360 already has a very impressive line-up of titles on store shelves; the ps3 just launched, and has virtually nothing of interest. Also, many 360 games are already discounted ($35 for Fight Night 3 on Amazon). PS3 games are all full price since it just launched.

So by having a bit of patience, you get the system for a better price and games to go with the system at a better price (plus a much larger selection) meaning that you can get a lot more with your money. Doing this can save you well over $1000 and that means a $1000 worth of games that you can purchase.

While I have focused on the PS3 and Wii because they happen to be the “hot” items this holiday season, this strategy applies to almost anything that you purchase. If you are willing to be a bit patient, you will find that your pocket book and bank account will look a lot nicer than the Jones’ down the street. It’s a strategy to learn while you’re young that will treat you well in later years. Take the time to strategize your purchases the same way you do playing games and you will end up being a winner when it comes to your finances.

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14 Responses to How To Save Money On PS3 & Wii – Lifetime Financial Lessons

  1. frank says:

    And if anyone wants to forgo your advice and purchase a ps3 anyway, then by all means let me know :)

    I’ll be sure to sell one to you 😉

  2. samerwriter says:

    I’m way behind the curve. A year ago I picked up an Xbox (you know, the non-360 variety). I’m not a big gamer, but the price had dropped to where I could afford to buy it without worrying too much.

    The benefit is that I can buy pretty much any Xbox game for $10 – $20. I don’t play much so I don’t buy many games, but since I’ve not been spoiled by the 360 or PS3, I’m reasonably easily impressed by the latest Xbox games.

  3. Mike says:

    Be sure to remember, though, that the “$100 Xbox360” is a *very* limited promotion of only 1,000 units. The normal price for that model is $299 which is pretty much what you have to pay if you want one normally due to price fixing.

    I think you’ll see Amazon’s servers in a rare state of “crash” on Thursday as a hundred thousand people sit and mash reload every 2 seconds trying to score one of the 1,000 $100 360s. I was excited about the promotion until I saw that the odds of getting one are probably 0.00001%.

    Mike

  4. Alex says:

    The thing is, the najority of these people who are waiting for days on line picking up the first available systems are now re-selling them for thousands of dollars on ebay. Pretty financially savvy, in my opinion. I just wish I had the wherewithal (or lameness) to sit out in the freezing cold for 3 days too.

  5. max says:

    I agree with your conclusions, but they are a little generic.

    If you’re patient, you will not only have a nice console for a fraction of the price, but also accomplish … pretty much anything.

    Patience and consistency go hand in hand. I had classmates in college who were not traditionally smart, but their patience and consistency earned them better grades than the smart kids. If you’re consistent and patient at your job, you’ll be considered “reliable” and promoted. If you consistently post to your blog, it will eventually make money.

    Apply this to anything, and it will work.

  6. whochacha says:

    this statement just has nothing to do with anything, and obviously a piece of hardware is going to get less expensive over time. its called depreciation…

    PS3 prices have already plummeted on the secondary market over what they were commanding in the last week. But the real signal of the cyclical nature comes from what the year old Xbox 360 units are doing. You can now pick them up for as little as $100.

    this was written by a sophomore accounting major for an english class. yeah you can pick em up for $100, but for about 2 seconds. ridiculous.

  7. manny says:

    this statement just has nothing to do with anything, and obviously a piece of hardware is going to get less expensive over time. its called depreciation…

    It’s not depreciation. Depreciation is when a new item is used and loses value over time. This is competition and price reduction since the system is still new and has the same retail price and is being discounted

    PS3 prices have already plummeted on the secondary market over what they were commanding in the last week. But the real signal of the cyclical nature comes from what the year old Xbox 360 units are doing. You can now pick them up for as little as $100.

    That particular discount is a hard one to get, but it shows that the Xbox is being discounted. I think that was the meaning of the article.

  8. Wins says:

    While I generally agree with your advice most of the time, I feel this one has missed the mark. While it’s true that Amazon is selling the Xbox360 Core for $100, it is only through a voting sweepstakes, similar to AMEX’s My Wishlist. With a lack of a harddrive, the Xbox core edition is very limited comparing to the $399 premium option, and for a lot of gamers it is considered to be the ugly duckling of the series.

    What’s more is the idea of getting the console in the morning. For the hardcore gamers, it’s an experience that many are excited about. It’s tradition, and while many can wait until the inevitable price drop, but many games and accessories do not for the entire life cycle so there’s no real point in waiting.

    I feel your advice of being patient is kind of like not buying a turkey until it’s after thanksgiving just to save money. Yeah, you can.. So? That’s not really the point for many.

  9. dossin1 says:

    The price of all of these things is criminal. I won’t buy PS3 because I understand it won’t play all PS2 games. Also, I have bought used systems for my kids, we just wait until something new comes out and people start trading in their old systems. That’s probably the only way we’ll get Xbox 360.

  10. John M says:

    Pleading patience to a market that thrives on impatience might not be practical. By the time you gain the maturity to realize that you do not need the latest gadget, you usually don’t have the time to justify investing in the latest game console.

  11. fractalbrothers says:

    hey, don’t tell people not to buy playstation 3’s for ridiculously high prices.. they allow poor college students like myself to wait 23 hours for one and make a few bucks on ebay. =)

  12. Steve says:

    My brother slept outside of Target to get a WII… Now thats dedication. I think for guys like him it’s worth the money – he will spend 100’s of hours playing it.

  13. Savvy Steward says:

    I totally agree with you on this, but unfortunately most consumers don’t have the will and patience to wait a year or more to buy the latest gaming system or gadget. Companies thrive because of this fact, and many consumers live with credit card debt because of it.

  14. Mario says:

    You guy want to buy wii and want to play my games is to save money to $60 and when its your birthday they give you money and count all the money

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