Console Gaming Is Probably Costing You More Than You Think

Console Gaming Is Probably Costing You More Than You Think

We all know gaming consoles aren’t exactly cheap, but the money you spend on the console itself is merely the tip of the iceberg. GameInformer breaks down the hidden costs behind the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.There’s nothing wrong with playing a few video games — we’ve even been known to hack our own consoles from time to time — but you may not realise how much you’re spending on that console after you’ve already bought it. Take the PS3, for example. When you factor in the necessary HDMI cable, extra controller, cable extension, Bluetooth and one game, you’ve already upped your cost by nearly $US150 — probably something you didn’t think of adding to its original $US300 price tag.

The article takes into account TVs too, which I don’t know if I’d consider part of my gaming expense (unless that’s all I’m using it for), and while I think comparing the PS3’s overall cost to the Wii’s is like comparing apples and oranges (spoiler alert: The Wii is way cheaper), it does help you have a more realistic outlook when you pick up one of these gaming systems. Next time you buy, make sure you’re factoring in the cost of all the other peripherals you need. You may decide to wait for a drop in price, or just add a new video card to your PC for a few hundred dollars less. Hit the link for the full breakdown, and share your thoughts on the subject in the comments. Photo by PseudoGil.

The Hidden Costs of Gaming [GameInformer]


  • What a crock of a comparison – totally skewed by the price of the TV being included, and the TV itself being 5x more expensive for the PS3 as the Wii. The PS3 has a needless USB extension cable, a $150 charge for 3D glasses, and there’s no explanation of what the “Bluetooth: $15” item is. The Wii has Services: $0, but it doesn’t account for the different value of the services.

    Ultimately it’s going to cost everyone differently, depending on what you’ve got and what utility you want from it (e.g. a PS3 covers the need to buy a separate Blu-ray player, and with a $100 addon a DVR, too.). A Wii is great fun with 4 people, but 4x Remotes + 4x Motion Plus add-ons all adds up to as much as the console itself. Go figure.

  • The Wii is cheaper than the PS3? The base console is, but when you factor in all the batteries and broken 3rd party chargers for the mass of Wii remotes, plus nunchucks, and then buying the motion plus device for all of them, it is hardly cheaper than an extra controller.

    And what random bluetooth device are they talking about? The headset? A keyboard? Beside the fact the Wii has no bluetooth support, any bluetooth accessory is not a necessity. The Wii’s WiiSpeak room mike is a much better alternative it is hardly cheaper and only supported by a small handful of games.

    Nearly all PS3 bundles have free HDMI cables, and you can always just use the composite cables included, which is all the Wii has anyway.

    The Wii won’t even play DVDs and the PS3 can be used for DVDs, Blue-Rays and even streaming to it as a Media Centre and used to go Online. If you don’t have a Wireless connection you can’t even get online with the Wii unless you buy more accessories.

    As value proposition the PS3 is better value and will be used much more for many different reasons, beside gaming.

    I won’t even go into the TV argument. Cheers Karan.

    Spoiler Alert: GameInformer needs to do more research and LifeHacker needs to stop posting garbage.

    • EDIT: Wii’s WiiSpeak is hardly a better alternative.

      Oh and I didn’t even address the ridiculous comment about a PC video card. So, after they factor in a TV(!) into the price of a console they don’t factor in the price of a gaming PC? I don’t think I know anyone without a TV but your average person isn’t going to have a top of the line PC just waiting for that cheap “few hundred dollars less” graphics card.

      I look forward to gaming on my 2000 dollar PC that has a graphics card a few hundred dollars cheaper than 300 dollars. So i suppose it’s free then.

  • Also not to mention that shopping around can wipe massive slabs off the price. Last year I would have bought a good couple dozen games, and none of them cost me more than $40, with most more around the $30 mark. Buying games for full price is crazy.

  • Fuk dat shit playstation is da best deal compared too da 360, ps3 has built in wifi nd da 360 makes yu buy a xbox router, yu don’t need to buy a specific headset made for da ps yu don have to keep buyin batteries for da controls PSN is free xbox live ain’t, xbox makes yu buy a HD DVD player o sumn ps3 is a blueray? Gitcho “hidden cost of gaming” azz outta here ps3 saves yu money

  • Seriously, who the heck buys a new tv to use with their console? Most people use what they already have. They may factor in a console’s features/requirements when making a new purchase of a tv but I bet most people aren’t paying $2500 for a HD/3D tv that they use exclusively for gaming. [email protected]

    We’re still running our wii/xbox on our CRT tv.

  • When I read the Title, I thought it would be an article about electricity costs and standby power, etc but it is a load of S**T.

    Lets look into a couple details and discrepancies of the article. They appear to choose to have the game systems upgraded with the maximum capabilities for two players, i.e. upgrading from composite cables to HDMI.
    This is consistent with XBOX 360 and PS3 but when it comes down to the Wii they change their aim and choose not to upgrade the Video from composite to component (the maximum the console offers). The base system is for one player.
    They get a second controller without motion plus and completely ignore the accessories like steering wheels and tennis rackets that you add to the controller and then doubling all this with the second controller. When they choose “batteries” for the system they go for the cheap option of rechargeable AA’s instead of a docking station with built in rechargeable batteries. The one pair of AA’s is not going to last a year in the Wii and should be considered an ongoing cost.

    PS3 = 1080p & 3D – 46″
    XBOX = 1080p – 46″
    Wii = 720p – 32″

    This is like comparing a Commodore and Falcon with a i30.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!