Disposable income is in short supply for most of us and I have recently been comparing the price I pay for things. SO this week’s poll question is…
Are PC games good value?
When making these types of comparisons it’s hard to choose the right things. In this case I tried to compare things that would compete with my time and money in the same way.
However, what really got me started on this value question was going to a fast food outlet. Whilst I love this type of food I generally only eat it once or twice a year. Anyway I went to one of these restaurants and ordered a takeaway chicken burger, fries and a drink. I can’t remember the exact price because I was still in shock but it was around 7 Euros. Having fumbled my money across the counter and stuttered Ttthnak you, I sat down outside to consume my caviar-priced delicacy.
Being a little hungry it was gone with 4 minutes. FOUR MINUTES!! That’s nearly 2 Euros a minute. More expensive than one of those sex phone lines. Cough, cough, so I am told. So, here began my constant comparison between my chicken burger meal and everything else I encountered. When living abroad many people initially make a mental exchange for the currency back into the native currency to decide if something is good value, I started doing it with chicken burger meals!
One last point, your location is very important in these comparisons, so your equivalent may be significantly different from mine.
I haven’t been to the movies for a LONG time. Partly because I’m too lazy and partly because most of the films I’ve seen have been disappointing. It’s probably a case of me getting old, but that doesn’t stop me from watching them if they are on TV. My local cinema charges around 5 Euros for a film. Quite expensive per hour compared to games but much better value compared to a chicken burger. Having said that many people I know also go to the multiplex and have dinner out at the same time, along with popcorn and drinks the night becomes a lot more expensive. Of course it’s turned from a direct comparison to something else. A night out with friends or loved ones is very different from sitting at home playing games. 90 minutes for 5 Euros.
This is the winner hands down. Most of my books are bought second hand but even new hardback books give me many, many hours of pleasure. Not to mention the fact I can lend and borrow books with my friends. There are no other costs involved and I can read them almost anyway. I better stop now before I convince myself to sell my PC and games and buy books with the cash! ~20 hours for 16 Euros. (For a new hardback)
Well, rental can be good value and sometimes even buying the DVDs is cheap. But for some reason there’s something that makes me think it’s not as clear as it seems. I can rent a new DVD movie for around 4 Euros. Just less than the price of seeing the movie in a cinema. Of course I can stop the movie to have a pee or get something to east but that big screen is so much better. 90 minutes for 4 Euros.
I could have added TV but that doesn’t seem far because that’s just soooo cheap. OF course most of the stuff is absolute rubbish but how do you quantify quality in this case?
What about other comparisons? Maybe music but since most people listen to music whilst doing other things that didn’t seem a fair comparison either, especially since you may listen to a piece of music hundreds of times.
Can you thing of other comparisons I should have used?
It’s hard not to conclude that PC games are pretty good value but one thing I haven’t mentioned is the cost of the PC itself and its running costs. Having a huge power supply and electricity draining video card must cost something, especially as the price of electricity is getting higher and higher.
Valve’s games stand out as being excellent value, as this page demonstrates. Other publishers’ newer games seem a little steep to me. In my local hypermarket Crysis and Bioshock are still priced at 50 Euros, the same price as the Orange Box. Even Timeshift is 50 Euros.
There’s no doubt the games are getting better as the price increases but there’s no way I’m paying 50 Euros for a game, even Half-Life 2: Episode 3. It’s a little worrying to think that there’s a possibility of games not being made because the price they would have to sell them for is beyond most players acceptable range.