This is how you can continue to play during the cost of living crisis

The Week in Games is a weekly column where Vikki Blake pulls apart the biggest stories in gaming each week. This week, as the cost of living crisis deepens, she discusses how we can all save money on gambling.

Psorry for the break, but i would like to do things a little differently today. For the most part, I love what I do – rewrite video games? For money? For real!? – but it can be a challenging thing to do when the world is going to shit. Who cares what Sony does when inflation is skyrocketing and there is a devastating cost of living crisis?

So instead of sitting down and whining about my usual fuss, this week I took to Twitter to ask the general British public for their ideas on how you can continue to motivate your spending on video games. No, you will not quit May as a millionaire (even if you do, can you tell me how?); but it can help us get through some tough months without having to separate ourselves from our favorite occupation: gambling.

First, the hardware itself. If you have a nice next-generation console, these babies absorb a lot of energy, so if you do nothing else, opt out of standby mode. Microsoft recently introduced a power-saving mode for both Xbox Series X and S that now lets you download game and system updates without leaving your console in standby mode – which is much better for you and the planet.

Xbox Series S. Credit: Microsoft

If you’ve desperate for a next generation system but are struggling to raise half a thousand bucks for the benefit, do not forget Microsoft’s Xbox All Access software. You can buy a brand new Series S or X (and the significantly cheaper S is a great way to get the next generation of games for half the price of an X or PS5) in monthly installments, as well as secure 24-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as well. There is no charge in advance or for prepayment, but there is is a credit line, so think about it.

I’m a big fan of digital games – mainly because I never put anything back in the right case and am very, very lazy (get up from the couch to change records? Please) but buying physical games is better for your wallet. If you physically own your game, you can sell or exchange it when you are done. Played it for 80 hours and completed every single side quest? Sell ​​it. Played an hour and hated it? Sell ​​it. Did you forget that you even owned it and it remains in the cover? For god’s sake, sell it.

I would recommend that you look around – different places offer different prices – and if you do not mind going to the nearest post office, you will probably get even more if you are open to selling on auction sites like eBay. If you have any codes for digital items that you have never redeemed, they may give you something too; Earlier this year, Destiny 2 players sold the limited edition The Witch Queen emblem code for hundreds of pounds and probably, some people were willing to pay that. So check your emails and collectibles for any codes you may not have redeemed – well, it’s worth a point, right?

Destiny 2
Destiny 2. Credit: Bungie.

What about buying games? Well, it depends on what you’re playing on. Nintendo, for example, is notoriously tight when it comes to sales, so you may have to wait a while if your preferred console is the Switch, but if the PC is your weapon of choice, Steam sales and Epic Game Store free items show up with great regularity. as well as sales in Microsoft and the PSN store. Whatever you like, shop around or consider second-hand – this also includes your local supermarket – and make sure you pay the lowest possible price. Oh, and follow the social media accounts of your favorite games and developers – you never know when someone might run a giveaway.

A good way to save money is to wait to buy new games on release day – which is difficult for the developers who make the games, I know; I’m sorry! – and focus on cutting back on your shame before taking up anything else. Sites like r / patientgamers wait a full 12 months to buy something new to avoid release day prices and early release bugs.

Breath of the Wild.
The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Credit: Nintendo.

If you are desperate to play the latest big game, have you considered renting the service? There are several serving the UK right now, with a range of pricing plans. Alternatively, if you have many friends who play or work in a large-ish organization, it may be worthwhile to establish a change meeting if it does not already exist. Create a Discord or What’s app for your colleagues and / or friends and arrange to share and exchange your games. It can save hundreds.

Do not forget subscription services as well. If you play a lot and have a fairly broad taste, you can save yourself by diving into Xbox Game Pass or PS Now (which will soon be part of PS Plus). plenty, especially when it comes to taking a chance on a game you might not have ever tried before. There are some drawbacks – if you do not keep your subscription live you will lose the games already in your library – but it’s a great way to find new titles, and if you and your friends subscribe to the same subscription services you may know all will be able to play it.

Conversely, are you using your Xbox Game Pass or PS Now enough to justify the monthly cost? For the most part, it’s only worth it if you use it. If you do not spend at least £ 11 a month on buying games, play a lot of multiplayer or routinely forget to add games to your library, it may be worth canceling, along with other subscriptions you do not use much.

Nintendo Switch Sports.  Credit: Nintendo.
Nintendo Switch Sports. Credit: Nintendo.

There is more too. Microsoft Awards. Dust off your old Xbox 360 or PS2 and look for dirty cheap retro games. Do you have old, extra headphones, controls or other accessories that go around the house? Spike them. One person’s junk is another’s treasure and all that.

Let’s face it: the next few months will be really, really difficult, and no one will come up with a magic wand to make it all better. Looking back on the toughest times of my life, gambling was my comfort blanket. My safe space. The thought that one of us would lose the scarcity of comfort in such desperate times makes my stomach ache.

No, the tips above will not fix our broken government or the cost of living crisis. However, they can continue to play when we need it most … and that’s enough for me. For now at least.

Vikki Blake is a freelance journalist and columnist for NME.

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