This year the prolonged quarantine has shown that without the ability to get out of the house, a lot of time is freed up. It can be spent on solving everyday problems, studying or exercising, but sometimes you just want to have fun. At home, video games can be of great help. But before embarking on a virtual journey through fictional worlds, the gamer will have to choose the platform that best suits his taste and budget. So let’s see the average cost one has to incur to fulfill their desires in becoming a gamer these days.
The average cost of becoming a Gamer
1. Personal computers (PCs)
Complete desktop built/laptop: $500/1000 – $5000/4000
- Monitor: $150 – 2000
- Keyboard: $10-250
- Mouse: $10-200
- Headset: $20–250
- Total: $690 – $6,700
If you want to join this particular camp, you should decide what games it will be intended for. The characteristics they require will help set a certain bar for PC configuration and, as a result, for a budget. If you don’t have any specific preferences for games, then you need to first look at the processor and video card of the future “machine”, looking for the equipment with the largest number of cores and the clock rate of the first and the amount of memory in the second within the available means. It is also desirable that the PC has an SSD-drive on board and at least 8 GB of RAM thus leading to a higher cost for a gamer to incur.
Next, you need to find a suitable monitor, the key characteristics of which are resolution and refresh rate. It depends on the high-quality picture in games. Monitors aimed at gaming audiences have at least Full HD resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate. As for the size, you should start from a diagonal of 22 inches.
It will be the heart of the PC gamer’s ecosystem – the right mouse and keyboard. It would seem that against the background of other elements it looks like a mere trifle, but here there are some peculiarities. So, when looking for a keyboard, you need to pay attention to its type. It can be membrane or mechanical. We recommend that gamers purchase the second type. Mechanical keyboards are perhaps slightly more expensive than membrane keyboards but are considered more reliable and faster. Parameters such as sensor resolution (DPI) and response time can play a role in mouse selection. The first affects how far the cursor travels on the monitor relative to the distance traveled by the mouse on the surface, and the second – how quickly commands from it is sent to the computer. Both of these indicators can play an important role in the game world. Finally, PC gamers need a headset to chat with friends in online games.
All this equipment will take a lot of time to collect, and besides, it will need a lot of space in the house. To save some space, you can opt for a gaming laptop if you’re not afraid of the limited display size compromise. Otherwise, you can focus on the same characteristics and even gaming accessories as in the case of a stationary PC.
2. Gaming consoles
- Console: $299–500
- TV (Full HD 32″ or 4K 85″): $150-5000
- Headset: $10—250
- Paid subscriptions (from 1 month to 1 year): $10-60
- Total: $470 – $5,810
The name of the product speaks for itself. Unlike smartphones and PCs, these devices are not specifically designed for purposes other than gaming. And the choice of the console is a much less painful process. Any modern console has powerful hardware onboard aimed at the highest quality gaming experience. So, you don’t have to think about it. It all boils down to three main metrics: budget, storage space, and brand.
The first two points are simple. The amount of memory determines how many games can be stored directly on the device. Some of them can take up to 100 GB, but purchased games can always be deleted and returned to the console from physical media or the cloud. But the brand will have to break your head. Currently, there are three main names on the consoles market: Xbox from Microsoft, Switch from Nintendo, and Playstation from Sony. There is not much difference in the gameplay between them, but there are several nuances in operation that can play a decisive role in choosing a brand.
The traditional argument in favor of Sony’s brainchild is the abundance of exclusive games. Besides, the Playstation can be purchased straight away with VR headsets, if the budget allows. On the other hand, Microsoft has a very convenient Game Pass service in its arsenal, paying for a subscription to which you can get temporary access to a constantly updated catalog of games. By the way, you need a headset for multiplayer mode. So, it will be possible to coordinate with your friends your actions on the Web or just communicate on abstract topics, while solving game problems in parallel.
Of course, you need a suitable TV to play on as well. The most modern models in the Sony and Microsoft consoles support 4K resolution, which means that by choosing a TV to match them, it will be possible to appreciate all the graphic power that video game developers have to offer you today. On the other hand, such a decision will have a significant impact on the budget. However, if the purpose of the purchase is to simply display an image from the console, you can get by with more modest technical characteristics. For a basic experience, a 32-inch Full HD TV may suffice.
3. Mobile Gaming
- Smartphone: $200 – 1500
- Gamepad: $20 – 200
- VR Headset: $20 – 200
- External battery (20 thousand mAh): $20-130
- Total: $260 – $2,030
Today smartphones can be considered as new PCs. Without taking up a lot of space on your desk or in your bag, they help you work, communicate with colleagues, find out the latest news, watch movies, and, of course, play games. On a mobile device, you can play any game, starting from mobile gambling games like poker and ending with super blockbusters like PUBG or Fortnite. More and more people are turning to the latter option. According to analyst firm Newzoo, the number of mobile gamers will reach 2.7 billion by the end of 2023.
To join the growing community of mobile gamers and not limit your choice to the simplest card and logic games, you will need an appropriate smartphone or tablet. Fortunately, there are enough devices on the market. The smartphone segment alone provides a choice of a couple of hundred different options.
In order not to get lost in this variety, you should first take a closer look at the processor of the device. Studying its characteristics can be the most difficult because the times when the choice of technology depended on the highest number of GHz are in the past, where Revenge of the Sith was considered the last chapter of the Star Wars Universe. Modern smartphones, like PCs, are equipped with multi-core processors, but striving for more cores is not necessary at all. For example, in a device with an 8-core processor, only half can work for solving resource-intensive tasks like gaming, while the second half is designed for simpler operations to save battery power. If you do not want to delve into the intricacies, then you can rely on online ratings like Geekbench, in which you can find an assessment of the performance of many modern smartphones.
Another important characteristic is the amount of random-access memory (RAM), but in this case, everything is simpler. It is worth picking up a phone with 4 GB (RAM) and strive for higher performance. The more is better principle is quite applicable to other characteristics as well. A battery with a higher capacity will allow you to play longer, with more built-in memory, you can store more games, and the process itself will be more pleasant on a device with a larger diagonal of the screen, etc.
In general, this is enough to feel like a mobile gamer, but emotions can be enhanced by purchasing several accessories – for example, a special gamepad. It will allow you to control the gameplay using physical buttons and make full use of the screen without overlapping part of the image with your fingers. You can also purchase a virtual reality headset that works in tandem with smartphones. Such addition can hardly be called mandatory, and the choice of games for it is not very wide, but this accessory will add some vivid emotions to the mobile gaming experience. However, if you plan to play non-graphically intensive games (like logic or gambling games) you don’t need any accessories at all. For this, most budget phones will be enough. As a testing ground for your phone, you can check out the Bgaoc website, on which you can play various card and gambling games like in mobile casino.
Finally, buying an external battery (power bank) is useful, as games can quickly drain the battery. Power Bank for 10 thousand mAh is a worthy compromise in the capacity and dimensions of the additional device resulting in a cost that any gamer would be only too willing to spend.
What do you think should be the cost of becoming a gamer? How much cost should an average gamer incur? Drop-in your opinions in the comment section below!