Our esteemed and fearless leader, Michael James, recently spoke to Finweek before their publication of a story about the local gaming market and a discussion video that sparked debate about female gamers and the local demographic. What I found interesting about the story and the discussion was that according to research conducted by Finweek, gamers spend a lot of money on gaming (Hey, it’s a better option than cigarettes or drugs).
Sometimes, even foodstuffs are taken into the equation because we have to stock up on our Doritos and Mountain Dew for the long sessions with our friends that may stretch into early morning. But although we are price-conscious, says Michael, “no price is too high for gamers.”
I think some elaboration is required here for those readers who aren’t interested in reading the Finweek article. Michael specifically touches on the fact that when it comes to hardware, gamers spend an insane amount of dosh on their chosen hobby.
Consoles cost upwards of R3500, controllers average R500, good high definition TVs start at R2500 and that’s not taking into account the games themselves, which are between R500 to R700 at launch.
Computers are equally expensive – even my System Builder’s Guide starts off at R4500 just for a semi-decent gaming tower because this stuff is expensive. That doesn’t yet take into account the software (R900), the peripherals (R500 for a decent mouse/keyboard), the monitors (R1500 and up) and the games, which start off at R400.
It gets really tricky when you take into account Steam sales and microtransactions (here’s looking at you, EA) and even things you’d never associate in the first place. Like a chair, a couch, or a good table. Or better lighting and a floor carpet to keep your feet warm.
But, I’d posit that there is a price too high because not everyone has the same limits. After all, a computer is very versatile – it can do far more than play games and many people use it for productivity purposes as well, which makes it worth the buy. You may pay R600 for your internet connection, but aside from online gaming and Steam downloads, there’s e-mail, social networking, video streaming, torrenting, reading NAG Online, watching NAG Online, earning a living spamming forums and all manner of things which makes up for the price.
There may be no price too high (for some) for adoption of the hardware that you need to get into your hobby, but it’s my opinion that the games are the things that rankle us the most. I have a Wii U that I bought during the fire sale – I haven’t yet bought the extra controller or more games, mostly because these things are too expensive.
The last PC game I purchased was Spec Ops: The Line for R100 because I wasn’t prepared to pay R300 for it. Its not that I can’t, or out of principle, its just that its too darned expensive.
Some people have the money to throw down on a gaming rig with a Core i7 and a Geforce GTX Titan shoved in, some don’t. Some people can afford to buy games on day one, but many wait for them to reach the second-hand shelves or, in my case, wait for almost a year to see them discounted.
No price is too high for the dedicated, hardcore crowd, but for average Joe there is a very tangible limit to how much we’re going to spend.