Consoling words as you face ‘trading-up’

by Shane Dillon

WITH Christmas around the corner, many people are buying new consoles for their nearest and dearest and loved ones (even if that happens to be themselves).
Whether you’re looking to take the plunge and finally trade up, or if you’re looking to buy a great gift for someone else – or yourself – here’s what you should keep in mind.
For the sake of argument, I’m referring only to Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Microsoft’s Xbox One (XBO), as Nintendo don’t have a new console yet to trade up to.
Firstly, consider your storage options – the console’s hard drive space for storing digital games, films and content on.
Consoles usually come with one of two hard drive sizes like a PC – typically, with 500GB, but 1TB hard drives are becoming the norm, twice the storage space of 500GB, for which you pay a little more.
Next, be aware of the ratings system for games, which can affect the console “bundle”. Many bundles are for specific or exclusive games – new consoles are increasingly shipped with marketing branded for a hot, big new game (thrown in free).
However, if it’s a bundled deal, you should always check the box to see what the game is. If a game has a Cert 18 rating, you’d hardly hand that over to Little Timmy or Tara!
Finally: the costs. Trading up to, or buying a new console as a gift, is never cheap, but at least it only needs to be done maybe once or twice a decade.
As always, shop around for the best offer. However, as a general rule, at the time of writing a PS4 or an XBO are quite similar: €350 for a 500GB console, or €400 for a 1TB console, as outlined above.
Confusingly, you can often find the “same” console with different prices, either as a bundle with a game (or two) or just by itself, which doesn’t seem to make sense!
In general, games for the ”new” consoles are currently more expensive than before. Whereas the biggest new games were typically €65 before, the average price is now €75.
However, many games can be downloaded digitally, and bought directly from the Sony or Microsoft store; indeed, many slightly-older or indie games can be bought and downloaded for anything from €10 to €25-plus.
Ultimately, shop around. There are several bundled consoles with one hit game or another, and with Christmas and New Year sales – not to mention any price cuts – a great gaming Christmas is just about affordable after that initial pricy outlay.

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