Why buying games on launch is for idiots

Every week a whole bunch of new games come out. You can’t wait to get down to the store on launch day, waiting outside for the shutters on the shop to open just to buy the game you’ve been waiting months to play. You pay for the game and get out of the store as humanly possible just so you can play this game. None of this makes you an idiot though if thats what you are thinking. So why is buying games on launch for idiots?

When you buy a game on launch you generally pay full price for the title. Sometimes there are special offers or discounts to get them cheaper but generally you are paying a lot of money. Thats fine too if it wasn’t for the fact that within days games can be less than half price. When you buy a DVD or a TV or pretty much anything you expect them to drop in price over time, this usually takes months if not years. But games on the other hand drop in price quicker than fresh fruit nearing its sell by date.

Some companies are worse than others. Never buy a Sega game on launch day because days later it will be half price. A few recent examples, House of The Dead: Overkill on the PlayStation 3, Launch price £40, 2 weeks later it could be had for £13.99. Samba De Ameigo on the Wii, £40 Launch price 2 weeks later again £15. Sonic Generations came out on Steam for £25 and within a week was half that price. But Sega are not the only ones. Saints Row 3, Launch price £45, two weeks later it was selling for £20. These were all new, not preowned or special offers.

Even titles like Gears of War 3 which were hugely popular at launch can be found for less than half price a month after release. Fans of Rayman would have been extremely annoyed buying the game for £40 to see it drop to £17.99 in just a few weeks. No matter what the game or the publisher or even how popular it is, games don’t seem to have legs with one exception. Nintendo first party games. Nintendo strictly controls demand of its games, often preferring games to go out of stock awaiting a second reprint than risk releasing too many into the retail chain.

This not only keeps prices high but also keeps the games in the charts for a long time. Nintendo games rarely hit the Number 1 spot due to the lack of stock but they’ll stick around the top 10 for a long time if they are popular enough. This does have the draw back that even popular games go out of print and disappear from store shelves with second hand copies being just as hard to come by.

So think about all them games you bought at launch, especially recent titles. Go and have a look at how much they cost to buy now and you may be shocked to see how much money you could have saved had you waited. It can be tough with hype surrounding a game and online modes that almost demand you are there on day 1 but think of all them extra games you could buy. Effectively you could buy twice as many games or put that saved money towards other things. You may trade in games to save cash but you’ll save more money just by waiting a couple of weeks than what ever GAME or Gamestop offer you. So don’t be an idiot, try your best to ignore the hype and wait. You’ll thank us when you find you can buy a PS Vita or more games with all that extra cash you saved.