Monday, November 26, 2012

The Eternal Dilemma: To Buy Used or New?

This is a topic that will get people fired up on both sides.  Side A hates the idea of buying used games because it takes money away from the developers and puts it into the hands of Middleman Stores.  Side B loves buying used games because of their reduced price.  I like to consider myself as part of Side D.  We'll skip Side C for the moment, as they're probably on their lunch break.

Side D.  I want to purchase games as new products.  I like having a way of telling a game company that I like the products they're putting out and the stories they're telling.  Sadly, this isn't always feasible as games cost money.  And not just any money, typically $30-$40, at least for DS and PSP games.  PC games can average $40-$50 for a new game.  Being an adult with financial responsibilities (gas, car insurance, rent, food, phone, electricity, car maintenance), there always isn't a lot left from my paycheck to go out and buy a $40 game.  For this reason, I wait.  I'll wait for the game to drop in price or to think, "You know what self, I will go buy that game!"

Here's the second problem, after the whole spending money part.  Waiting.  I like to wait at least six months before buying a game, although, honestly, it usually ends up being at least a year.  For some games, the wait is even longer for any number of reasons.  Such was the case with SEGA's Infinite Space.  I first read about this game in issue #248 of Nintendo Power and thought it looked and sounded pretty awesome.  One of my roommates, Vortlynx, had very much been into EVE Online and a space building/exploration game for the DS sounded pretty awesome.  Even with the comment about the game having a "steep learning curve" wasn't a deterrent.  With Infinite Space, though, I apparently waited too long.  The games sales didn't do very well, but was received well by critics.  It then became hard to find at Gamestops and I never saw it at a Target.   Eventually, I checked Amazon and have had prices set pretty consistently at $74 for new and $23 for a used copy.  Buying from eBay is the same as buying used and at that point I was still somewhat hoping to find a place that had a new copy for under $30.  Gamestop's website has a new game for $34, but it's not available online and their "Pick up @ store" function is unavailable.  Which is why, last month, I settled for a used copy from Gamestop, as I was able to find one that was within 100 miles.

Another example, is that I currently want to purchase Castlevania 64: Legacy of Darkness.  Now, there's not going to be any new copy of that game that Konami's going to see any profits from.  Any new (shrink wrapped) game is going to be priced out the ass by some collector who's more interested in making money than actually caring about games being played.

It basically breaks down to, I'll buy new if I can at the time I want to buy the game.  If a new copy of the game is unavailable, I'll try to hunt it down in a way that the company still sees that I like their products.  If I still cannot locate a new copy, I'll try to find a used copy.  So, until the day that game companies start sending Dr. Potts and/or myself games to review, we'll both have to settle for purchasing games from any one of multiple stores (online/physical).

Go Ahead And Toss My Name Around

P.S.  Side C got back from their lunch and their response to this topic is, "Meh."


  1. I don't think you were ever roommates with Vortrab -- perhaps you mean Vorlynx?

  2. I always get those two lovebirds confused, I'll make the necessary changes.

  3. I love using gamefly. Since I don't always have time to play games I never feel obligated to finish games I don't really enjoy, I just mail them back and get a different game. I also get the thrill of playing new releases without having to pay $60!