I was thinking about games today; more specifically the price of games today. I come from the era when games used to cost around GBP12.99, max. That was for a full commercial game with nice box, manual et al. Right now, I'm looking around at what systems I have knocking around my house and thinking of the respective games prices. I have a SNES and a N64 knocking around; I won't include them as Games aren't around new anymore. Which leaves a PS2, a PC (windows/Linux dual boot) and my new Nintendo DS.
PS2 games are around GBP40-50 brand new; PCS games are around GBP35-40. To me, that's a fair amount of money as I don't play them that often. I'm one of these people who will play a game for say half an hour then put it down out of either boredom or need to do something else. I can see why publishers will justify charging what I consider high prices for games; there's a lot of work going into them these days - a lot more than ever before. Each game itself is both a software engineering achievement as well as an artistic and musical achievement. Graphics are starting to look wonderous, sound effects are brilliant and stories are involving - but nothing really seems to 'hook' me anymore, it all seems too involved - like it need 100% of my time and concentration.
The last game I 'loved' on the PC was Deus Ex, everything else was more like 'meh'. So here it is is, I don't buy new games. I wait for them to drop down to GBP20 or buy them second hand. I had a lot of fun with the Evil Dead PS2 game, that cost me GBP12.99. When I bought Deus Ex, it cost me GBP15. To me, GBP40 is a waste of time and money for a game. I see them very much like DVDs, I'll buy one for GBP15, watch it a few times and then pick it up and play it again a few times over the next few years. You'll never see me thinking that GBP40 for a DVD is great value and I'll watch it 300 times in a row. I'm a busy man, I simply don't have time to work all day, come home and play a game for 4 hours until the early hours.
Which brings me to the Nintendo DS. It's not out over here yet, but I'm getting games for GBP25, expensive but not too expensive in my opinion. I also have the world of GBA games open to me because it's compatible; GBA games are pretty cheap and really fun to play for a bit, then put down. I can play for 20 minutes and put it down - then pick up again in another hour or so and play again. Quick, easy fun.
Nintendo DS/GBA games are like DVDs. They're not too expensive, you can pick them up, put them down as often as you please and not feel 'ripped off' because you spent a day's wage on something you aren't into all of your free time.
So what do you think - will you buy a game on Day 1 and play until there's nothing left to play? Or do you approach the market with apathy and pick up games when they drop to half price?
What about handheld gaming; do you think the games themselves are a different breed? Designed to pick up and play little but often? Do you prefer your games all deep and involved, or do you not care how it looks and would rather play something fun for 20 minutes?
Enough rambling - I'm not even sure I'm making sense [rolleyes]