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The short answer is ‘yes’ – but not necessarily in the way you might think.
The reality these days is that most newly released games come with a pretty hefty price tag – even the digital versions, which are often more expensive than the physical copies (more on that another time). And while it’s easy to get caught up in the argument that many games are overpriced, it’s also worth considering what goes into game creation in the first place (read: hundreds and hundreds of hours of coding, usually to a too-tight deadline).
But are these high prices delivering a better gaming experience? The answer is a solid ‘maybe’. And it’s got less to do with the cost of the game and more to do with your set up.
The reality is that your gaming set up is going to have a massive impact on your gaming experience – it doesn’t matter how expensive the game is if your gaming set up isn’t spec’d up enough to do it justice you’re not going to have the greatest experience.
So, what do you really need for quality gaming?
Games (obviously). And while it might seem like you’re starting at the end, deciding what games you want to spend your leisure time getting lost in is absolutely going to drive some of your other choices. To be blunt, there’s no point in going all out buying a fancy gaming PC if the games you want to play most are all console based and not compatible with Windows (ie: not on Xbox).
There are some cross-platform games available of course, but not all games are compatible across the board, so that’s really something you want to take into consideration.
So, having thought about the games you want to play, are you going to go gaming console or PC?
If you’re going PC, will it be laptop or desktop? Do you want to build or buy? Do you need a gaming phone so that you can game on the go (check out our article about gaming phones here <LINK>)? If you’re going for a gaming console, which one will it be? Maybe you’ve looked at the price of a decent gaming PC plus all the gaming peripherals needed and decide to just buy a couple of different consoles for roughly the same budget.
Or, are you going to go all out on a top-of-the-range gaming PC and pretend it’s going to help you be waaaaay more productive when working from home? Here’s the thing – this is actually not too far from the truth. A top-end gaming machine is a beast – and it’s going to come with a plethora of features that will help you power through your work day. And with all of the specific gaming peripherals you’re 100% going to add to it, you’re going to wind up with a fancier, more user-friendly and intuitive system than any machine the guys in your IT department will hook you up with.
Speaking of peripherals … this is where it’s REALLY easy to drop a wad of cash because, you know, reasons. Gaming keyboards. Headsets. Gaming mice. Mousepads. We admit, we’ve all been there: looking at the way-too-tempting extras and screaming, ‘Take my money already!’ because you have to have the matching bits and pieces, right?
Here’s where we recommend setting a hard budget – there’s no point pretending you won’t want to buy at least some of these extras, so be real and set yourself an upper spend limit and stick to it.
One place where it really might pay to go for top quality is your router and internet connection. Lag is a serious pain in the rear when you’re gaming so you really do want something that will cope with the demands you’re going to place on it. You’re also probably going to want to go for an internet plan that gives you a lot of data to cope with online sessions as well as downloading games and updates.
And speaking of your rear, depending on how much time you’re planning on spending in it, investing in a really good gaming chair is probably something to think about. Especially if you’re planning on taking the gaming PC/home office route because there’s no doubt you’re going to be spending a massive chunk of most days with your butt in that chair. Something with decent back support, which is adjustable to suit your height preferences is going to help a LOT. And while the initial cost of a specially designed gaming chair might seem expensive, so is years of physio and chiro if you don’t take care of your back and hips now.
So what is the answer? Is price a factor when it comes to having a quality gaming experience? In short, yes. And while we’re not saying you need to have THE most expensive gaming set up out there to enjoy playing games, you really do need to do your homework and go for the best your budget will allow. After all, gaming is a serious business and you want to enjoy it as much as you can.
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