How to save up for a new gaming console

Updated: November 26, 2020

It’s no secret that high-end gaming has become an extremely expensive activity. Top virtual reality headsets that were supposed to revolutionize gaming have instead priced a lot of people out; the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles sell for $499 each, with some variety based on features; and debates about game prices for those same consoles are ongoing, with many believing the $70 cost of some titles is unsustainable.

Of course, plenty of gamers are still perfectly happy to pay these prices to enjoy the very best home entertainment systems money can buy (or has ever been able to buy, in a sense). But if you’re interested in some of this high-end gaming, or you’re specifically eyeing one of those spectacular new consoles, there are also some ways that you can save a bit of money on your purchases.

Nothing will totally eliminate the expenses of gaming in 2020, of course. But the following tips might help you to make things a little more reasonable.

Trade in Your Current Console

Generally, one of the best ways to save money on an expensive console is to trade in an older one (if you have one, that is). A lot of gaming and electronics stores will specifically put money toward new consoles in exchange for these older machines. Regarding the brand new PS5 and Xbox One X specifically, console trade-in values vary high now. But there are some cases in which a previous generation console (PS4 Pro or Xbox One X) can help put as much as $200 toward a new machine.

Take Advantage of Store Rewards

Store member reward programs don’t necessarily help you with the up-front cost of purchases. But often, they can help you start to accumulate points or cash back that amounts to real credit — essentially offsetting some of your costs by making future purchases cheaper. And as it so happens, some of the best store reward programs come from stores that sell high-end gaming consoles, games, and equipment. Places like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have excellent reward systems that provide a combination of cash back, free shipping, and access to special discounts. All of this can help with some modern gaming costs.

Seek Out Big-Game Bundles

We can’t speak to specific bundles just yet with regard to the PS5 and Xbox One X. The PlayStation 5 rollout has been something of a debacle in terms of sales availability, and the Xbox One X is not widely available yet either. We don’t know yet if or when bundles will be available. But in the past, big-game bundles have help to cut at least some of the costs of gaming. It’s usually an option to purchase a new console alongside one or two of its launch titles, usually at a discount that more or less amounts to a free game.

Opt for a Monitor Over a TV

Before we get into this idea, we’ll acknowledge that the top 4K monitors for gamers — the best of the best, essentially — can be every bit as expensive as televisions. However, there are two reasons that pairing your console with a monitor can be more affordable than doing so with a TV. One is that there are certainly some monitors that run a lot cheaper, and will generally be better buys. The other, though, is that if you’re interested in 4K quality and optimal displays, the TVs you’ll need to look at will still typically be at a slightly higher price range.

Again, there’s no getting around the fact that modern gaming is expensive. But if you take advantage of these tips, you can shave off and otherwise make up for some fairly significant chunks of the cost. Then you can enjoy the best gaming mankind has ever known without feeling guilty about how much you paid to do so!

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