It's called research and development, people. It means working on a product, testing it out before launch, and making it the best product the first time around. Of course, that certainly isn't the best business model, because the big boys know that repressible gamers like me need the latest device right away and will fork over the cash without blinking.
Then we have game developers who greedily take heaping bags of cash from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo and work almost exclusively for a particular system or get bought completely and become a first-party subsidiary. This is one area where I wish I were a fanboy—dedicated to one brand and trashing the others—because I'd likely cut my expenses by two-thirds. But, like a lot of diverse gamers, I like Mario, Master Chief, and Nathan Drake, and thus must have all three systems to enjoy their adventures. (And how awesome would it be to have a Mario Kart and LittleBigPlanet Karting mashup? I'm more likely to become the CEO of Electronic Arts before that happens, but still…)
Finally, there are those extra peripherals that extend the functionality of a system. Some are cheap plastic manipulations like the Wii Sports Mega Pack, but then there are things like Kinect and Move, with games that absolutely require them. I have yet to personally find a game interesting enough to justify the purchase of either, but there might be one in development right now. After justifying the purchase to my wife, I wouldn't think twice about handing over my credit card to the store clerk.
Those of us who live for the controller find it extremely hard to repress the urge to rush out when a new release or new system hits the store shelves. Those bigwig executives know this, and they're laughing at us from on high while sipping their brandy and smoking Cubans.
If we all were all financially careful, we'd wait a few months—or even a year—and make the purchase after the price drops. But most of us won't do that, because the withdrawal would be too much to handle. So we're stuck buying our toys right away, while the patient gamers brag about their "Komplete" editions with all the trimmings at the same or an even lower price.
I guess if you need a little morale boost, just tell yourself, "Gaming's not the most expensive hobby I could have."
Date: July 23, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*