As a gamer, you know how important it is to prioritize. You may want to own everything out there, but it’s not feasible to play everything, let alone afford all the hardware it takes to get the best experience. Before you invest in an Xbox, PlayStation or build your own gaming PC, you should take these four factors into account.


The latest Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 both cost $499. Building your own PC can range from several hundred to over $3,000. If you want to buy a gaming laptop or desktop instead, expect the price to start at $1,200 and go up to $6,000. Building your own, or at least ordering the right parts and having a professional put them together, is much more affordable.

You also get far better components for a much lower price, and it will be easier to install upgrades as hardware improves. Console players can expect reliable performance, but they will not be able to improve their system’s performance outside of memory cards. What you see is what you get when it comes to consoles. This means your only options for a future return on investment are accepting its trade-in value or reselling it.

Console-Exclusive Releases

While most big-name PC titles eventually have console releases, there are many console-exclusives that you may want to play. Make sure you thoroughly explore the offerings for each system you’re considering. Xbox’s GamePass is a major draw for buyers because it allows you to access hundreds of titles for only $14.99 a month. PC players can also purchase a GamePass. PlayStation 5 owners can subscribe to PS Now, an on-demand gaming service that grants them access to not only new releases but games for PS2, PS3 and PS4.

Title releases aren’t the only thing to consider, though. You should also factor in the cost of buying new games into your budget. If you’re an avid gamer who plans to purchase several titles a year, then you are looking at a minimum of $60 to $80 per game. To make sure you have enough money, think ahead about improving your budget. Freeing up money can come in many ways, including refinancing your student loans. If you’re interested in lower monthly payments with compassionate customer service, look into refinancing through a private lender.

Comfort Level

Consoles can be played on a PC monitor or TV, but if you have a PC, your setup will always stay the same. This means creating a relaxing den or gaming in bed will be easier on a console than a computer. You should also think about whether you prefer the widespread layout of a keyboard and mouse or prefer the reliable, fast-paced action of a compact controller. There is some flexibility here as controllers can also be used on PCs, but the overall experience you’ll have on the device you choose should be taken into account.

Modding and Customization

PC games have massive modding communities that allow you to personalize your game beyond imagination. For players of games like “Grand Theft Auto V” and “Skyrim,” modding is part of the game. Such customization isn’t available on console, so you may be missing out on certain features that you’ve seen online and want to try yourself. Don’t forget the ability to edit game files and enter console commands. Sometimes, the ability to work around a level or manually adjust graphics files can make a world of difference.

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