The Expensive Freedom of Buying a Console for the First Time

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The launch of the PS4 marks the first time I bought a console with my own money. Prior to that, my parents were the one who bought my consoles and games. I certainly had a change of perspective when I started to shell out money of my own to fund my own hobby. Boy, playing a video games isn’t not a cheap hobby!

There are a couple of pros and cons I’ve realized recently when I started to take into account of how much I actually spent in the past year for the glory of gaming. You certainly get a degree of freedom from your parents when you buy a console for the first time, but your wallet also takes a huge blow.

Read on to know more about the stuff I learned from buying a console for the first time. We might have some stuff in common and please do share your experiences as well in the comments.

When you were a kid, people would always ask you what you wanted for Christmas and your only problem would be thinking of what stuff you wanted. You didn’t have a job so you weren’t really expected to pay for anything yourself. However, the “free” games and consoles came at the price of my freedom. I realized that they weren’t really mine in the long run.

My mom would confiscate my console and video games whenever I was out too late or if I failed horribly on my Math exam. My parents paid for it so they ultimately had the say on whether or not I could use them. I remember being grounded for two months at most and I couldn’t be any more happier when I saw my Xbox again.

Years later, I moved to college, got my own place, and I have a job of my own. I was able to be at a point in my life when I could buy stuff for myself. The hefty $400 + price tag of the PS4 was definitely heavy but I started to feel better when I realized that my parents didn’t have any power over me. There’s no way in hell they can tell me to give them the PS4 since it would technically be considered stealing.

The price is definitely expensive though. I think it costs more than 50% of what I earn from my part-time job in a month. My friend and I would push ourselves to take extra shifts just so we could afford the console at launch. It feels different when you buy a console with your own money.

I’m a Sony fan girl but it took me months to decide if the investment was worth it for someone who was still in college. I wouldn’t buy anything just because it was new or it was overly hyped. I had to know every single thing about it and it eventually taught me how to be a more responsible consumer.

When news broke out that there were defective consoles, I was scrambling to find out if I had warranty to protect myself. I went through two Xbox 360s in the past because of RROD but I didn’t care since I didn’t pay for it. You might have to shell out more, but it’s better to get yourself covered from future exorbitant expenses.

I’ve also noticed that I’m more cautious about my new console since I wouldn’t want to flush $400 down the drain because of a stupid accident. Funny story I should mention: My cousin bought an Xbox at launch and he placed it on top of his car. Long story short, he forgot it was there and drove away. An hour barely passed since he bought it and it was already smashed into smithereens.

How about you?

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  1. My first console was the Nintendo Entertainment System. My parents didn’t want me to waste my money on video games, so I told them I borrowed the NES from a friend. I’m curious to know what you did to get grounded for two months?

  2. Don’t take this personally, but I’m willing all day one console purchases to become expensive paperweights if for no other reason than to have you lot burn down Sony and Microsoft and make these companies stop pushing out defective crap before it’s ready for release.

  3. What was the point of this article? To gloat over the fact you got a PS4 or that you could afford to buy one even though you are a poor college student who now has to suffer through a month or two of being on the Ramen Diet just because you wanted to get something day one(aw, boo hoo)? My first console that I bought was a PS1 that I slaved for on a paper route for two years. My parents couldn’t afford to buy me one so I bought it myself. Ever since then if I knew a game or game system would put some sort of strain on my finances, I would save my money and wait. Like an adult. Gaming is not as important as paying bills or proving to mommy and daddy that you are a big girl now that you can drop a few hundred dollars on a hobby.

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