There really isn’t any way around it. video games are an expensive hobby to get into. The consoles are all hundreds of dollars each and the games themselves can cost $60 or more! It is no wonder, thanks to prices like that, that parents are nervous to bring consoles into the house. Saving up the money for the console itself isn’t enough because games are coming out constantly.
Fortunately, families who own an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 have a few services available to them that can bring in a steady stream of games into the house that doesn’t require dropping a paycheck every month.
Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Live was originally designed as the Microsoft multiplayer service. It still serves that purpose today, but it has been expanded to include a suite of free to download games each month. Xbox Live Gold members are given access one game each for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 from the 1st to the 15th of each month, and then a second pair of games for the second half of the month. That adds up pretty quickly. Even better? The Xbox 360 games carry value for Xbox One owners because of the impending backwards compatibility update.
It is true that some of the Games with Gold are not family friendly, but it is infrequent that a month will pass by without at least one of the games being fine for families to play.
Xbox Live Gold members also get special discounts on games each week that can add up over time!
The service can be purchased monthly, but it is at its least expensive when it is purchased annually for $59.99 (or ~$45 on Amazon here.).
Xbox Live came first, but PlayStation was the first company to start incentivizing people to purchase the service by giving away free games. They give out multiple games each month for PS4, PS3 and the Vita. Many of these games are available on all three systems are “cross buy” so it is not infrequent that you will be able to get a whole bunch of games
The service is required to enable multiplayer on the PlayStation 4, but this is largely an afterthought once you consider the value added by the instant game collection. Members also get special discounts on games each week that can add up over time!
The service can be purchased monthly, but it is at its least expensive when purchased annually for $49.99.
EA Access works differently, but it is still worth mentioning because it is a subscription gaming service that carries a significant amount of added value for some families. It is a program that is exclusive to the Xbox One that grants the following benefits.
- A 10% discount on the digital purchase of EA titles.
- The chance to play up to 10 hours of each EA title before it is released.
- Access to every game in the EA Vault. This is a list of games that is growing regularly. It includes all of the sports titles from the previous years as well as games like Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare and Peggle 2. This is a value that will only grow with time as more and more games are released.
The service can be purchased monthly, but it is at its least expensive when it is purchased annually for $29.99.
As you can see, these services may seem intrusive, but they pack a huge amount of value.