The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been announced, and the consoles themselves up just about anywhere that sells consoles for pre-order. While most people are likely trying to decide which console is worth the price given their respective storage space, (664 GB for the PS5 and 802GB for the Series X) something that shouldn’t be ignored is the ricing price of video games.

Video games have long been $60 USD, and for the first time in 15 years, that price standard is going up. Although it was announced in July that NBA 2K21 was going to be $70, the news more or less flew under the radar. While that franchise has its fans, there aren’t that many people interested in buying a game that sees only minor changes to each successive title (I know, I know, Call of Duty does the same, but at least you’re getting new maps, weapons, and other modes. 2K is basketball, which can’t really change anything besides who is on which roster.)

More importantly, the sports game fanbase has already shown its complete willingness to sit at the virtual slot machines for the best character or most minor stat improvement. For them, an additional $10 is likely not that noticeable on the front price tag, especially with so many spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on each game’s microtransactions.

For the average gamer though, that $10 increase is going to sting. Buying the new AAA blockbuster on the market is usually a significant decision, especially around the holiday season when every developer is putting out their new game. The average number of games someone buys is “two to three games per year – maybe maximum of three to four…” according to Yoshio Osaki, president and CEO of IDG Consulting in an interview with Polygon earlier this year. That doesn’t bode well for gamers who buy maybe two new games each year, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic still rages on nearly a year after we first heard about it in China.

Of course, there are alternatives to buying games at full-price right when they release. Waiting for the game to go on sale is always an option, and between Steam, the PlayStation store, and the Xbox store, your favorite game is bound to go on sale sooner or later.

For Xbox Live Gold and PS+ members, the monthly offerings of free games can be a welcome distraction while you wait for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla to eventually drop below its $70 price tag sometime in the future. Games like Apex Legends or Spellbreak are more than enough to scratch that battle royale itch, while other games like Path of Exile can fill that Diablo 4 shaped hole in your heart pretty well.

Xbox owners also have access to the Xbox Game Pass, which houses over 100 various titles that can be downloaded and played for only $10 a month (or $15 if you want to bundle this and your Gold subscription together.) More importantly, this will also house the entirety of EA Play starting November 10th, so combined with the games we’ll likely see from Bethesda and other ZeniMax Media developers after their buyout by Microsoft, Xbox Game Pass is looking more and more like the Netflix of video games, offering the best for-your-money way to play the games you love.

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