Computing – Game Buyer’s Guide
Needless to say, computing and gaming can be quite an expensive hobby, so many will turn to the second-hand market to get started or seek to progress further with the systems they prefer to use. It’s an area equally fraught with pitfalls and buyer opportunities, but how do you know what to look for? For those of you looking for console games on a budget, older systems are definitely worth considering. PlayStation 2s are becoming more common on the second-hand market as more and more are upgrading to the far superior PlayStation 3, just like the original XBox with owners once again updating. Don’t always expect a lot of games, as many sellers will keep many of their games for use on their newer consoles, but you should still be able to get a bargain or two. Games for both are still easy to pick up on High Street at discounted prices, so they’re worth thinking about. On the current wave of consoles and this is where you will have to give more consideration on which system you want to buy since each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
Nintendo’s Wii is aimed more at a family audience, as most of its games demonstrate, and takes a fairly novel approach to gaming with its innovative motion-sensitive controller. It’s certainly not the most technologically advanced of all the consoles, hence its lower price, but it has proven to be incredibly popular. Due to the lower retail price, this is the cheapest way to get into “next-gen” games, but more serious gamers may be put off by the familiar bias in the catalog of available games.
Since its launch, the XBox 360 has proven to be a huge success despite the confusion over the different models available. It is a very powerful system with the widest range of games available of all the latest machines today. There have been some technical issues with the hardware and experiences of reliability issues by some users and there seems to be an over-reliance on PC-style games, but for the hardcore gamer this shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re looking for a second-hand model, your best bet here if you’re looking for the cheapest machine possible is the “Arcade” version of the XBox 360 that comes without a hard drive (which you can add yourself later), but if you you take gaming more seriously, you’d better spend the extra money to buy one of the other models.
The PlayStation 3 remains an enigma for many. It got off to a rocky start due to an incredibly high asking price and a poor selection of games, further hampered by high game prices. This is changing now after the price drop and game releases seem to be on par with the XBox 360. The only concern owners had was that many of the early games were almost identical to the XBox 360, a despite the superiority of the PS3. capabilities. This is starting to be addressed now, so gamers will start to see the real difference between the machines … not to mention the fact that the PS3 is a pretty nifty Blu-Ray player too!
As these hardware differences really start to show themselves, you may start to see some XBox 360 owners making the switch to the PS3 (as seen on Main Street after the PS3 price drop in late March). 2007), so this might start to look more second. Hand XBox 360 appearing on the market, so it might prove to be a bargain entry-level machine if you want to join the latest wave of next-gen gamers.
However, some second-hand PS3s appear, but buying second-hand is difficult as there are two models available. The current machine comes complete with a 40Gb hard drive, but the original model was released with a 60Gb hard drive. On top of that, there are other subtle changes to the new model. The new version no longer has the memory card slots for digital cameras (although this is not a big loss), there are now only two USB ports instead of four, and it is no longer compatible with PlayStation 2 games. Sony argued that many users did not need this feature, if it is something that is essential then you will want to track down the 60Gb model (which is sold at a higher price) or settle for having a 40Gb PlayStation 3 AND buy a PlayStation 2 too. .
One thing I would say is that no matter which console you buy, make sure you try to stick to the European models of the machines and not be tempted by a Japanese or American import. While some of these may be cheaper, you will have trouble fixing them when things go wrong and most consoles are limited to playing games (and DVDs) in a specific part of the world, so buying imported consoles might. complicate life in the long run. For older game players looking to reminisce about their youth, there is an ongoing interest in retro games, and while old computers and game consoles don’t typically appear in classified ads too often, they can be excellent value for money. The obvious big deals are the fundamental classics Commodore 64 and Sinclair Spectrum along with the Sega Megadrive and Nintendo SNES. The great thing about retro games is that vintage consoles and computers generally have very little value to anyone apart from those looking to buy them, so you can often get some great deals, but don’t always expect all games and accessories to do so. do. It is in perfect working order! In the field of PCs, prices for new PCs are falling daily and hardware is becoming more reliable. While this is great if you’re shopping for new, it makes it difficult to shop for second-hand systems when looking for a PC that can run more contemporary software, and nearly impossible if you’re on a tight budget.
The first thing to always keep in mind when buying a second-hand PC is what you will need it for. I know it seems like an obvious question, but it’s something that a lot of people don’t always think about and just decide that they want a PC and nothing else. If all you’re looking for is a PC for simple home use (word processing, etc.), basic gaming, and internet use, then you won’t need a state-of-the-art computer and as such your budget will be stretched a lot. further away.
While most retailers will pressure you to buy the latest singing and dancing PC with Windows Vista, you won’t need it if your needs are simple enough. You should be able to manage it with an older Windows XP PC, a 64Mb or 128Mb graphics card, and an 80Gb hard drive. In terms of memory, 512Mb would be more than enough to fit just about any user in most of the casual games to keep the average family happy.
While a flat panel monitor would be a great addition to this type of setup, most of the more affordable deals will likely come with older style CRT displays, but all of this shouldn’t cost you more than £ 200, possibly even! with a printer sent by the right seller! If you find a PC with lower specs than those mentioned, it is not too difficult to upgrade cheaply.
For the serious gaming gamer looking for something capable of running more contemporary games, then you’re really looking to have to spend a lot more, and despite its flaws, you will have no choice but to search for a Windows Vista PC. Whichever PC you choose here, you’ll need something with at least 1Gb of RAM, a 256Mb graphics card, and a 120Gb or higher hard drive. Anything less than this, and to be perfectly frank, it’s just not worth trying to run Vista properly. Laptops are an entirely different matter. They seem to hold their value better, but you have to remember that if you want to run games, you’d better buy a desktop that you can expand as most laptops are not really suitable for games other than casual or old games. The obvious downside to laptops is that once you buy them, you can’t upgrade them, so you need to be sure that the specs of the machine you buy are exactly what you need right out of the box. Similarly, early on, laptops generally lag behind desktops in terms of their capabilities relative to the price you can expect to pay, so you’re already at an immediate disadvantage, so if think you may want to do more with your PC in the long run, a desktop computer will always be your best option. Price-wise though, I’d say you’re going to be looking for 25-50% more than the cost of the equivalent desktop PC, including the monitor.
Another point to consider with laptops is how you intend to use them. If it is meant to be your main day-to-day PC, then you should be aware that laptops can overheat very easily so they need a lot of ventilation, they should be used on flat surfaces, and they shouldn’t really be used for more than a few. few hours at a time without rest. This applies even more to older models that have been used a lot, as components can wear out too quickly. Some brands are more prone to this than others, but I’ve only found a few that seem to be able to withstand being left on for hours and double as a desktop replacement. To be completely honest, if this is something you might be concerned about, then you might want to reconsider laptops, as laptop repairs can be insanely expensive, especially if it’s a failure caused by overheating, and it’s almost it sure will cost more than the price. of a second-hand laptop! I’ve barely scratched the surface with gaming consoles and PCs and haven’t even looked at PC software and accessories (those two would cover another article of my own), but hopefully this gives you some advice and guides you in the right direction. when making some of your second-hand computer / game purchases. One thing that I cannot stress enough is that when you buy a second hand PC or a game console it is to try to see them working before you hand over your money, but as long as you can and be aware of what you are buying. and how much you are paying, you should be able to further develop your hobby without breaking the bank.