“IF she had only let me knock one wall down…”
That’s the joke at my household when it comes to my game collection and my “Man Cave” that I affectionately call the Cowboy’s Saloon. For context, I live with my wife of 15 years and I’ve always been an avid collector of gaming related products. Now, before I was married. That’s a different story. I would constantly trade in games to EB Games that I was no longer playing or had lost interest in towards the latest and greatest title. So my collection was only ever 15 games at the most and one console.
How it started
After getting married, getting a better (paying) job, having a budget and no longer having to put all my money into savings for a wedding and house deposit. The reins were let loose with my ‘play’ money. It was great, I was able to buy collectors edition games and all the statues that came with them. There was just one issue, I had nowhere to display them.
Now let’s move back further in the timeline of my life. Lets say, 15 years. My parents were HUGE movie buffs. It seemed like they had hundreds of VHS Cassettes (the video viewing media back in my time) in their collection. When in reality, we maybe had around 80-90 all numbered and in a closet. The cases were numbered and an accompanying booklet with it with the names of movies or TV episodes with their corresponding number next to it. On top of this, they also displayed the ‘Fine China’,they had a small obsession with old English replica castles that were on display for all to see in cabinets and my Dad had his own ‘Cliff Richard’ room, a UK Pop singer whom he was OBSESSED with.
So you can kind of see where I’m going with all this. I was brought up from a young age to be proud of what you collected and display it for all to see. So while it took me awhile to get outta my funk of trending in games that in around 2016/17 that I started to take my collecting seriously. MUCH more seriously.
As the games started to pile up, matched with their statues of gaming characters, I started running out of room in the small CD/DVD rack that I had bought from the $2 shop on a mate’s recommendation.It was at this stage that I had also started to add other consoles to my collection. So not just content with owning an Xbox console, I first started by adding the Nintendo Wii to the collection, then the PS3. I then started remembering all the great memories of the older games that I had previously traded in. I was starting to get that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) itch.
The Internet started getting a bit better. When I say a bit, I mean it was still the old technology of ADSL2+ that I wanted to start to share my passion past posting it on social media. That’s when I discovered that on the Xbox One, you could record and edit videos via their now defunct video Upload Studio so my Friday nights were spent from 7pm – 5am recording and uploading and 1.2m/bit a second to youtube showing off my gaming pick ups for the week. I was really starting to enjoy collecting and showing off my physical games.
Houston, we have a problem
Now is where the issues started, I had to buy two new DVD racks for all the games and as much as I wanted to display them in the living room. There was a 0% chance that was going to happen. So they were then relegated to one of the spare rooms in our house. Where no one could see them.
A year or so went by and then my Wife offered me that spare room to be a gaming room. She had previously offered this to me but I didn’t want to ‘hide my pride’ so to speak. So we organised a carpenter to build a unit within the cupboard in the room, visited IKEA and we were off. Started off with two Bookshelves, which at the time fit all my games and had room to grow. Then as time went bye, we needed another two bookshelves. I was slowly running out of room. BUT! I was able to display my passion like my parents.
Now with the new generation of consoles being released, I was really struggling for space. When a good friend came over for drinks and some gaming he jokingly suggested knocking down the wall and making room for the shelves. This is now a running joke in my house. So after buying around 20 or so titles on the current generation of consoles. I started to notice a shift in the prices on the digital stores. They were becoming a lot more competitive with the retail stores (Sometimes only $10 more than Amazon prices) as well as offering rewards points that were translating into cash rewards on the digital front. (for Xbox and Nintendo at least)
So then one weekend I came to the decision. I was going to ditch the disc and move to digital, with some rules of course. Collectors Editions were fair game and I would still continue to buy retro titles. New games would be purchased digitally due to the fact that I have multiple Xbox consoles in my household and it was much easier to share them this way. On the Nintendo front, I purchased a 1TB SD card to hold all the games on there and PlayStation would remain Physical due to their digital prices remaining the same as RRP at around $120 each, but over on Amazon, would be under $100.
It was when I came to the realisation that while it might be easier that I was still paying around $10 more per game for my favourite console, I looked into the Xbox Microsoft Rewards program. You are enrolled in this when you have an active Xbox Live/Gamepass subscription that per purchase you would receive 20 points per $1 spent on digital titles.
This meant that if I was to purchase a launch day title for its full price of $79 I would receive an additional 1,580 MS points. If this was then a featured game in the rewards app on the Xbox, if you use the punch card for a selected title when you purchase it, you can gain upwards of 4,000 points. This would mean, in total 5,580 points which is a bit more than a $5 gift card.
You can redeem $5, $10 and $25 cards on the rewards. Points are even redeemable via your achievements which work out to be around 50 points. Even Gamepass unlocks reward points from just playing games. As long as you stay on top of it, you can make these work in your favour.
Nintendo on the other hand is a lot more simple. You receive one gold point per 1 cent spent. According to their website if you purchase a title for $79.95 you will receive 400 points, this is $4.00. Also being a Nintendo online member you can purchase a Nintendo Switch Game Voucher for $134.95 and use this on a growing number of upcoming titles, thus saving you anywhere between $20 to $50.
Since making the change I have been appreciating my back catalogue more, not buying as many games at launch and using the wish list feature on all consoles so much more then I used to. I regularly look on Tuesday (Xbox) Wednesday (Playstation) and Friday (Nintendo) shop fronts to see the latest deals on the digital stores where in some instances can save upwards of 90% on games and around 20% on titles released within 2 weeks of release.
Sony also has great deals on a weekly basis, they are just not as involved with rewarding the customer. One thing I hope changes with the new PlayStation Plus subscription.
I hope this has been educational and helpful for all those others out there who are not allowed to knock down walls as they are running out of room and making the (I think) inevitable change to the all digital future in the gaming generations to come.