How Game Consoles Suck Money Out Of Your Wallet

A video game console may seem like a reasonably inexpensive entertainment proposition at first glance, but it actually becomes a black hole of disposable income, gobbling up your funds to purchase accessories, memberships, extra controllers, downloadable content and games.

Game Informer examines the ways game machines fleece players, breaking down the “hidden costs” of each current console.

For example, to set up the ideal Xbox 360 experience, in which you’re able to play both online and offline with friends on a 1080p display with rechargeable controllers, you’ll need the following: About $10 for an HDMI cable, $50 for an extra wireless controller, $17 for re-chargeable controller batteries and a $60 annual Xbox Live Gold account. That adds up to $127 in additional cash you’ll need to come up with to start, and doesn’t even include games or the the $150 Kinect you’ll need to play motion controlled games.

The other systems feature trade-offs. The Wii, for instance, comes with free online play but hits you harder on it’s $60 two-part, non-rechargeable controllers. The PS3, meanwhile, offers free online play and a rechargeable controller in the box, but for motion controls you’ll need to buy additional PlayStation Move controls that run $50 each.

If you own a video game system, how much have you spent on accessories?

The Hidden Costs Of Gaming [Game Informer]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.