The Exigent Duality
Total Cost of Ownership - 08:25 CDT, 9/19/20 (Sniper)
I'm starting to get cold feet with this PlayStation 5 prospect: the system hardware is interesting and I'm looking forward to several of the exclusives, but I just added up the total costs, and overall this is one expensive proposition. In a way, it reminds me of Sony's "$299" PSX announcement-- oh, except you need to buy a game and a memory card, making it more expensive than the $399 Saturn, and a lot more pricey than the $250 3DO.

In this case, it's the $500 console-- then you'll want a second controller for two-player, and those are $70. After that, you'll want a "PlayStation Plus" subscription, which is $60 every year. Then, unlike with Microsoft where they give away all of their games day one for a cheap monthly subscription fee, with Sony you need to buy the games at full price to get them right away-- that's $70 for the Spiderman ultimate collection, and $60 for "Sackboy", the two games I want to get.

Of course, I'll also want the remote at some point, since this will be my media machine as well-- that's another $30. That's just about $850, after taxes! Console gamers always talk about how expensive it is to build a PC, but I don't think they've done the complete math on just how much money they're spending on their ridiculously expensive controllers (my fantastic PC Logitech F310 sells for $20), their software (which is basically free or dirt cheap on the PC), and their online services over the lifespan they own the system (totally free on the PC).

Granted in my case, I can sell my PlayStation 4 Pro on eBay or via Craigslist for probably $250, which recoups some of that expense. But even with that in mind, the ongoing costs of routinely buying $70 games is going to get old very quickly, unless I want to play them months or years after release. It really puts into focus just how great Microsoft's value proposition is at the moment. Incidentally, here is a thread on Gamespot discussing similar thoughts about this topic-- especially take a look at post #7.

I guess it's the same as it has been for the past six months with me: I just can't make up my mind which direction to go. As I wrote about here, all of the choices are good in their own way, which makes the decision very difficult-- it's a matter of weighing dozens of pros and cons to each route, which is pretty paralyzing.