Are games better value than Blu-rays and DVDs?

Is PES worth 10p an hour of fun?
Is PES worth 10p an hour of fun?

Following the earlier news that revenue from videogames continues to outstrip revenue from DVD and Blu-ray movies, we wondered aloud about the 'value' of spending £30 to £40 on a videogame, compared with spending £10 to £20 on a new DVD or Blu-ray?

So, who's really getting the better deal here? The gamer or the home cinema enthusiast?

"As the Gfk figures relate to revenue, it's not surprising to hear that game sales are forecast to trump DVDs and BD," argues Steve May, Editor of Home Cinema Choice magazine.

"Unlike movies, games software continues to hold its retail value. People still seem prepared to pay big bucks for hot titles, even despite the credit crunch. That's not the case with movies," adds May.

"This actually means that home cinema fans continue to get much better value out of their hobby than gamers, who are expected to pay through the nose for every sequel and knock-off that comes their way. It should be remembered that films are more ubiquitous than games too, which makes them more accessible and generally less expensive for most folks."

All in the replay

While TechRadar agrees with the argument that videogames are generally priced too highly, we cannot help but jump to the defence of those few gaming gems that we return to again and again. In comparison, even the best movies may only ever get four or five home replays.

"Steve makes a great point, in that games only dominate when it comes to revenue, not in terms of sheer ubiquity or copies sold, but to argue against the value of videogames is a steep slope," argues Daniel Dawkins, Editor of PSM3 magazine.

Dawkins adds that, "for £40 (or much less on pre-owned [titles]), Fallout 3 offers, say, 100 hours of genuine interactive entertainment, while titles such as Skate 2, or Pro Evolution 2009 can technically never be finished.

"While I'm a big fan of The Dark Knight, I don't think I'll be watching it every lunchtime for the next year – often with a sneaky hour before I go to bed – like I have with the last six odd 'sequels and knock offs' of Pro Evo."

Do the math!

Dawkins argues that a game such as his beloved Pro Evo "might've cost £40, but in terms of value per hour played over a year, it works out about 10p per hour of fun.

"By that rationale, the average film would have to be 20-30p to compete. I'm not going to argue the case for games – currently – being a more mature, meaningful medium, but it is the nascent form of entertainment where all roads will eventually converge".

Adam Hartley