Getting Started in Gaming

For newcomers, a visit to a video game store can be an intimidating experience. The walls or web sites are lined with games with obscure titles for various systems and the consoles crouch in the corner with intimidating prices and obtuse technical specifications. This guide is geared to introduce you to the world of gaming and make it easy to decide how to spend your money to build the gaming setup that will best suit your needs.

Step 1 Set a Budget

Whether you're buying as a gift or for yourself, it's a good idea to go into your buying spree with a set amount to spend so your expectations don't outpace reality. Don't worry about setting it too high no matter the route you take, you'll almost certainly be able to spend whatever money you have. Like any other hobby, there will always be a new product coming down the pipeline to demand your money and time. On the other hand, you'd be surprised how little cash it takes to get going. If you're willing to settle for a system that's a few years out of date, $150 may be enough to get an impressive library started. Our recommendation for getting going with contemporary equipment is $500. That will be you a console, an extra controller and at least a game or two to get rolling.

Step 2 Decide How You'll Play

The idea of splurging to buy the finest nextPSP'>Sony PSP is your best bet.

Step 3 Formulate a Game Plan

Taking your budget and lifestyle needs from the first two steps into account, price your desired systems, controllers and games and piece together the package that looks the most appealing. If you've got $500 to spend and want to hook yourself up with a slick home console and innovative handheld complete with games, you might want to invest in a GameCube ($100) and DS ($130). Twenty bucks can go to an extra GameCube controller , leaving you with half your budget to blow on games. Check out our Video Game Buying Guide for advice.


The GameCube is an excellent system for beginners because of its spare button design and largely simplistic games. Most GameCube games are geared toward the younger set, making the system a solid by for kids under the age of 13. The Xbox is one of the strongest systems going, second only in capabilities to its younger brother, the Sony PSP are pricier choices with better games.


The software is what most determines your enjoyment level with whatever video game system you select. Aiming for Video Game Buying Guide.


Most important among all accessory buys are PS2 online adaptor.