Patient Gaming is a philosophy wherein gamers wait a significant amount of time before buying and playing newly released video games. While this might sound like a bore, there are plenty of reasons why you should hold off on buying that latest big release.
First, you’ll save money. You’ll save a lot of money. Steam has long been hailed for its impressive seasonal sales, and lately other sites such as Humble Bundleand GOG have started to mirror their incredible discounts. By simply waiting until the next major sale, there’s a good chance you’ll find that flashy AAA title you’ve been eyeing on sale for at least 15% off. But it’s gamers with even more patience who will see the steepest discounts. For instance, if you waited to buy DOOM (2016) during last year’s Steam Summer Sale, you could have picked up 2016’s hottest blockbuster for just $15.
You’ll also save money by making fewer purchases that you regret. Plenty of games seem incredible before launch, but simply fall flat after release. There’s nothing worse than pre-ordering a game and being disappointed. I experienced this with Brink, and many others also learned this the hard way after No Man’s Sky’s initial flop. For patient gamers, reviews and public consensus would have steered them away from these games (at least at the initial $60 price tag), but those who pre-ordered were left with dismay. There’s also a chance that less-than-satisfactory games receive updates that make them much more enjoyable, such as bugfixes or content add-ons, that day-one purchasers would have had to wait for.
By letting these early purchasers do your curating, you’ll also save plenty of time by having a better understanding of which games are worth playing. For people who enjoy gaming but don’t have much time to do it, this is a great way to make the most of their screen time.
The final benefit of Patient Gaming that I’d like to highlight, particularly for PC players, is that you need a much less expensive gaming rig to run games that came out as recently as just a few years ago. Games are generally created considering the hardware available at the time of their release, and this hardware drops in price as newer, more powerful hardware is released.
To illustrate this, Dishonored, one of the most gripping and innovative games of 2012, recommends an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 graphics card for optimal performance. This card can now be found for under $50 on eBay, or you could pick up a new
GTX 1030, the cheapest of NVIDIA’s latest 10 series, for about $100. On the other hand, Dishonored 2(released in 2016) recommends a GTX 1060 6GB, which starts around $300. For people who don’t mind waiting a few years to play blockbuster games, the savings on both hardware and the cost of the games themselves are incredible.
However, Patient Gaming is not without its drawbacks. Waiting to play games leaves you vulnerable to spoilers which can sometimes affect the enjoyment of your eventual play-through. It’s also pretty fun to be at the center of the the hype surrounding a game to enjoy all of the in-jokes, memes, and fan content created as a result of it. The biggest drawback to Patient Gaming, in my opinion, has to do with multiplayer. Many games with multiplayer modes have a steep drop-off in player count after a few months or years, and the multiplayer experience is all but ruined once that number is too low.
Luckily this isn’t true for all multiplayer games, and many online-only games like Overwatch and Rainbow Six: Siege have very healthy online communities with plenty of new players. Be sure to do a bit of research if online play is on your agenda.
Patient Gaming is an excellent strategy to get the most out of your time and money. Waiting anywhere from a few months until the next big sale, or a few years to catch up on hardware requirements can yield great benefits with relatively few drawbacks. For a great community of patient gamers with weekly discussions, tips, and resources.