Superfried – Walk the Talk
Buying console games
Mark here, how’s things? Having navigated the purchase of a PS5 console, it’s now time to buy some games to play on it. As I continue my transition towards a more eco friendly lifestyle, I want to find the best option available to walk the talk. Fortunately, I had gained some useful knowledge when previously buying titles for my ancient PS3, but technology has progressed significantly since then.
Buying old games
You have the console, now you need to buy some games. Despite being expensive, I have always felt they are great value. Creating a modern release can now require a similar volume of people, time, and budget as a Hollywood film to produce, yet provide 10s of hours of entertainment vs. a 2hrs from a DVD. Having said that, £50 – 60 is still a lot of cash.
Secondly, despite reading all of the reviews online, there is no guarantee you will click with a game. With this in mind, secondhand is a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. There are some obvious reservations concerning the disk being damaged, so where to buy from?
When I was initially looking for games it was for my PS3, which is rather old. As a consequence, I found that because of its age, the games were either unavailable or ridiculously expensive. Consequently, I researched secondhand alternatives. A quick search, and at the top of the list I found Music Magpie, which I had seen advertising on TV. This could solve both my cost and rarity issues, but also satisfy my sustainable ethos – reuse is better than buying new.
Music Magpie is an online store that enables you to buy or sell secondhand items from tech through to books. From what I can tell, they seem to be a reasonably good company with a high Trust Pilot rating of 4.5 based on over 275,000 reviews.
All tech is refurbished with a 12-month guarantee and all games are tested and checked. They offer a 14-day money-back guarantee and all deliveries are free of charge regardless of the amount spent.
As you can see from the photo, I got carried away on more than one occasion – hard not to when some of the prices are so low – and to date, all of the games have worked. Some will be missing the booklet, but no one I know ever uses these, and it is usually mentioned on the site if they are not included. In addition to this, deliveries have been fast.
When things go wrong
There was one occasion when I was very excited awaiting the arrival of Burnout Paradise. The package arrived, I opened the box to find a copy of FiFA 13! I will be honest, I was rather disappointed. So I immediately went to the site to complain. The help links on the site are better than most if you want to fill in a relevant email form. Instead, I opted for the chatbot option. I was quickly connected to a human, they apologised, issued a refund, and said I could keep the game sent in error. This was both surprising and appreciated as my son and I did make use of the freebie.
For the latest consoles, such as the PS5, there is now the option to purchase and download games digitally.
So would this not be a more eco-efficient option?
This is a tricky consideration for me. In some respects, I am a big fan of digital products. I like the efficiency. Less energy consumption, materials, and waste. Historically I found the requirement to organise and store physical collections a burden. However, I have found the way I respond to products has changed depending on their format. I now give less time or respect to streamed music, rarely recalling the name of anything I listen to. When I played physical albums, I would recall the band, name of the song and even the track order.
Consequently, I did consider this carefully when buying games and the console itself, since PlayStation produces a digital-only version of the PS5. However, based on my research so far, it does not seem possible to buy or sell pre-owned digital games since the purchaser does not technically own them.
This to me felt both unfair to the customer, but also reminiscent of the throwaway culture I am trying to avoid. With the physical disks, I like the way the children will be able to borrow or swap games with friends. In the distant future, once the PS5 is no longer supported, so long as the machine still works the games can still be enjoyed like the 8 and 16-bit machines of my youth.
Lastly, since the games already exist in the world, for them to be reused and enjoyed is a wonderful thing. Like the digital equivalent of passing on a well-read book.
Music Magpie – Sustainable secondhand shopping
Sustainable secondhand shopping
Buying from eBay
Music Magpie is great, but you are reliant on someone selling the game you are looking for. With brand new releases, there is much less chance this will be the case, so where do you look next?
The biggest and most obvious choice for all things secondhand is of course eBay. I did not use this option initially as I thought it would be easier to search via just one vendor and secondly, I had slight reservations re. potentially damaged / faulty disks.
However, the Magpie was not selling the game I was seeking and I wanted to avoid Scamazon, until all other options had been exhausted. I started my search, found the game – Wreckfest – but I then noticed something strange. The vendor was Music Magpie – I was unaware they had a Google shop.
This is a bit of an oversight on their part. I have no issue with them also having an eBay outlet – makes sense – but the stock should tally up across both platforms unless they are being distributed from two separate locations. Therefore, when searching their site, I would also recommend checking their eBay store.
Using eBay does provide the advantage of competitive alternatives. This was useful when seeking Lego Worlds – the eBay vendor was far cheaper. When purchasing anything on eBay, the same guidelines should always be applied. Make sure the vendor has a great rating, check their reviews, and ensure they have previously sold a lot of items. Things do occasionally go wrong, but to date, eBay has always reimbursed me.
In conclusion, unless a game is a brand new release being bought for a birthday or Christmas, I can not see myself veering away from the secondhand route. From an eco friendly perspective, if it was essential to buy a new version, for last-gen consoles you could opt for a digital download instead.
For me, knowing a product is being reused and continuing to bring enjoyment to a new group of people makes my purchase so much more rewarding. Where I grew up there was a bit of a stigma about purchasing secondhand goods. There was a negative association with it being a forced choice of the poor, whereas buying new had status. I am hoping this has changed since the benefits of buying secondhand far outweigh those of buying new from both an economic and environmental perspective.
If you have any tips for sustainable and practical products, I would love to hear more, so please drop me a message. Alternatively, book a call with Superfried to talk through the challenges you are facing with your business and the bespoke design strategies we can develop to tackle them.