Okay, so Ben LOVES his video games and lately he has been bugging me to get him a new xbox console.  Of course my son wants the 360 with 250 GB and all the goodies that go with it!  That is just not possible for me to do right now, so I set out to find him a cheap xboxSomething that would satisfy him and not kill my bank account.  Since the Microsoft Free Xbox deal was never really do-able for us, I needed other options.

There are a few reasons that Ben wanted an Xbox.  Certain titles are only available on Xbox and we did not own an Xbox.  We owned  a Wii and a Nintendo 64.  As far as electronics go, I make sure that we take care of them and I do not replace them unless they are dead and fixing them costs more than replacing them with a newer model.  So, both the Wii and Nintendo 64 still work and we have a ton of games for them and there really was no justification in buying another video game system.  However, a new system would offer new possibilities for gaming.

The Xbox 360 WOW’ed me when I was in the local Best Buy checking them out.  I have to admit it is quite impressive!  Especially on the huge screens!  Still the $300 price tag was just too much. And that only included one game!  More games were $20 and up per game!

I scoured Ebay to see what the original Xbox consoles were going for.  Now that everyone else has bought an Xbox 360 and Kinect, the original Xbox consoles were going for much less!  I was able to get a cheap xbox console (new to us!) along with all the cords needed, two controllers and 18 games for $84 which INCLUDED shipping!  Now that is a deal!

My reasoning for this is :

  • my son is happy because he now has a new Xbox console and a bunch of games to go with it
  • when the prices go wayyyyyyy down on the Xbox 360, the games we have for the older Xbox will still work on the 360
  • there are now a bunch of games that Ben has never tried that he can try now
  • the games for this system can be easily found for under $5 each

In my book this was a win-win!  Sometimes it just pays to wait!

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Warning….. this may be a long post and possibly boring to anyone who is not interested in the items mentioned in the title of this post!  LOL!

When I moved in with Dane, he had a satellite provider on one tv in the living room.  Thats it.  Nothing else anywhere in the house.  So, he called them and asked about hooking up the bedrooms.  It would cost an extra $200 for installation ?!?!?!?!?!?! and also be about $50 extra per month ?!?!?!?!?!?!?! and that does not include internet because they don’t provide that ?!?!?!?!?!?!  So, I had to come up with an alternate solution.

The kiddos have a Wii in their room so they get the Netflix streaming thru that, because I subscribe to Netflix.  That provides viewing options for them.  That left only our bedroom to find something for.  Enter the Roku.

I had wanted a Roku for a long time and now was the time to purchase one.  I bought the mid-grade one for $80.  It was easy to set up and now we get Netflix streaming along with a few other “channels” in our bedroom. All we had to do was purchase the box.  No monthly fee from them (but I still pay for Netflix, which I was paying for anyhow).  By the way I LOVE the Roku!

Now that Netflix has announced their price increases, I am rethinking my strategy.  We currently have the “2 out at a time plus unlimited streaming” plan which runs about $16 per month.  Soon it will be about $20 per month.  Which isn’t bad but I felt the need to examine my options.

This is how I figured it out:  Netflix at $16 per month was $8 for streaming and $8 for 2 movies out at a time (which for us was 2 per week = 8 movies a month).  That makes the movies about $1 each.  That’s okay.  The same price as Redbox rentals.  But NOW it will be $20 per month, $8 for streaming and $12 is for the 8 movies I get in the mail each month which makes them $1.50 each.  Not okay.  Not the same price as Redbox.  Enter Blockbuster Online………

For $10 a month, I can have one movie dvd out at a time, mailed to me, BUT I can take that movie to the Blockbuster store and turn it in for another movie while I wait for my next movie to be mailed to me.  This means that I will probably be able to get 4 movies a week (2 by mail and 2 in the store) which equals about 16 movies a month for $10!  That sure beats the 8 movies for $12 that Netflix would get me!  Plus no long queue waits for new release movies at Netflix!  I can just pick them up when I trade in my Blockbuster dvd at the store!

So, I think what I will be doing is keeping Netflix streaming for $8 a month and going with Blockbuster Online for dvds.  Total $18 a month.  I save a couple of bucks and I get more movies to watch.

This summer we finally tried Gamefly as a rental service for games for the Wii.  The premise is great!  The problem we had was that just about every game had a wait time.  There were very few “available now” games and that was just frustrating for the kiddos.  When we went to cancel our account, we were offered a “free month” so I accepted that and we will have to see how that goes.  I will say here that we have rented Wii games from Redbox at $2 a night and that worked really well for us!  It is a great way to see if you like a game before actually buying it.  A lot cheaper too!

I think that sums it all up.  Oh, and I went with the local cable provider for internet service because I have to have internet service for ANY of this to work!  LOL!

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