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Probably the biggest piece of gaming news in the last week was the Nintendo Wii's 50 dollar price drop. Yes, now for the new low price of just $199.99, anyone who hasn't already jumped on the motion-controlled Wii bandwagon can finally do so. Just two hundred dollars separates you from a tiny piece of casual gaming heaven.
It's comforting to know that now you can pick up a shiny new console for slightly more than the cost of four new games for that very system. Still, two hundred dollars is a lot of money. Let's take a look at how some other ways certain people could choose to spend that same amount of money.
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The College Student
For a college student, every penny counts. While gaming bliss may rank right up there with the other necessities of college life (food, shelter, booze), it's important to consider how else you could be spending your money.
Food, for example. At my local grocery store, a case of ramen noodles (a staple of the college diet) goes for around $3.50. That works out to about 57 cases of delicious deep-friend noodle goodness that could be purchased with the same amount of money. Think about it, you're giving up 1,371 delicious, ready in just three minutes meals when you pick up that new Wii.
Books are another big part of college expenses. For those engineers out there, you know that each of your many required texts can easily run more than one hundred dollars apiece. Buying a Wii will prohibit you from picking up two of those huge books you inevitably never end up using.
Textbooks are no less important for liberal arts majors, though you tend to get more for your money. As an example, for the price of a Wii you could pick up 133 Dover Thrift Edition copies of Oscar Wilde's classic "The Importance of Being Earnest."
Booze is another important factor to consider before dropping two hundred on a Wii. Just think, you could be spending that money on close to a hundred bottles of MD (Mad Dog) 20/20, rather than to be able to play Super Mario Galaxy. Good games may be intoxicating, but not as much so as the world's most famous gut rot-inducing "bum wine."
Check out page two for alternate ways to spend your Wii money on your favorite MMORPG game, in the office, or to keep yourself clean.
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The MMORPG Gamer
Some MMORPG gamers are also fans of console gaming and undoubtedly already own a Nintendo Wii, but for those considering taking their first plunge into the world of non-PC entertainment, there are some important considerations to account for.
Just think, for the price of that new Wii, you could buy yourself a new 25 inch monitor for your PC. You'll see your World of Warcraft character in a whole new light when you experience her at near life size on your new monitor.
You could also use that money to pick up some WoW TCG loot cards on ebay. Yes, for two hundred dollars you could be the new owner of a Giant Chicken mount, or 1/5 of a Spectral Tiger. Another option: use the two bills to get a little extra scratch for your character, approximately 20,000 gold can be had for that price.
You could also choose to buy 10 copies of City of Heroes, 16 copies of Warhammer Online, 25 copies of The Lord of the Rings Online, or 4 copies of Champions Online from Amazon for the same money.
One more thing to consider. I just picked up a refurbished Dell netbook for less than 200 bucks. You could do the same and check your auctions from anywhere you find Wi Fi.
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The Office Worker
You could pick up 192 packs of Post-It Notes, 11,000 jumbo paperclips, 120 dry erase markers, 10 staplers or one really nice chair from OfficeMax for that same price. You could even take that two hundred dollars to Kinkos and have two 3' by 4' banners made proclaiming your thriftiness.
If you buy a Nintendo Wii, you're giving up approximately 50 trips to Starbucks, nearly 60 reams of paper, or approximately 20 iTunes album downloads when you should be working.
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The Obsessive Compulsive
If staying clean is something you're interested in, consider the fact that you could be picking up 95 bars of Ivory soap, 80 bottles of Softsoap, 28 bottles of Neutrogena shampoo, or even 5 copies of "Soap, the Complete Series" on DVD.
14,000 Q-Tips, 60 toothbrushes, 33 Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaners, 14 toilet brushes, or 15 nose hair trimmers could be yours for that same 200 bucks.
Personally, I think that a new Nintendo Wii is a great purchase for just about anybody. The console has great games that appeal to gamers young and old, couples, and the so-called "hardcore" gamers equally. Now that it is available at a fantastic new price, what have you got to lose?
Besides 29 copies of "Spiceworld" on DVD, that is.