The costs for gaming systems like the Xbox and the Playstation 2 are fairly straightforward -- generally around
$150 plus extra costs for items like extra controllers and memory cards. However, for PC Gaming the costs can be much higher. Many manufacturers like Dell, Gateway, ABS Computer Technologies, Voodoo PC and Alienware offer PCs designed specifically for playing games. Many of these PCs start in the $1,000 - $1,700 range. However, with add-ons the costs can quickly run up to over $3,000. Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post
that, "Dell told me in September that while its XPS line of gamer desktops started around $1,800, buyers often custom-configure enough upgrades to push their final bills past $3,000."
Gamers that enhance their PCs often find the extra costs worth the
performance boost and many gamers love the cool, sleek systems offered
by niche game computer manufacturers.
But novices should read and consult with experts before embarking on a costly upgrade or buying an expensive new system. Some gamers without superior geek know-how have been using services like Best Buy's Geek Squad for installing new hardware or getting their PC ready for online games. Marc Saltzman also has a good article
on Microsoft.com about buying a PC game system without breaking the bank. And Extreme Tech has an article
about building the $800 Game PC for those interested in really restraining costs.