Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

Budget
Oct
18

Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

Last year, it was well-documented how crazy the holiday release schedule was, but this year, there isn’t quite as much commotion. Despite the less-than-overwhelming hype for this year’s holiday release schedule, gaming on a budget is going to be as difficult as it has ever been. Sure, November might not be as jam-packed with AAA titles as it was last year (with the obvious exception of the Wii U launch titles), but October is more than picking up any perceived notion of slack.

Gaming on a Budget

For the sake of this article, and for the sake of comparing this year to last year, we’re going to define “Holiday 2012″ as starting with the release of Borderlands 2 on September 18 and going through the release of Far Cry 3 on December 4. All of the dates here are for the North American releases, and not every title is included, as it would be impossible to keep up with them all. Also, be warned that some release dates may shift around.

Of course, the prices shown here are MSRP. However, there are several ways to avoid paying the prices shown. The best way is often to wait a week or two and watch the prices drop or used copies become available at outlets like Amazon. Buying used can prove difficult these days, however, as the online pass system has become more and more commonplace. Budgeting intelligently will lead to less stress during the holidays, and it will certainly allow you to enjoy more games than you normally would!

There’s no denying that this year’s holiday release schedule is full of excellent AAA titles and promising lesser-known games, and if you have a difficult time resisting, try and look at what time you actually have available. Do you really need to buy Borderlands 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Dishonored all in one trip? What are the odds that, five months down the road, at least one of those games still in their shrink wrap has been included in a sale that would have made it less than what you paid for it? Trust me, it happens to me all the time (I still haven’t played Ghost Recon: Future Soldier after buying it on day one).

As we pointed out last year, this isn’t meant to overwhelm you, but rather give you an idea as to what we’re in for over the next couple of months. Gaming is an expensive hobby, and gaming on a budget can prove insanely difficult, but it isn’t impossible. Planning out your finances, choosing your games with heavy discrimination and waiting for the right time to finally pull the trigger can make a world of difference. If you must have it day one, however, stringing together pre-order bonuses like gift card promotions can’t hurt. Check out the list below and let us know how much you plan on spending this holiday season!

doom3bfgedition 610x128 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Remakes/Re-Releases | $710

Angry Birds Trilogy | September 25 | $40 | Buy
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission | October 2 | $60 | Buy
Doom 3: BFG Edition | October 16 | $40 | Buy
RockSmith Guitar and Bass | October 16 | $80 | Buy
Street Fighter X Tekken (Vita) | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Killzone Trilogy Collection | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Zone of the Enders HD Collection | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection | November 6 | $40 | Buy
RIFT: Storm Legion | November 13 | $50 | Buy
Midway Arcade Origins | November 13 | $30 | Buy
Arkham City: Armored Edition | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper (Wii U) | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Persona 4 Golden | November 20 | $40 | Buy
The Walking Dead: A TellTale Game Series | December 4 | $30 |Buy

farcry3 2 copy 610x131 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable First Person Shooters | $610

Borderlands 2 | September 18 | $60 | Buy
Dishonored | October 9 | $60 | Buy
Doom 3: BFG Edition | October 16 | $40 | Buy
007 Legends | October 16 | $60 | Buy
Medal of Honor: Warfighter | October 23 | $60 | Buy
Killzone Trilogy Collection | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Halo 4 | November 6 | $60 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 | November 13 | $60 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified | November 13 | $50 | Buy
ZombiU | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Far Cry 3 | December 4 | $60 | Buy

DOA5 610x146 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Fighting Games | $140

Dead or Alive 5 | September 25 | $60 | Buy
Street Fighter X Tekken (Vita) | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection | November 6 | $40 | Buy

NBA2k13 610x146 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Sports Games | $240

FIFA Soccer 13 | September 25 | $60 | Buy
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 | September 25 | $60 | Buy
NBA 2K13 | October 2 | $60 | Buy
Madden NFL 13 (Wii U) | November 18 | $60 | Buy

HitmanAbsolution 610x141 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Sequels | $1,430

Borderlands 2 | September 18 | $60 | Buy
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita | September 25 |$40 | Buy
Dead or Alive 5 | September 25 | $60 | Buy
Resident Evil 6 | October 2 | $60 | Buy
Pokemon Black Version 2 | October 7 | $35 | Buy
Pokemon White Version 2 | October 7 | $35 | Buy
Just Dance 4 | October 9 | $40 | Buy
Dance Central 3 | October 16 | $50 | Buy
Doom 3: BFG Edition | October 16 | $40 | Buy
Silent Hill: Book of Memories | October 16 | $40 | Buy
Skylanders Giants | October 21 | $60 | Buy
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask | October 28 | $40 | Buy
Need for Speed: Most Wanted | October 30 | $60 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3 | October 30 | $60 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Halo 4 | November 6 | $60 | Buy
Paper Mario: Sticker Star | November 11 | $40 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 | November 13 | $60 | Buy
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Wipeout 3 (Wii U) | November 18 | $50 | Buy
Arkham City: Armored Edition | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper (Wii U) | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge | November 18 | $60 | Buy
New Super Mario Bros. U | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed | November 20 | $40 | Buy
Hitman: Absolution | November 20 | $60 | Buy
Persona 4 Golden | November 20 | $40 | Buy
Far Cry 3 | December 4 | $60 |Buy

BlackOps2 610x180 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Activision Games | $620

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria | September 25 | $40 | Buy
Angry Birds Trilogy | September 25 | $40 | Buy
007 Legends | October 16 | $60 | Buy
Skylanders Giants | October 21 | $60 | Buy
Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Cabela’s Hunting Expeditions | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Transformers Prime: The Game | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Wreck-It Ralph | October 30 | $30 | Buy
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth | October 30 | $50 | Buy
NASCAR The Game: Inside the Line | November 6 | $60 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 | November 13 | $60 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified | November 13 | $50 | Buy
Wipeout 3 (Wii U) | November 18 | $50 | Buy

MOHWF 610x123 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable EA Games | $240

FIFA Soccer 13 | September 25 | $60 | Buy
Medal of Honor: Warfighter | October 23 | $60 | Buy
Need for Speed: Most Wanted | October 30 | $60 | Buy
Madden NFL 13 (Wii U) | November 18 | $60 | Buy

XCOM1 610x134 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable 2K Games | $180

Borderlands 2 | September 18 | $60 | Buy
NBA 2K13 | October 2 | $60 | Buy
XCOM: Enemy Unknown | October 9 | $60 | Buy

AC3 610x112 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Ubisoft Games | $440

Just Dance 4 | October 9 | $40 | Buy
RockSmith Guitar and Bass | October 16 | $80 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3 | October 30 | $60 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Rabbids Land | November 18 | $50 | Buy
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 | November 18 | $50 | Buy
ZombiU | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Far Cry 3 | December 4 | $60 | Buy

halo4 610x124 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Xbox Exclusives | $460

Resident Evil 6: Archives Edition | October 2 | $90 | Buy
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission | October 2 | $60 | Buy
Dragon Ball Z for Kinect | October 9 | $40 | Buy
Harry Potter for Kinect | October 9 | $50 | Buy
Dance Central 3 | October 16 | $50 | Buy
Forza Horizons | October 23 | $60 | Buy
Nike + Kinect Training | October 30 | $50 | Buy
Halo 4 | November 6 | $60 | Buy

PSASBR 610x120 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable PlayStation Exclusives | $660

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita | September 25 |$40 | Buy
Resident Evil 6: Anthology Edition | October 2 | $90 | Buy
Ragnarok Odyssey | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Mugen Souls | October 16 | $50 | Buy
Silent Hill: Book of Memories | October 16 | $40 | Buy
Street Fighter X Tekken (Vita) | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Killzone Trilogy Collection | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Smart As | October 23 | $30 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation | October 30 | $40 | Buy
LittleBigPlanet Karting | November 6 | $60 | Buy
Wonderbook: Book of Spells | November 13 | $40 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified | November 13 | $50 | Buy
PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale | November 20 | $60 | Buy
Persona 4 Golden | November 20 | $40 |Buy

MarioU 610x124 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Nintendo Exclusives | $1,270

Pokemon Black Version 2 | October 7 | $35 | Buy
Pokemon White Version 2 | October 7 | $35 | Buy
Code of Princess | October 9 |$40 | Buy
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask | October 28 | $40 | Buy
Transformers Prime: The Game | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Thundercats | October 30 | $30 | Buy
Wreck-It Ralph | October 30 | $30 | Buy
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning | November 6 | $40 | Buy
Paper Mario: Sticker Star | November 11 | $40 | Buy
Nintendo Wii U | November 18 | $300 | Sold Out
Rabbids Land | November 18 | $50 | Buy
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 | November 18 | $50 | Buy
ZombiU | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Scribblenauts: Unlimited | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Arkham City: Armored Edition | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper (Wii U) | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge | November 18 | $60 | Buy
New Super Mario Bros. U | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Nintendo Land | November 18 | $60 | Buy
SiNG Party with Wii U Microphone | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! | November 20 | $30 | Buy
Family Party: 30 Great Games: Obstacle Arcade | December 4 | $30 | Buy

ZombiU 610x97 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

Wii U Lineup | $1,695

Nintendo Wii U | November 18 | $300 | Sold Out
Just Dance 4 | November 18 | $50 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Skylanders Giants | November 18 | $75 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3 | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Transformers Prime: The Game | November 18 | $50 | Buy
Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 | December 4 | $40 | Buy
Madden NFL 13 | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Ben 10 Omniverse: The Video Game | November 20 | $40 | Buy
Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game | December 4 | $40 | Buy
Rabbids Land | November 18 | $50 | Buy
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 | November 18 | $50 | Buy
ZombiU | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Scribblenauts: Unlimited | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Wipeout 3 | November 18 | $50 | Buy
Arkham City: Armored Edition | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge | November 18 | $60 | Buy
New Super Mario Bros. U | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Nintendo Land | November 18 | $60 | Buy
SiNG Party with Wii U Microphone | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed | November 20 | $40 | Buy
Family Party: 30 Great Games: Obstacle Arcade | December 4 | $30 | Buy
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth | December 4 | $50 | Buy
Funky Barn | TBD 2012 | $50 | Buy
FIFA Soccer 13 | TBD 2012 | $60 | Buy

LBPPSV 610x113 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Handheld Releases | $1,240

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita | September 25 |$40 | Buy
FIFA Soccer 13 | September 25 | $40 | Buy
Angry Birds Trilogy | September 25 | $30 | Buy
NBA 2K13 | October 2 | $20 | Buy
Pokemon Black Version 2 | October 7 | $35 | Buy
Pokemon White Version 2 | October 7 | $35 | Buy
Spy Hunter | October 9 | $40 | Buy
Code of Princess | October 9 |$40 | Buy
Ragnarok Odyssey | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Silent Hill: Book of Memories | October 16 | $40 | Buy
Street Fighter X Tekken (Vita) | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Smart As | October 23 | $30 | Buy
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask | October 28 | $40 | Buy
Need for Speed: Most Wanted | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Transformers Prime: The Game | October 30 | $30 | Buy
Thundercats | October 30 | $30 | Buy
Wreck-It Ralph | October 30 | $30 | Buy
LEGO Lord of the Rings (3DS) | October 30 | $30 | Buy
LEGO Lord of the Rings (Vita) | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Ragnarok: Tactics | November 6 |$30 | Buy
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning | November 6 | $40 | Buy
Paper Mario: Sticker Star | November 11 | $40 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified | November 13 | $50 | Buy
Ben 10 Omniverse: The Video Game | November 13 | $40 | Buy
Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game | November 20 | $30 | Buy
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Illusion | November 18 | $40 | Buy
PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale | November 20 | $40 | Buy
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! | November 20 | $30 | Buy
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed | November 20 | $30 | Buy
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 | TBD 2012 | $40 | Buy
Scribblenauts: Unlimited | TBD 2012 | $40 | Buy
Persona 4 Golden | November 20 | $40 | Buy

Dishonored 610x126 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Notable Games Released | $4,370

Borderlands 2 | September 18 | $60 | Buy
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita | September 25 |$40 | Buy
Dead or Alive 5 | September 25 | $60 | Buy
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 | September 25 | $60 | Buy
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria | September 25 | $40 | Buy
Angry Birds Trilogy | September 25 | $40 | Buy
NBA 2K13 | October 2 | $60 | Buy
Resident Evil 6 | October 2 | $60 | Buy
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission | October 2 | $60 | Buy
Pokemon Black Version 2 | October 7 | $35 | Buy
Pokemon White Version 2 | October 7 | $35 | Buy
Spy Hunter | October 9 | $40 | Buy
Just Dance 4 | October 9 | $40 | Buy
Dragon Ball Z for Kinect | October 9 | $40 | Buy
Code of Princess | October 9 |$40 | Buy
XCOM: Enemy Unknown | October 9 | $60 | Buy
Dishonored | October 9 | $60 | Buy
Harry Potter for Kinect | October 9 | $50 | Buy
Ragnarok Odyssey | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Dance Central 3 | October 16 | $50 | Buy
Doom 3: BFG Edition | October 16 | $40 | Buy
007 Legends | October 16 | $60 | Buy
Mugen Souls | October 16 | $50 | Buy
Silent Hill: Book of Memories | October 16 | $40 | Buy
RockSmith Guitar and Bass | October 16 | $80 | Buy
Skylanders Giants | October 21 | $60 | Buy
Medal of Honor: Warfighter | October 23 | $60 | Buy
Street Fighter X Tekken (Vita) | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Cabela’s Hunting Expeditions | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Forza Horizons | October 23 | $60 | Buy
Killzone Trilogy Collection | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward | October 23 | $40 | Buy
Smart As | October 23 | $30 | Buy
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask | October 28 | $40 | Buy
Need for Speed: Most Wanted | October 30 | $60 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3 | October 30 | $60 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Transformers Prime: The Game | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Nike + Kinect Training | October 30 | $50 | Buy
Thundercats | October 30 | $30 | Buy
Toy Story Mania | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Zone of the Enders HD Collection | October 30 | $40 | Buy
Wreck-It Ralph | October 30 | $30 | Buy
WWE ’13 | October 30 | $60 | Buy
LEGO Lord of the Rings | October 30 | $50 | Buy
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth | October 30 | $50 | Buy
Ragnarok: Tactics | November 6 |$30 | Buy
NASCAR The Game: Inside the Line | November 6 | $60 | Buy
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning | November 6 | $40 | Buy
Halo 4 | November 6 | $60 | Buy
LittleBigPlanet Karting | November 6 | $60 | Buy
Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection | November 6 | $40 | Buy
Paper Mario: Sticker Star | November 11 | $40 | Buy
RIFT: Storm Legion | November 13 | $50 | Buy
Midway Arcade Origins | November 13 | $30 | Buy
Wonderbook: Book of Spells | November 13 | $40 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 | November 13 | $60 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified | November 13 | $50 | Buy
Ben 10 Omniverse: The Video Game | November 13 | $40 | Buy
Nintendo Wii U | November 18 | $300 | Sold Out
Madden NFL 13 (Wii U) | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Rabbids Land | November 18 | $50 | Buy
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 | November 18 | $50 | Buy
ZombiU | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Illusion | November 18 | $40 | Buy
Scribblenauts: Unlimited | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Wipeout 3 (Wii U) | November 18 | $50 | Buy
Arkham City: Armored Edition | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper (Wii U) | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge | November 18 | $60 | Buy
New Super Mario Bros. U | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Nintendo Land | November 18 | $60 | Buy
SiNG Party with Wii U Microphone | November 18 | $60 | Buy
Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game | November 20 | $40 | Buy
PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale | November 20 | $60 | Buy
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! | November 20 | $30 | Buy
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed | November 20 | $40 | Buy
Hitman: Absolution | November 20 | $60 | Buy
Persona 4 Golden | November 20 | $40 | Buy
The Walking Dead: A TellTale Game Series | December 4 | $30 | Buy
Family Party: 30 Great Games: Obstacle Arcade | December 4 | $30 | Buy
Far Cry 3 | December 4 | $60 | Buy
Funky Barn (Wii U) | TBD 2012 | $50 | Buy

borderlands2 610x157 Essential Gaming: Calculating the cost of Holiday 2012

All Special Editions Available | $2,115

Borderlands 2: Deluxe Vault Hunter Edition | September 18 | $100 | Buy
Borderlands 2: Ultimate Loot Chest Edition | September 18 | $150 | Out of Stock
Dead or Alive 5: GameStop Exclusive Collector’s Edition | September 25 | $80 | Out of Stock
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: Collector’s Edition | September 25 | $80 | Buy
NBA 2K13: Dynasty Edition | October 2 | $100 | Out of Stock
Resident Evil 6: Archives Edition | October 2 | $90 | Buy
Resident Evil 6: Anthology Edition | October 2 | $90 | Buy
Ragnarok Odyssey: Mercenary Edition | October 30 | $50 | Buy
RockSmith Guitar and Bass: Guitar Bundle | October 16 | $200 | Buy
Skylanders Giants: Starter Kit | October 21 | $75 | Buy
Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013: Gun Bundle | October 23 | $70 | Buy
Forza Horizons: Limited Collector’s Edition | October 23 | $80 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3: Encyclopedia Edition | October 30 | $100 | Buy
Assassin’s Creed 3: Limited Edition | October 30 | $120 | Buy
Halo 4 | November 6 | $100 | Out of Stock
Wonderbook: Book of Spells PlayStation Move Bundle | November 13 |$80 | Buy
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: Hardened Edition | November 13 | $80 | Buy
Nintendo Wii U Deluxe | November 18 | $350 | Sold Out
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!: CE | November 20 | $40 | Buy
Hitman: Absolution: Professional Edition | November 20 | $80 | Buy

About Brian Shea

Brian Shea is VGW's Editor-in-Chief and one of the founding members of the site. In addition to leading the team at VideoGameWriters.com, he contributes such regular features as “Shea’s Say,” "Eleven Things," "Commercials from the Past" and “Essential Gaming." Follow Brian on Twitter

One Comment

  • Julio Mendoza
    Oct 18, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    *Faints*

    Reply

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