Tim Ingham writes
Long before they ever see the "game over" screen, Xbox, Wii and PlayStation fans have already taken a big blow - to their wallets.
The average price of console games makes them seem an exorbitant luxury in these recession-hit times, though the industry that creates these technological marvels tends to disagree.
It turns out the £50 (R680) you could splash out for a PS3 or Xbox 360 game doesn't go very far when you factor in the costs of getting the disc into your hands.
The budget required today to develop a blockbuster game can dwarf even the film industry's best.
The Oscar-magnet Slumdog Millionaire cost $14 million (R133m) to make. Last year's darling of the video games world, Grand Theft Auto IV, cost more than $100m.