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Campus Life and Program Management
Charging students for x-box, Wii, etc
Are you charging students to rent your gaming systems? If yes what pricing and parameters are you going with? Look forward to hearing about different facilities. Also what systems are you using and why did you go with that system.
Here at CCSU we charge $2.40 per hour/per controller for time on the X Box 360 machine. We own two X Box 360s that are hooked up to two Sony Bravia TVs. This equipment was installed in 2008 at the height of the X Box 360 era.
We will charge $2.40 per hour/per controller for time on the PS3 machine when they are installed for the start of classes on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011. We own two PS3s that will be hooked up to two Sony Bravia TVs. We chose to pursue the PS3 based on a Spring 2010 survey of our students.
Hope this helps.
Tiffany Moffo Simpson, Assistant Director for Student Center Services
Central Connecticut State University
Phone: (860) 832-1972
The biggest advantage to offering Xbox360 is that they can draw a wider customer base. This is particularly true for drawing a crowd a little younger than the PC gamers. The Xbox360 allows up to 4 people to play at one time and is easy to learn to play making it a nice platform for hosting events. The Xbox 360 is also inexpensive (compared to a PC), easy to set up, and easy to maintain (it does not require software updates, virus software, etc.).
On the downside, the XBOX requires that you have a disk in the drive to run the game. This means you either need to have a staff member set up the game for the customer or have aprocess in place for each customer to check out the game disks. Even when using these methods, many disks will get damaged, lost, or stolen. Console games are expensive and their lifespan is shorter than PC games. From the hardware perspective, centers have complained that the XBOX is not reliable. Gamespot conducted a survey of 5000 console owners which concluded that the Xbox 360 failure rate was 54%. This is a big problem for centers because there is currently no warranty when the Xbox 360 is used commercially. There is debate between Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 as most centers have gone with Xbox 360 as their primary console unit because it has exclusive on several of the most popular titles, namely Halo series, Gears of War series and Fable series. Playstation 3 has some of it's own exclusives which are popular too, but not quite to the same degree.
Wii is the most successful product commercially in the marketplace, but actually by far the least popular because it tends to be oriented toward younger and more casual crowds.
About 30% of the colleges we license offer PC gaming due to the variety of genres available and their versatility (customers can play games, chat online, check email, browse the internet, etc.) Gamers enjoy playing on a PC because the controls are very precise and the graphics are better than with a console. Additionally, tracking customer time and game keys is simple when using LAN center management software such as Smartlaunch.
On the downside, maintenance of the hardware is required to keep them updated to run the newest games. Many centers will keep the computers for about 2-3 years and upgrade certain components as needed (e.g. graphic card, CPU and RAM). On average, centerspurchase graphic cards (one of the most important components) that are 1 generation behind the newest models. From the software perspective, you need to have someone with a technical background to manage the game installations, patches and troubleshoot issues. However, thereare different tools available to streamline this process.
If you plan to offer video games at your facility, be sure you have the relevant licenses to do so. The licenses generally state the terms under which the publisher is allowing you to use the games in a game/LAN center as well as the fact that the license will take precedent over contradictory clauses in the game EULA. If you would like more info about licenses, feel free to contact me.