Well, you could always play a video game like “Fortnite” and save a few bucks. (Just $29.99 from Target, Best Buy or Amazon).
Video-game revenue -- software and hardware sales -- grew 18% to $43.4 billion in 2018, according to the Entertainment Software Association and The NPD Group.
U.S. software video-game revenues were up 18% to $35.8 billion. Big games in 2018: Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” Marvel's “Spider-Man,” Sony’s “God of War” and “Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”
Globally, Epic Games' “Fortnite” alone made $2.4 billion last year.
U.S. hardware sales were 15% higher to $7.5 billion in total for the three major consoles: Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Looking for comparisons? U.S. TV consumers spent around $100 billion on in-home traditional pay TV services last year, according to one estimate.
Video-gaming revenue is higher than what consumers spent on theatrical movies, which was $11.8 billion in 2018 -- up 7% versus the year before -- according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
The music industry? Projected to be around $10 billion, around a 10% hike from 2017.
Getting the biggest bang for your consumer buck is always complicated, especially with much choice available.
When it comes to TV, prices -- even for all new digital OTT and live, linear TV platforms -- continues to inch up. Not only from Hulu, but from DirecTVNow and Sling TV. A few days ago, Netflix also announced price hikes.
Video games? Top-selling titles are going for $49.99. Some expect even higher pricing, when it comes to "A" list titles. Others say anticipating lower console prices could be a factor here, which might push down some software game prices.
Movie prices? Also higher, but not by a whole lot. On average, they were a $9.14 per ticket in 2018, versus $8.97 the year before.
So where are the deals? That’s probably the wrong question. Factor in convenience, emotional attachment, a big night on the town, and overall value for one’s precious entertainment dollar.
The latter is primarily what U.S. TV consumers look at these days.
Quality is all around us. So play the game.