For the college student who is looking to game on the cheap, there is Big City Gamin’ near campus in downtown Eugene.

Store owner Keegan [email protected]@ took over Big City Gamin’ in 2009. The video game store, at the corner of Willamette Street and East 13th Avenue, sees about 500 to 600 customers a month looking for refurbished game consoles, accessories and a wide variety of software.

“We always try to match or beat our competitors’ pricing,” Dellabough said.

University student and frequent customer of the store Alexander [email protected]@ @@ said buying used equipment at Big City Gamin’ matches his budget and expectations.

“I like how the people there always go all-out to make sure I’m satisfied,” Holbrook said. “I have never had a bad experience there.”

His roommate, Cody Bolce,@@ also buys used gaming equipment.

“I bought my Xbox from (Big City Gamin’). No regrets at all,” Bolce said.

He said he would always go there first when looking for any game title, choosing to support local businesses as opposed to purchasing games from conglomerates like Amazon and GameStop.

Big City Gamin’ sees trade-ins of the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii every week, ensuring their inventory is always stocked for new and returning customers. Dellabough said in the event of unavailable stock, customers are put on a hold list, which typically doesn’t last more than a week.

PlayStation 3

Dellabough highly recommends the 160GB slim model priced at $189.95. This he describes as “cheapest in the long run.” Although the older, bulkier models have the advantage of being compatible with PlayStation 2 games, they are priced higher and are more prone to hardware failure. Included in the price is a built-in Wi-Fi adapter, a game controller and a choice of game under $9.95. For an extra $5, you can get an HDMI adapter.

Xbox 360

Buyers have two main choices when it comes to buying an Xbox 360 console. For $84.95, customers can purchase the basic core model.

Included in the price is a wired controller, a 256/512MB memory card and a choice of game under $9.95

Dellabough says that the $84.95 option is best for gamers under a tight budget. If a group of friends are looking to share a console for their room, they might consider investing in the $199.95 option instead, which offers more advanced features.

Included in the price is a built-in 20GB hard drive, Ethernet cable plug-and-play kit, a wireless controller and a choice of game under $9.95.

Nintendo Wii

Dellabough says that Wiis typically range from $79.95 to $89.95, depending on the physical condition of the set. The first option, intended for the budget gamer, comes with basic accessories for one player. Included in the price is a Wiimote and Nunchuk controller and choice of game under $9.95

Like the Xbox 360, gamers have the option of picking a slightly more advanced, but pricier version. They can choose the Special Edition Red Wii, which comes bundled with more advanced features. This goes for $149.

Included in the price is a Wiimote and Nunchuk controller, “Wii Sports,” the “New Super Mario Bros.” game and the Wii-motion Plus controller attachment

Dellabough recommends investing in a pair of headphones for late-night gaming sessions. The store carries affordable Turtlebeach X-11 full-cup headphones for $39.95, which Dellabough feels is sufficient for most gamers. A higher-end model, the Triton AX Pro, goes for $119.95. This is Dellabough’s personal favorite.

In addition to the competitive prices offered at Big City Gamin’, Dellabough offers a seven-day warranty that guarantees each console is free from defects. Customers can also take advantage of the store’s 30-day trade-in policy — any returned consoles within this period will be exchanged with store credit that is worth 65 percent of the original amount the customer paid. Upon presenting the original receipt, customers can get a further 20 percent credit for use in purchasing other games or accessories.

“We want our customers to feel completely comfortable with the money they spend,” Dellabough said.“I know how it’s like to have to game on a tight budget.”

Dellabough has more advice for the college gamer struggling to make every dollar count.

“It is always, always worth the wait to buy used games,” he said.

Often, gamers rush impatiently to buy games at full-price because they cannot stand the idea of waiting one to two months for prices to drop. He says “Mass Effect 3,” a popular role-playing game available for both the PlayStation and Xbox, will cost $59.99 at launch — a cost significant for the average college gamer.

“We shouldn’t just seek out the big-budget, good-looking games,” Dellabough said. “It is always good to explore underrated games … look back to where we came from. Most of the time, even the unpopular games can be a lot of fun. You may be surprised.”

Please consider donating to the Emerald. We are an independent non-profit dedicated to supporting and educating this generation's best journalists. Your donation helps pay equipment costs, travel, payroll, and more!