Getting the Best Price
Systems generally drop in price within the 1st and 3rd year after release. Games usually after 8-12 months after release (depending on the popularity of the game). Some games that have been released for a couple years such as Zelda Twilight Princess for the Nintendo Wii will still run you $45-$55. As a general rule though waiting is a very cost effective idea for both Systems and Games.
Renting: the love/hate relationship
Renting in this day and age is not as common as it used to be. Mostly because of the major companies have raised the price of renting a game and reduced the amount of time that you have the game plus charging you late fees that can rival the initial cost of renting. Also the prevalence of buying games used and trading games in has increased.
Now this in not to say that there is not a place for renting, some games can be played and beaten in a week and have low replay value so to buy this game would be a waste of money to purchase outright.
Some smaller Mom and Pop places rent games for a reasonable price too. In a case like this renting make sense.
So our advice would depend on you the reader, what is your opinion on the age old issue of buying or renting? With your home, car, etc…, the same rules apply.
Hardware and brand buying
This is an issue that some of us are very adamant about. It may be surprising but some of the people in our community work/have worked in video game stores and have seen firsthand cheap no name hardware (like controllers, memory cards etc) can fry systems. This obviously will not happen to every person who purchases a non brand name (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) product however be aware that this is a very real possibility.
We encourage you to only buy product made by the company who make the system. If you have a Playstation, then only buy Sony accessories, and so on. The systems are very technical machines and the companies that make then have everything designed to fit them, the no name companies may not have the same access to the specific information to have their cheaper products match with the systems so there is some risk involved.
This in no way applies to accessories that have no specific interaction with your system (Zapper for the Wii, Carrying cases for portables, etc)