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What’s the Total Cost of Ownership for a Console at Your Library?

November 10, 2011

What is the total cost of ownership of a console? In other words how much will the system cost to acquire, maintain, update, and support? For instance, if a library were to purchase a new XBOX 360 with Kinect, it will cost roughly just under $300. With this bundled system you’ll get a Kinect system, one game and one controller. Additionally, you’ll probably need at least one additional controller and some rechargeable batteries, which will increase the costs by a minimum of $60.

flickr: Matt Brett

Another cost to consider is where the console will be housed in the library. If the XBOX 360 console is to be centrally located in the library you’ll need a method to secure the XBOX, a display, and an HDMI cable to connect the console to the display unit. Adding these costs up will potentially increase the costs another $350. If my math is correct, the initial cost of an XBOX 360 is over $700.

However, you haven’t purchased any games yet. Here is another huge cost but one which is manageable. A new game will cost an average of $59 but I would advise against purchasing a game when it comes out because games usually drop in price by $10 within the first few weeks after release and reach almost half the price within six months. Knowing that the price drops in a few months will allow the librarians to market the purchase of the game. For instance, a quick display could be made of the games that would be purchased in the coming months and the games that were recently purchased and available for play within the library or to check out.

The purchase of a console for your gaming collection is not an easy choice nor is it an inexpensive one. One important aspect to remember is that the console is more than a cost, it is an investment and a smart investment as it will deliver a return. You will be able to see the return by an increase in patrons, an increase in time spent in the library and increase in circulation. This return may not pay huge dividends in the short term but in the long term it will pay huge dividends when patrons serve as friends of the library and eventually as donors.

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