The thing with all of these gadgets we tote around nowadays is they aren’t entirely self-contained. Each and every one of them has a host of peripherals available. Some of these, like a snazzy case for your iPhone, are voluntary. Some, like a charging cord, are mandatory. In both cases, the companies that lovingly provide us with these gizmos occasionally like to — how to put this nicely — gouge the hell out of the prices in order to make us barf up blood. Here are some of the worst offenders:
Sony —PlayStation Vita memory cards: The Vita is an extremely capable portable console that has never really caught on with consumers. Why would that be? Maybe it has something to do with Sony demanding they use proprietary memory cards that cost around, oh, five times more than SD cards. Seriously, a 32GB card costs almost $100.
Apple— MacBook power cords: Have you ever had a cat chew through your laptop’s power cord only to find out that a replacement costs more than an electricity bill in summer? I have. It sucked. They cost $80. Eighty bucks, for a charger. That’s like half the price of an entire netbook.
Nintendo — Wii Motion Plus: The Wii Motion Plus controller isn’t such a bad deal on its own. They cost $40. However, Nintendo’s new console, the Wii U, doesn’t come with any and in order to really enjoy multi-player you are going to need four of these bad boys. That’s $160. Also, to be noted, some games like the forthcoming Mario Kart 8 can only be used with these controllers and not with the packed in tablet controller. Confusing and true.
Thrustmaster— TX Racing Wheel for Xbox One: This accessory is, well, a steering wheel for use with racing games on the Xbox One. It’s all $400, which thanks to the recent price cut, is the exact same price as the Xbox One itself. Yowza. Also, aren’t you proud of me for avoiding any off-color jokes regarding a company called Thrustmaster!? My therapist is.
Multiple companies — Charging stations for next gen systems: Sure, these stations, which allow you to charge your controllers, aren’t too expensive. They average around $30-$40 a pop. However, you can also charge your controllers by plugging them right into the console, which only requires a micro USB cord. You probably have five of these laying around your room right now.
Google— Google Glass: Glass isn’t a peripheral, per say, although it does interact with your smartphone. Guess how much this fancy shmancy virtual reality thingamajig costs? 1,500 smackeroos. Word is the innards are essentially Android technology from three years ago, so you do the math. Google be all, “Early adopters=fools who love to part with their money.”
Follow Lawrence Bonk on Twitter @sidescrollers