Beware the game funding credit trap

As game journalists, we here at Joystiq get a lot of press releases. As Americans over the age of 18, we get a lot of credit card offers disguised as once-in-a-lifetime deals. Rarely do we get both at the same time.

Enter PeachDirect, a direct marketer that today issued a press release pimping out the PS3 for the relatively affordable price of $20 per month. "This is the machine that everyone wants, and for such a low monthly price, it has never been so affordable," says PeachDirect Executive VP Gary Bale.

So affordable? Not really. First of all, PeachDirect inflates the price of the 60 GB model to $649, and that's before the $49 shipping charge. So, already, you're $99 in the hole compared to going to your local game shop. A small price to pay for such a flexible payment structure, right? Not really. That generous $20/month plan comes with 22.98 percent APR strings attached, meaning it would take 55 months and over $466 in interest to pay off that PS3 at the minimum monthly rate.

We don't mean to pick on the PS3 here -- PeachDirect also offers the Xbox 360 and PSP at similarly "affordable" rates. The point is, no game system is worth going into debt over. Best to save up that $20 a month and endure the wait with a clean conscience and credit rating.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.