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Compare The Launch Prices Of Consoles Down Through History

Anybody who whines about how expensive gaming is obviously isn't old enough.

We know the launch prices of this year's two new systems:

Sony's PlayStation 4 will debut at $399 and Microsoft's Xbox One will have a $499 price tag. The PS4 is priced lower than anticipated but even the cost of the Xbox One isn't that prohibitive. At least, not when you look at the history of the industry and account for inflation.

For the young'uns, there's an enlightening price comparison between most all game consoles over at ArsTechnica. They take the price of systems like the Intellivision and Genesis and convert the launch prince to 2013 dollars. It's an eye-opener, isn't it? That aforementioned Intellivision launched at $300 in 1979. Not only is that only $100 cheaper than the vastly more advanced PS4, but it was also the equivalent of a whopping $849 in 1979! Yeah, that was like a mortgage payment in those days.

And if you think that was bad, wait until you see the Panasonic 3DO (price point of $700 in 1993; that's $1,127 by today's standards) and the NeoGeo, which launched at $650 in 1991 and translates to $1,111 in 2013 dollars. I still remember begging my parents for the original NES, which was $200. But that was a lot of money in 1985; the equivalent of $432 today. I did a lot of extra chores for that thing.

Next, they should do the same chart for the price of games. That'd be far more outrageous, as games cost the same if not more than what they cost now. A $60 and $70 cartridge in the 80s and early 90s would essentially be $110 - $130 today. So yeah, don't bi***. Please. At least not around those of us who went through those eras.

Tags: ps4 price, xbox one price, video game systems, video game console prices

6/30/2013 9:07:27 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (16 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 10:38:04 PM
Reply

Wow Dreamcast was always a good deal.

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xnonsuchx
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 12:10:38 AM
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And, of course, they used the highest-priced PS3 in the comparison.

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LowKey
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 12:15:03 AM
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Uhhh, try $80-$100 cartridges. I remember paying $97.78 for LOZ: OT and WCW/NWO Revenge.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 12:58:13 AM

Those were somewhat rare. Most cartridges didn't cost that.

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Jawknee
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 4:06:09 AM

You got ripped off then. I got Golden Eye, LOZ OOT and Majora's Mask for less than $100 back in the day.

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LowKey
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 8:46:32 AM

Zellers was an overpriced store. Most games were upwards of $80....

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Simcoe
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 9:33:43 AM

CA and US dollars haven't always been at par. There have been times especially in the late 90's and early 2000's when it cost CA$1.40 to even CA$1.60+ for US$1.00, add sales tax on that and there you have your $97.78. The difference wasn't so bad in the late 80's. I have a few boxed NES games that still retain their $59.99 Zellers price tags. I'm guessing that those games were $49.99 in the US at the time.

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LowKey
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 12:17:15 AM
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here Ben
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/06/why-retail-console-games-have-never-been-cheaper-historically/

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mk ultra
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 12:50:34 AM
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One of my friends had a NeoGeo back in the day. That was one sweet console.

I remember mowing lawns and doing chores for neighbors all summer to get my N64, great memories.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 1:17:24 AM
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Still waiting for Remember Me to drop somewhere, I figured it would by now after those bad reviews.

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Ps4NeRd
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 1:57:55 AM
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I agree, there is no need to complain about game prices. If you look hard enough there are always bargains available. This site allows you to find the cheapest game prices http://www.comparegames.com.au

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___________
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 4:49:01 AM
Reply

of course systems back then were much more expensive, they all had parts created and designed just for them, and the market was ALLOT smaller back then.
now days parts are not designed and manufactured for a specific system, hell most of the parts in both the ps4 and xbox one are the same albeit tweaked differently.
and the parts which are not different, mainly the memory, GDDR5, and sRAM are found on PC parts anyway.
hell even the GPUs of the system are found in mass PCs.
no sh*t sherlock mass produced parts are cheaper than specially created parts just for a singular system.
not to mention the industries allot larger now, so manufactures need to consider and try to cater to younger less financed customers.
if it was only your core audience, you really think the ps4 would be priced at what it is?

im more miffed at the ridiculous 150 bucks extra we have to be shoveled for.
its not enough that $ony gives us the finger when it comes to collectors editions and competitions.
its not enough $ony gives us the finger when it comes to events.
its not enough $ony gives us the finger when it comes to release dates.
its not enough that we had to pay TWICE what the US pays for games.
and will if the placeholder prices for next gen games are accurate.
we have to spend 150 bucks more for the systems too!?
sigh.
online sites are looking better and better by the day, that should help our dying industry!
sigh.
this f*cked government will give millions to a dying developer, but wont lift a f*cking finger to try improve the extortionate prices we have to pay!
brilliant!

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 5:25:21 AM
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Oh the price for the PS4 is beyond reasonable. I payed that much for my PS3 a year after the initial release. I wasnt considering getting one as I was fearing a 500 pound price line, but for 350 pounds I have now decided I shall be getting one as soon as a game really appeals to me - So far that would be Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

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CheddarClyde
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 8:04:46 AM
Reply

Man, I remember having an 8 and 16-bit Nintendo and a Genesis and having to deal with saving up enough allowance/work money to get games like Super Mario Bros. 3 ($60), Castlevania 3 ($75), Streets of Rage 2 ($75), Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct (both $75). The irony about most of those games is the time in gameplay averaged around 3 hours.

I hate to sound like that annoying AT&T Uverse commercial but kids really don't know how lucky they have it today.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 11:11:54 AM
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Makes you more thankful for your parents help back then.

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Comic Shaman
Monday, July 01, 2013 @ 1:17:00 PM

My dad got his money's worth, at least. He logged a lot of hours on that Intellivision.

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