games industry games publishing

The real cost of game-consoles (inflation-adjusted)

35 years of game-consoles, and their original retail price, adjusted for inflation:

i.e. a (reasonably) direct comparison of how expensive they were at the time they were launched.

Some quick observations:

  • NeoGeo and 3DO/Jaguar were insanely expensive – and, of course, sold very poorly and went bye-bye.
  • Until the Wii and the GameCube … Nintendo’s NES and SNES, and Sega’s Master System – the best-selling consoles of the goldern-era – were almost the cheapest ever launched.
    • (I’ve long argued that hardware price is one of the biggest factors in the sucess of a console, so I’m biased and cheering for this ;))
    • PlayStation 2, which kept up the immense sales trend of PS1, was slightly cheaper, following the curve down. PS3 bucked it … and sales were disappointing.
    • This chart lists *only* the launch price, it doesn’t say anything about the deep price drops over the consoles’ lifetimes; “price” is the main thing a platform owner can change after launch (changing the hardware features / design is almost impossible)

    (Found via reddit, but no link to that bad person, because they linked the image without credit / citation. Grr!)