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Stat Shot!: Gaming Cost Trends From The Seventies To Today

The Preamble

Earlier this week I got the idea in my head to go and find out what games for various systems used to cost in their heyday, just to find out what kind of trends in game pricing have occurred over the last 30 or so years.

I hope you're not here for that, 'cuz I failed.

After many google searches, posting/lurking on message boards and even a few e-mails later, I really don't have any solid information on what games used to cost beyond the odd "I think it was...". What I DID find was a great little article on Curmudgeon Gamer which listed almost all of the major home consoles since the Channel F (A.K.A. the VES) along with their launch prices in both absolute and relative (inflation corrected) terms. Super! Unfortunately they left off the Magnavox Odyssey (worlds first home console) and, likely because it wasn't out when the article was published, the Wii. Moreover, the article doesn't contain any information on handhelds. Travesty!

So I changed gears, did some more research, and came up with the following graphs. Note that the home console graphs are straight from the Curmudgeon Gamer article and the handheld graphs were made by myself (hence why they look shoddy in comparison). All prices are in American dollars and inflation is corrected to 2007 dollars according to the CPI.

The Graphs

First up: the home consoles

Absolute (initial launch) prices.

Relative (inflation corrected) prices.

And it just wouldn't be a party without the handhelds!

Absolute (initial launch) prices.

Relative (inflation corrected) prices.

Extra Information

- The Wii launched at $249.99 in 2006, which would be $257.11 when corrected for inflation.
- The Magnavox Odyssey launched at $100 in 1972, which is $496.03 after inflation has raped it.
- I left off some of the less popular or obscure handhelds to keep the graphs manageable but there are a few oddities in there that I felt were useful as contrast with their more popular brethren.
- Some handhelds have weird pricing. The Gizmondo and N-Gage QD prices fluctuated based on cell provider subsidies and in those cases I essentially guessed at what the average cost would be since I couldn't find any hard data. Some handhelds also launched at multiple price points, in which case I simply took the average.
- Properly prepared goat cheese is DELICIOUS. Seriously, if you haven't tried it yet, go find a good restaurant and get some. You won't be disappointed.

Let me know if you see any mistakes or serious omissions!

Random Quote... EXECUTE!

"I am Berial; conquerer of the fire hell!

~Berial the "fire hell" conquerer.(Thanks Capcom, I was worried that you'd clean up your English translations this generation. )
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About The GHostone of us since 1:55 AM on 01.25.2008

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