Has Gaming Really Gotten More Expensive?

Posted: February 17, 2011
Has Gaming Really Gotten More Expensive?
The Nintendo 3DS launches soon with a $250 price tag that has some people crying foul. But when inflation is considered, have consoles and games really gotten more expensive? Blair Herter takes a hard look at the numbers to find out.

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  • FuzzofPekinopolis

    For $60.00 I have 120hrs. in Fallout New Vegas and have not even finished it yet. And this does not even include DLC. I had over 90hrs. in Mass Effect 2 before finishing the Campaign also not including DLC.

    That's what 25-30hrs. sitting in a Cinema watching something that I have no control over, paying for overpriced food. I could be sitting at home playing an awesome game, drinking a case of beer. No idiots cell ringing, no smelly person sitting next to me.

    How can u complain unless you paid $60.00 for a 5hr. game? And in my opinion, complaining about a short campaign for a game you know is made for online multiplayer is silly. If your not going to play COD/Medal of Honor/Halo online, wait until you can get it for cheap.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 8:10 AM
  • Spybreak

    This is often the reason to pad your gaming library so you can get deals on games that are semi old (4 to 6 months). At least that's what I do and you can get games 30 bucks and less this way.

    Posted: February 21, 2011 4:43 PM
  • Buckydee

    There's a major problem with your logic. Consoles aren't financial securities. Adjusting them with a 5% mark up annually is completely unrealistic. But hey. You guys work for G4, not Merrill Lynch, so at least you're not screwing up anyone's investment portfolio.

    Posted: February 20, 2011 2:48 PM
  • AlecEggleston

    The thing I think of the most when kickin it ol, skool Atari was it gave us an excuse to go to the Arcade. For those who don`t know, there those great big rectangular boxes devoted to at the time, graphically superior to your Atari or NES. I just wish Xplay would give the 5200 sum love. Everybody I knew had the freakin 2600 but heres a horror story for all yous that upgraded from your Atari to the NES. I had a NES only to come home from the beach to find out that my dear mother packed up my beloved irrevelant 5200 and my 30+ games to my Auntie. To my disgust, the reasoning was, well she likes videogames and you don`t play yours anymore. Still remember classics like "Popeye" and "Jungle hunt" and remembering getting so good at Jungle Hunt that everytime you beat the game, they changed the color of the background in which you played. No "Hard diffulculty" No "Hardcore difficulty" lets reward the player with a violet sky; now that`s classic!

    Posted: February 20, 2011 10:56 AM
  • Daikaze

    If a person could afford the console back then, then they could afford it with inflation. Their money would also have a higher value due to inflation.

    Mainstream gamers may still buy the new 3DS even with it's cost, but I don't expect to see parents spending that much money on what they see as a "toy" for their child. Of course, a console can be played by more than one person at a time. The 3DS is entertainment for one person. For that cost you can satisfy the household instead.

    Posted: February 20, 2011 6:16 AM
  • BigAngryRobot

    Pac-Man cartridge for the Atari 2600 in 1982: $50

    Adjusted for inflation: $110

    And while Atari + Warner Comunications were making many behind the scenes mistakes to kill the company, this is the disaster that 2600 fans remember the most. This and E.T..

    Posted: February 19, 2011 10:22 PM
  • Asnoochie1

    My father spent $150 dollars on the VHS tape of Smokey and the Bandit.

    Technology will always get better, and cheaper, as time goes on. When Neo-Geo launched, they needed the high price point in order to try to recoup expenses, because the market wasn't quite ready for the gaming content we have today. Sony doesn't even break even with just hardware purchases, not even close. They depend on the money brought in from the publishing of the games, which is why it took so long for the most recent price cut. At the launch of the PS3, there weren't enough titles to support the system, and Sony ran really far into the red, they knew they were going to, and had the hefty price tag because of it.

    And for people complaining about the peripherals and games being more expensive, would you rather take the hit on the games, or on the initial price of the console? Say Microsoft or Sony expects each person who buys their console to buy 20 total games retail, would you be willing to spend $500 more dollars for the console to pay $10 less on the games, so go back to last gen pricing? Sure, in the long run, after 20 games purchased, you'd make up for the initial cost, but it would just be too steep of an upfront cost for the average gamer.

    Posted: February 19, 2011 2:26 PM
  • Malapropism

    measuring by inflation is great and all, but i also think you have to look at income, the minimum wage has risen slightly faster than consoles, but you also have to factor in the cost of video games themselves, which i thought this article was about

    when you go from about 20 dollars to 50 dollars in the course of 12 years, how many games do you own again?

    Posted: February 19, 2011 10:10 AM
  • TheMilkMonster

    But when there's at least 3 huge game releases a month @ $60 each, it hits your wallet hard, especially now that PC games are being released at that price.

    Posted: February 19, 2011 9:43 AM
  • westraz

    the console price is cool but as a few have said you have to add in the price of game I owned a NES and naver payed much past $40-50, and today games go for $50-60 and the price of controles has go WAY up back in the day it was $15 for a new one today it $60 + a mike $60 + on line a moth $15 EPPSSS

    Posted: February 18, 2011 11:26 PM
  • cmerick

    I think this segment/article answers a slightly different question than it asks. "Are consoles getting more expensive?"

    Asking whether gaming in general is getting more expensive might produce a completely different answer (online subscriptions, DLC, larger release schedules, limited editions, multiple consoles (which provide healthy competition for each other), accessories (headsets, wireless adapters, etc.). Back then, if you wanted to get the most out games you bought a console and a few titles. Now, to get the most of games you must own at least three consoles, two handhelds, a gaming-capable PC, various online subscriptions (using myself as the sample size I'd say the average hardcore gamer has at least two online subscriptions at around $15/month).

    Also, I think it's important to mention that pricing for some of the very first consoles was probably largely based on the fact that a relatively high-tech piece of equipment was being released into a relatively untested or little-researched market. In fact, if I recall correctly, Microsoft took a loss per console by setting its Xbox price to compete with that of the PS2's.

    But then again, I don't expect you to take my criticism/suggestions seriously because after all I did click on the link (and read and watched the article and segment) and even logged in to comment.

    Posted: February 18, 2011 9:49 PM
  • ahnananana

    3do was another. Power with scant third party support. Hardware came at a price. A shame when you think of it. Marketing and porting were huge at that time. Translating the arcade boxes was a big thing. Playstation came out, and Sony had a great system for compiling and testing your games. It was cheap. I'm a hardware guy, and have to admit if Panasonic had done the same, things may have been different.

    Posted: February 18, 2011 7:05 PM
  • LeBigMac


    Economics is a emotional science. Don't look at numbers.

    Posted: February 18, 2011 4:22 PM
  • TGE0

    I find it slightly funny complaining about the US price of the 3DS when it is releasing for a considerably higher price tag literally everywhere else.

    If nothing else they could be bleeding your wallet far more then they are.

    Posted: February 18, 2011 1:26 PM
  • maudier

    aww $60 maybe you should move to australia with our cheap game prices

    Posted: February 18, 2011 12:13 PM
  • maudier

    you all should move to australia our games are so cheap........

    Posted: February 18, 2011 12:09 PM
  • CrashedHaven

    you all complain, yet you'll still buy games at launch, i personally dont care how much games cost, the industry will never die, all the fanboys will stick by their games no matter how awful they are, and I will contiune to buy games at a 60$ price point, you just gotta know where to look to find the good reviews before its release to make sure you wont rip yourself off with a crap story, and changed game mechanics "cough" Dead Space 2 "cough", even so, consoles will never go higher then 400, games will never go over 60$, the companies know prices will pay, and will keep them at that. They need our money to survive, and with the 3DS, 250 isnt that bad its no glasses required pop out in your face 3d, thats pretty freakin legit if you ask me, and think about it, DS games arent priced the same as a console game, i think the market is just fine, aside from Activision milking everything they can from COD now, like the P2P call of duty, only way ill p2p call of duty, is if new maps are free, and they come out with new perks, weapons, attachments, etc. FOR FREE! like those mmofps such as war rock and global agenda

    Posted: February 18, 2011 11:31 AM
  • Skithee

    How about this, but for game development and sales? THAT would be an interesting piece, I think.

    Posted: February 18, 2011 11:27 AM
  • Zzanzabar

    M6000 you are not alone! I used to be an AVID PC gamer, I would buy the magazines, and eagerly for the next new game to be released, but between the CONSTANT need to update graphic and sound cards along with the frustrating instances where I had to continually go to help sights to only find out that I had to disable some part of may computer to make the games playable, I too switched to consoles.

    There reaches a point where the PC gaming experience depends on the most advanced machine available, that seems to make sense but the self life of the 'latest, greatest' PC is about 6 months!

    Posted: February 18, 2011 10:51 AM
  • macross2012

    Bottom line we are living in a age where games are flooding the market and should be CHEAPER then ever. If new retail games were 20.00 each, more people would buy them and gamestops used market would be out of business.. We have a very poor idea of how to sell a lot of product to everyone. The game companies want to find a way to stay in business, then make the game prices 20.00 each brand new and people will take a chance on them. Most people wont spend 60.00 on a new game.. Half of the games should have never been release due to bug and most of the time the company never fixes the issues with a patch or goes out of business.

    Posted: February 18, 2011 10:46 AM