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Console pricing, back in the 90s...

Matt_Fox

Member
GuxYcWd.jpeg


Xmas 1995 when PlayStation was released in the UK at £299.99 - inflation adjusted that's £600! (PS5 on release was £449).

Makes you think abit, I wonder how many Gaffers were around in the 90s and lucky enough to have it on release or near to it?
 

Punished Miku

Human Rights Subscription Service
Back then, selling 100k copies of a game was good. Selling 1 million was a blockbuster.

No one buys expensive things because its inflation "fair" when compared to the 90s. They are free to raise prices but they dont because it will radically shrink their customer base. All the biggest games now are free
 

Sintoid

Member
The real problem wasn't console price
It was game price and distribution
In small towns like mine there were no game stores and console were sold in Toy Shops mostly at lauch with first batch of games

Buying games was hard and pricy,there were no indie games at all so only major release came to vast distribution
And sometimes you bought games with the money you spared for months just to discover you bought real trash

I have no nostalgia about that times
 
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TheKratos

Member
I remember PS2 in the Netherlands was like 1200-1400 bux (in Dutch currency, not euros back then). I was shocked becauae N64 was goinf for much lower. Maybe my fellow dutchmen remember the exact prices.
 

Alan Wake

Member
Games were expensive too and after a few hours you sat there with a finished game, which often was crap, wondering what you spent $50-60 on. I remember some amazing games from growing up in the early 90s but it's easy to forget how many of the games released were utter trash.
 

Dr. Suchong

Member
Picked mine up shortly after launch and not long after had the lens issue where audio and fmv skipped like crazy.
After I was cheekily sent a reconditioned one as a replacement (which was practically thrown at me by the courier) I insisted on a new one as my machine was still under warranty.
Soured by my experience, I traded it in at my local Gamestation with about 13 games for a Sega Saturn.
The staff looked at me like I was mental when I told them my request.
Picked my Saturn up with Sega rally, Virtua fighter 2, Shining wisdom, and Guardian heroes.
It wasn't till FF7 came along that I broke and thought "Fuck it, I'm having a PlayStation again for this"
 
The 8/16 Bit era were dark times. Games didn't really have standardised prices so it was a bit of a wild west. Some games would even cost north of $100, and that's not an inflation adjusted price either.

Luckily my local market had a used game stall back then to make things more manageable.
 

DaGwaphics

Member
Launch prices were high, but a good number of players would come in only after prices fell. Price cuts were swift, the PS1 launched at $299 in the US, just 8 months later it was $199 and in less than 2 years it was $149.

Plus, inflation doesn't apply to all purchases uniformly the way an inflation calculator would apply it. Real world inflation will apply more heavily to necessary purchases and a little less so to luxury purchases.
 

Banjo64

cumsessed
GuxYcWd.jpeg


Xmas 1995 when PlayStation was released in the UK at £299.99 - inflation adjusted that's £600! (PS5 on release was £449).

Makes you think abit, I wonder how many Gaffers were around in the 90s and lucky enough to have it on release or near to it?
A comparison I’ve used before but the first commercial radios would cost over $1000 today.

The N64 and PS1, as the first real 3D consoles, were absolutely worth any entry fee they wanted to slap on them.

Everyone was also better off in the 90s in the UK - wages high compared to the cost of living.
 

Spyxos

Member
Back then, you only had to sell a fraction of what you do today, which is not comparable at all. And since there are more and more digital purchases. You also save all the printing, transportation and delivery costs.
 

Holammer

Member
Yes, prices back in the 16bit days were insane, buying Earthbound at release in 1994 cost you 70$, that's 148$ today adjusted for inflation.

That's why you had one of these and a shelf with a dozen+ disk storage boxes.
Ahhh... piracy nostalgia, I had the exact same floppy box. Sold it and my collection when SNES9x got good enough.

2239110300_14102e391f_b.jpg


3.5-dsktp-holder-7.jpg
 

Dane

Member
By the accounts of people in Brazil who lived the 8/16 bits: Everything was expensive, but getting the console was the least of the issues, it was the games which only rich people could afford them, everyone else just rented, until the PS1 and Saturn came with the CD-ROM which made prices cheaper, and piracy easier.

When I got into gaming it was already 32 and 128-bit generation, got a PS1 and always had tons of pirated games.
 
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TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
GuxYcWd.jpeg


Xmas 1995 when PlayStation was released in the UK at £299.99 - inflation adjusted that's £600! (PS5 on release was £449).

Makes you think abit, I wonder how many Gaffers were around in the 90s and lucky enough to have it on release or near to it?
£299 is £299

It'll still get you the same shit it did back then as it does now.

The price of food & bills are the things that inflation affects, electrics and media not so much.
Increase wages get off set by increased bills
People didn't think the value of £300 is different than today
Now what is interesting is how much £299 was worth in dollars back then, and how much $299 was worth in pounds.
 
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wondermega

Member
It was a hugely different time, and probably difficult to imagine what that was like if you are a younger, modern gamer today. If you were a kid with a job, you might buy yourself a few games a year (5?) and also could still get 2 or 3 between birthdays/holidays. But of course you'd only buy something that you intended to get a lot of mileage out of, because buying & beating a game inside of a week was going to be a bummer (unless it was the kind of game you simply loved to "hang out with," like Contra or F-Zero - you or your friends could just pop the game in & play it in the background regardless of whatever else was going on, even if you'd already beat it dozens of times.

Game rentals was the big thing, your money would go a lot longer. It was pretty blissful making it to Friday night, heading to the video store, and grabbing a game or two for probably about $10 that would just be yours until Sunday. Again, you might really enjoy something and wind up renting it a few times, but at that point it would make more sense to just buy it.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
When PS2 was at the end and it was clear out time, I remember stores selling them for $99.99 CDN. I'm positive I saw Canadian Tire (out of all stores! lol) selling the super slim model for $79.99.

At these prices, the US had to be cheaper.
 
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Heimdall_Xtreme

Jim Ryan Fanclub's #1 Member
I still remember that getting games at that time was extremely difficult in Mexico, it was almost impossible for me to get Megaman x2 for the SNES at that time, much less the Original Japanese games.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Ill never forget n64 games being like $75. The price literally changed from store to store
with currency exchange, N64 games were $99.99 in Canada. Give or take $10. Ya, some games broke $100+

But then right beside them you'd see PS1 and Saturn games at $60 CDN.
 
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cireza

Member
Magical times back then. Yes, games were expensive, consoles too. However, it felt worth it to invest in the games.

First of all, keeping in touch with the news, and how good games were, was a big part of the fun. This was done through speaking with friends and reading magazines. You would actually invest a little money in magazines to make better investments in games.

Then obviously, you didn't get a ton of games at once. I would get one expensive game at my birthday and one at Christmas. Otherwise, it was most of the time high discounts or used games.

The Master System was a god-send in that regard compared to the MegaDrive, as it was very cheap and games too. I played a ton of games I loved on this console, and eventually got a MD with the release of Sonic & Knuckles, when the console became much more affordable (october 1994).

Then I got many of my games used, because the prices were much higher on MegaDrive. Eventually got Story of Thor at full price for either birthday or Christmas. Still one of my favorite games ever.
 

Goalus

Member
Games were expensive too and after a few hours you sat there with a finished game, which often was crap, wondering what you spent $50-60 on.
After a few hours? It took me months, or even years to beat some of my (Sega Master System) games.
 
Salaries haven't kept up with inflation, so $600 today probably feels worse than $300 30 years ago because the cost of merely existing is exorbitant now.

And, maybe a bit of a hot take, I prefer the days of having less games. I don't even remember having a backlog in the 90s, because I owned relatively few games, played the living shit out of them, and otherwise borrowed back and forth with friends or would rent a game from the local video store once or twice a month. Nowadays I'm in a position of having decent expendable income but it's spread across several ecosystems, which partly may explain why I mostly play Indies now. I'd rather drop $60 on 3-4 Indies than one busted ass need a day one patch, microtranctioned to hell and back homogenized AAA title.
 

Alan Wake

Member
After a few hours? It took me months, or even years to beat some of my (Sega Master System) games.
Oh, sure. It could. But take a game like Back to the Future III for the Mega Drive. The gameplay is what, 1,5-2 hours or so? I remember some games being very short. But it didn't matter that much because I played them over and over again, not having money to buy more than a few games.
 

-Minsc-

Member
Game rentals was the big thing, your money would go a lot longer. It was pretty blissful making it to Friday night, heading to the video store, and grabbing a game or two for probably about $10 that would just be yours until Sunday. Again, you might really enjoy something and wind up renting it a few times, but at that point it would make more sense to just buy it.
My bro and I definitely rented back in the day. The only reason we played games like FF3 and Chrono Trigger was thanks to seven day rentals.

In the NES & SNES era most the games in our collection were Christmas or birthday gifts.
 

Unknown?

Member
Apple have always been at the pricey end of the scale but $2400 in '96 is $4800 today (it even says monitor sold separately, jipped!). I guess you can just about spend that on a truly top of the line gaming desktop but still...
Only if you believe the official numbers. $2400 back then is probably closer to $6000 today.
 
NES & SNES era most the games in our collection were Christmas or birthday gifts.
Yep. I don't even recall specifically asking for certain games, but I remember holiday 90 getting Zelda II from my parents and Blades of Steel from my late Aunt. Any games I purchased back then were from hustles( taking out the trash daily for a local mom and pop cafe, cutting neighbour's grass etc) or holding onto my allowance at $2 a week. Imagine saving up for months and blowing it on a copy of Total Recall NES lol... even with the odd shitty game selection, every game you either bought as a kid or got as gifts felt special. Now as an adult I've got 100s of physical and digital games that feel completely disposable.
 
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Raven117

Member
The NES-SNES eras were much worse, and games were like luxury products.

The Neo-Geo console was for rich kids, the master race of consoles.
I only saw one in the wild as a kid.

It was mythical

In the end, that’s why I’m still into RPGs. Games were really expensive back then. And my parents didn’t have a ton of money to blow on stuff like that. I saved and bought one, maybe two games a year. I had to make each one count. So, rpgs offered the most playtime and in my view bang for my buck.

I also rarely buy and play more than one game at a time. Just a habit,
 
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I did not lack video games (and consoles) throughout my childhood, and we were not a particularly wealthy family. These types of comparisons make it seem like games were some kind of nearly inaccessible luxury. Games and consoles were mostly pretty affordable, even if you had to wait for deals or price drops.
 

IAmRei

Member
It was pricey here, but still manageable for our parent, in south east asia. The games is mostly pirated version, and took about 12x standard meal prices here. the real games are about 40x meal prices. And i live near game rental, which is quite cheap about $1 back then per day, and because i live near, i can rent it just by paying 2$ week, good days.

As PS1 arrives, there are almost no legit games here. And the pirated game prices almost as low as 3 dollars ...
 
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