Comparison of Every Home Console Launch-Price from the Beginning of Gaming

When comparing the price of the PS4 to the old-school Neo-Geo, we have it good.

We're well into the 8th Generation of gaming. With the high price-tags on consoles today, many have wondered how our prices compare to consoles of the past. Well, it turns out, consoles have always been expensive.

Below is a complete list of major gaming consoles along with their launch year, launch prices (USD), and the gaming generation they belong to. 

Console

Launch Date

Launch Price
(Original/Inflation)
(USD)

Gen
Magnavox Odyssey Aug 1972 $99.99/$561.48 1st
Farichild Channel F Nov 1976 $169.99/$701.07 2nd
Atari 2600 Sep 1977 $199.99/$774.62 2nd
Intellivision Jan 1980 $299.99/$854.54 2nd
ColecoVision Aug 1982 $199.99/$486.45 2nd
Atari 5200 SuperSystem Nov 1982 $269.99/$656.71 2nd
Nintendo Entertainment System July 1983  $199.99/$471.31 3rd
Sega Master System Oct 1985  $199.99/$428.30 3rd
Atari 7800 June 1986 $139.99/$299.81 3rd
TurboGrafx-16 Oct 1988 $199.99/$413.22 4th
Sega Genesis Oct 1988 $189.99/$376.96 4th
Neo-Geo Jan 1990  $649.99/$1,167.31 4th
Super Nintendo Entertainment System Nov 1990  $199.99/$359.16 4th
Phillips CD-i Dec 1991 $699.99/$1,206.34 4th
Atari Jaguar Nov 1993 $249.99/$406.08 4th
Neo-Geo CD Sep 1994  $299.99/$475.13 4th
Sega Saturn Nov 1994 $399.99/$633.51 5th
PlayStation Dec 1994 $299.99/$487.30 5th
Nintendo 64 June 1996 $199.99/$299.18 5th
Dreamcast Nov 1998  $199.99/$287.99 6th
PlayStation 2 March 2000 $299.99/$408.91 6th
Nintendo GameCube Sep 2001  $199.99/$265.21 6th
Xbox Nov 2001 $299.99/$397.82 6th
Xbox 360 Nov 2005 $399.99 - $299.99/
$480.73 - $360.54
7th
PlayStation 3 Nov 2006 $599.99 - $499.99/
$698.57 - $582.14
7th
Wii Nov 2006 $249.99/$291.06 7th
Wii U Nov 2012 $349.99 - $299.99/
$357.81 - $306.69
8th
Ouya June 2013 $99.99/$100.75 8th
PlayStation 4 Nov 2013 $399.99/$403.02 8th
Xbox One Nov 2013 $499.99/$503.78 8th

Moral of the story? We probably shouldn't be complaining so much about console prices. It seems as though consoles have always had a relatively similar price range, but when considering the adjustment due to inflation, today's consoles are drastically cheaper.

This is especially true when compared to the Phillips CD-i and Neo-Geo, which take the first and second place for most expensive console, respectively.

The cheapest of all, with inflation considered, is the OUYA micro-console. This makes sense, as it has relatively low specs and was designed to run processor-light Android-based games.  

However, when focusing on base-price alone, Ouya ties with the first home console ever released, the Magnavox Odyssey. It's nice to see that $99.99 price point has returned, even if it was attached to a micro-console. Could we see this price re-adopted into traditional home consoles in the future? I sure hope so. 

Featured Contributor

Amaad Delmar is a senior double majoring in Game Design and Creative Writing (May 2015 graduate). He's an avid gamer, and narrative creationist. Amaad's favorite game is the best game ever made (whether you like it or not): The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Published Apr. 6th 2015
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    All I see is that Nintendo and Sega had better prices than anyone else... and the consoles were better. Because they had better game support and less bitching at each other like Microsoft and Sony do.
  • John Harper
    Contributor
    Very interesting reading. I was expecting the older consoles to be dramatically higher (like PCs were when they first came out... I remember our first desktop could have brought some serious hardware in this day ad age)
  • Federico Senence
    Featured Contributor
    I was surprised at the "inflation cost" of some of the originals. But your right, it seems that the price of consoles has pretty much stayed in a range over the years and if you add in the constant improvement of graphics and gameplay, it's really not horrible considering.
  • amaadify
    Featured Contributor
    Yeah, it definitely surprised me that the consoles were able to sell at virtually the same price after the game market crash of 83. Though,a great deal of the marketing did go toward switching public perspective on games to being children's toys and family entertainment devices. I guess it worked!
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Most concerning of all, only took a year and some change to inflate yet another $4. Ugh.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    Which is weird... in the UK inflation was less than £1 this year, and last.

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