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Why You Paid More for Retro Game Consoles Back Then

Last Updated on June 3, 2023

It seems that retro game consoles werne’t as cheap as you thought they were.

£500 for a Steam Deck sure seems expensive. Come to think of it, so does £700 for a PlayStation 5.

If only game consoles were as cheap as they were in the old days, right?

Well, be careful what you wish for. While the prices may have increased, the compatible value has moved in the opposite direction. Consequently, game consoles aren’t as expensive as you think.

Or, to put it another way: game consoles were more expensive in the past. This table (thanks to Retro Crisis), should illustrate things perfectly. It demonstrates the RRP on release and its adjusted price for 2022, taking into account natural inflation in the intervening years.

Magnavox Odyssey 1972$100$709
Atari 2600 1977$200$977
Intellivision 1979$300$1224
Atari 5200 1982$270$829
Colecovision 1982$175$537
Atari 7800 1984$150$428
NES 1985$200$551
SEGA Master System 1986$200$540
Turbografx 1989$200$468
SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis 1989$190$454
Super Nintendo 1991$200$435
Philips CDi 1991$400$870
SEGA CD Year 1992$300$633
Atari Jaguar 1993$250$512
3do 1993$700$1435
32x 1994$160$320
PlayStation 1995$300$583
SEGA Saturn 1995$400$777
Nintendo 64 1996$200$378
Dreamcast 1999$200$356
PlayStation 2 2000$300$516
GameCube 2001$200$335
Xbox 2001$300$502
Game Boy Advance 2001$100$167
NGage 2003$300$483
Nintendo DS 2004$200$314
PSP 2004$250$392
Xbox 360 2005$400$607
PS3 2006$500$735
Wii 2006$250$367
Nintendo 3DS 2011$250$329
Wii U 2012$350$451
PS Vita 2012$250$322
PS4 2013$400$509
Xbox One 2012$500$636
Switch 2017$300$362
PS5 2020$500$572

So, not only are current game consoles cheaper than you thought, those retro systems are also going for far less than they probably should.

Let’s keep that last thing to ourselves, eh?

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