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The Real Cost of Popular Gaming Consoles Through the Years

John StirzakerJohn Stirzaker · Nov 5, 2020

After the next-gen consoles were announced, gamers were waiting with bated breath to see just how much of a dent they were going to leave in their pockets.

For the top-level consoles, families are going to have to shell out at least £500 for the system and a game which sounds extortionate – but looking at how much popular consoles have cost throughout the decades, we’re actually getting a pretty good deal!

To prove this, we’ve researched how much 33 classic consoles were when they launched and after adjusting the prices for inflation, it turns out that just over 30% of them would have cost more than the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Console Launch Prices Adjusted for Inflation in 2020

We used digital Argos catalogues going back to 1977 to find the £RRP of the consoles at launch and worked out what they’d cost now using Bank of England’s inflation calculator.

One of the first video game systems to be brought into the home was the Atari 2600. In 1977 it would have cost families £199, which translates to a whopping £1246 in today’s money.

Other expensive consoles include the 1990 TurboGrafx 16 which cost the equivalent of £914, and the 1993 Panasonic 3DO that cost a staggering £600 at the time – around £1231 now.

This should be good news for gamers who are keen to get their hands on the new systems. The only question is which one do you choose? It’s worth taking into account the games that will be exclusive to each console, as well as subscription costs like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus.

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