A $600 Playstation 3? The Atari 2600 is $653 in today’s dollars

A cash vault you'll need to empty to buy the PS3
Interesting chart shows inflation-adjusted prices for game consoles all the way back to the Fairchild Channel F.

The announcement that the yet unreleased Playstation 3 is going to cost $600 has been quite the talk of the gaming circles lately. Personally, I think that price is ludicrous despite the Sony president telling us all that it’s actually “too cheap” 😮 The fact that it contains a BluRay drive, which is supposedly a major contributor to why it’s so expensive, is about as much justification for me to spend $600 on a game console as buying a $250,000 Rolls Royce to get a woodgrain cupholder.

Alas, I’m sure all of the Sony/Playstation fanboys will be camping-out for weeks when the console finally ships and that’s their perogative. For the rest of us, there are plenty of other consoles, both retro and new, which brings me to the story.

I’m sure that many of you readers once owned an Atari 2600, an Intellivision, or Sega Genesis. Obviously, back in the 1980’s, there was no way even imaginable that 99.9% of our parents would have paid $600 for a game system, so the machines were centered around a much more reasonable $200 mark. But… what happens if you adjust the 1980’s prices into today’s horribly inflated US dollars? You get a much different story…

The Curmudgeon Gamer did just that. He calculated and graphed the prices of all of the production game consoles throughout history and stacked them up against today’s seemingly unreasonable PS3. The results might surprise you. For example, that beloved Atari 2600 would cost $653 in today’s dollars.

Of course, no matter how try to justify the PS3, it’s still $600 and that’s just simply way too much for a console that likely won’t come with any games, and when you do buy the games, they’ll probably be $60 each or more (I’m guessing more since the Xbox360 games are $60 and they don’t use the hyper-expensive BluRay discs). In my book, that’s simply a very, very poor value for the money. Give me another Atari 2600 from the local thrift store with a box of games for a total of $10 instead, or perhaps something more advanced like the wonderful 16-bit Sega Genesis! Then again, maybe all of those “Free PS3!” offers will come to the rescue for modern gamers…

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