Top 10 Most Expensive Gaming Consoles Ever Released
By Mirka Santos
Gaming is becoming more and more popular not only with youth but also with people who belong to older generations. From various video game releases to the launch of new and improved game consoles, the industry is definitely on the rise. In fact, the industry’s revenue is expected to reach $175 billion this year.
As video games get increasingly impressive, their consoles become more and more technologically advanced. With this, comes exorbitant prices. However, many people are willing to dish out this money for the best video game platforms.
With such popularity worldwide, there is no question of why video game companies are in constant and stiff competition. This comes in the form of various console releases and exclusive offers. Wondering what consoles cost the most when they were released? Check out the list below.
10. Playstation 4
Release Price: $399.99 – $499.99
First in our list is Sony’s Playstation 4, the company’s latest released system. The original version was released back in 2013, the Slim version was placed in the market in 2014, while the Pro version was launched in 2016. As it was released fairly recently, there is no need to adjust for inflation. The impending release of Playstation 5 lowered it down to $299.99.
While its launch value may not be as hefty as others in this list, the PS4 deserves its top 10 spot, especially with the various Special Limited Editions of the console. One of the most notable was the Pride-themed Gaystation which sold at $4,105 for charity, and the 20th Anniversary Edition which sold at $500 but was resold at $20,200.
9. Magnavox Odyssey
Release Price: $99.99
Inflation-Adjusted Price: $614.19
Launched in 1972, the Magnavox Odyssey is regarded as the very first gaming system to see commercial release. It was released at a cost just shy of $100. When converted using the US Inflation Calculator, the cost shoots up to more than $600 today.
While this system has the simplest interface, it actually contains 28 games, including the classic Ping-Pong. Now, these games may be infinitely less complex as the ones we know today, but they definitely were fun back then. Reportedly, around 100,000 units were sold during its first year.
8. Sega Saturn
Release Price: $400
Inflation-Adjusted Price $673
Considered one of the PlayStation One’s rivals, Sega Saturn was released in 1995 to offer a faster and more capable alternative to Sony’s console. Saturn was released after sales for Sega Genesis stopped. However, it has other predecessors such as the Sega CD and 32X.
However, the large price tag of the Saturn turned off gamers. Combined with disappointing games and the costly 32X, consumers began supporting Sony instead. With the lackluster sales of this unit, the company decided to stop support and sales in 1998.
7. Playstation 3
Release Price: $270 (2009) to $599 (2006)
Inflation-Adjusted Price: $301.95 to $762.89
Like the PS4, the PlayStation 3 also came in different versions, with the original (also called PS3 Phat) being released in 2006, the Slim in 2009, and the Super Slim in 2012. Today, consumers can buy their own PS3 unit for lower than $300 for second-hand systems.
The Phat version is known for its imperfections and susceptibility to corruption and errors. Ironically, it is priced higher at $499.99 ($636.79 inflation-adjusted) for those with 20GB storage and $599 for 60GB units.
6. Atari 5200
Release Price: $299
Inflation-Adjusted Price: $795.55
From the company that gave us Atari Pong, Atari 5200 is considered overpriced even during its time. Gamers found its controllers bothersome. The system was also not compatible with cartridges for the previous Atari console, making it more expensive to use.
Moreover, the 5200 came in 1982, around the same time when the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was released. The SNES has a similar layout as the controllers we know today, making it more appealing and a cheaper alternative.
5. Atari 2600
Release Price: $199 to $909.80
Inflation-Adjusted Price: $843.15
Atari 2600 was launched in 1977, five years before the 5200. It mainly played cabinet arcade games we all know and love such as Space Invaders. However, the 2600 is a home console, allowing users to play even in the comfort of their own homes and without the need for quarters.
While the 2600 has a great potential for success, it became Atari’s downfall because of disappointing games. The situation was made worse when Nintendo released the NES, then the SNES. Even their 90s releases never really came up to the standards set by other consoles at that time.
Release Price: $300
Inflation-Adjusted Price: $934.8
A play on the words “intelligent television,”Mattel’s Intellivision was supposed to be the first smart device back in 1980. It offered more true-to-life visuals and audio as compared to Atari’s releases. Mattel definitely had high hopes for Intellivision, as a smart computing device.
Mattel planned to release a keyboard component, which aimed to help users improve their spelling and learn French. However, its release was delayed, which led to complaints. Eventually, the company canceled the project because of various issues with consumers and the government.
3. Panasonic 3D0
Release Price: $700
Inflation-Adjusted Price: $1,243.82
In 1993, another well-known electronics company, Panasonic, released its own game console. The Panasonic 3D0 was supposed to be a more superior alternative to the systems in the market at that time. However, its hefty tag became its downfall.
The system was also criticized for the lack of good games in its library. Because of this, gamers opted to get the PlayStation One which sold at $299.99 in 1994 ($519.74) and the Nintendo 64 which sold at $199.99 in 1996 ($327.27).
2. Neo Geo
Release Price: $650
Inflation-Adjusted Price: $1,276.92
Coming in at number 2 is SNK’s Neo Geo, which was released in 1990. Much like the Panasonic 3D0, Neo geo was not as well-known as other consoles in the 90s because it was way above the amount parents and gamers were willing to spend for an entertainment system.
Unlike the 3D0, Neo Geo did have good games such as Metal Slug, Fatal Fury and King of Fighters. However, parents and gamers need to buy cartridges for the expensive console at equally expensive prices. According to reports, each cart costed around $200 ($392.90) to $300 ($589.35).
1. Philips CD-I
Release Price: $700
Inflation-Adjusted Price: $1,319.61
Coming after Mattel’s attempt, the Philips Cd-I is considered a computer for television sets without a capacity to store memory. However, users steered away from this system as it sold at an exorbitant cost, especially as the US experienced a recession from 1990 to 1991.
The CD-I also suffered from having bad games. One interesting trivia about this console is that Nintendo gave Philips the rights to produce three games based on the much-loved Legend of Zelda series. However, the games were so bad that gamers unofficially refer to them as the Unholy Triforce.
Gamers know how expensive pursuing this hobby can be. This remains true today especially with various games and accessories to buy. With such prices even back in the 70s, the industry has definitely witnessed expensive releases.
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