Doing the Math: PS3 or

While there’s already a PS3 “Holy-moly-are-you-freakin’-kidding-me-does-it-really-cost-that-much” thread, I figured I’d start a by the numbers “opportunity cost” thread.

Methodology first.

First off, the final figure here includes:

  • The Console
  • An Extra Controller
  • 2 Games
  • 1 Misc Accessory (HDMI cables, a media remote or the Sony helium balloon filler)
  • Sales tax on each

Secondly, because this is quartertothree and not representative of the population at large, I’m also not even bothering with the “budget” version that lacks support for memory sticks, SD and compact flash cards; has no built in Wi-Fi and has the HDMI out removed. So the console cost is the $599 version.

Thirdly, be aware that the attachment rate assumed above is significantly lower than the current attachment rate for the 360 which according to is “a record 4.5 games per console in North America” and an attach rate of 3 accessories for console. I tried to find the initial attachment rate for the 360 but was unable. If anyone does, let me know.


Lastly, the sales tax assumed is the national average of 5.93, which I rounded to 6%. If you live in NY, DC, CA, FL or TX (and most of us do), you’ll pay more.

That all said, here’s the bottomline:
$599.99 (unit) +
$49.99 (extra controller) +
$59.99 (Game 1) +
$59.99 (Game 2) +
$49.99 (misc accessory) =

With the national average for sales tax included, that adds: $49.197, which we’ll round up to $49.20.

Bottomline: $869.15

New post, same poster - Just easier to have established the baseline and then go into the opportunity cost scenario separately.

So if we assume that you want to play the “real” PS3 console and buy fewer than average games and accessories for it, you’re going to shell out $869.15 for that privilege. What else could you buy for that?

BOTH Next Gen systems with ONE premium title for EACH:

Xbox 360 premium - $399.99
Oblivion or GRAW - $59.99
Wii - $299 (assumed high end cost)
Zelda - $59.99

$819.96 + 49.20 (tax) = $869.16

Given the choice between the PS3 and a Premium Xbox 360 (with a game) and Wiii thrown in (with Zelda), I’d rather go for the 360 and Wii.

So… what would you rather buy for $869.16?

Wow. Your assumptions aren’t terrible, but that’s a tarrible, terrible tale.

Looks like it’s 360 and Wee-wee for me!

(This message brought to you by the new XBox videocamera)

Yeah, I thought about this as I was going about my morning routine today and figured I’d crunch the numbers. Was a little surprised myself.

That said, if anyone does find the initial attachment rate for the 360, please do let me know so I can revise the figures. I tried to make safe assumptions, but they are definitely assumptions.

Sony has really been doing their damndest this past year to permanently lose me as a customer. I think this price point might be the final nail in the coffin.

The Console Noob Package

Playstation Portable Core Package 199.99
Playstation 2 129.99
Xbox 139.99
Gamecube 99.99
Nintendo DS Lite 129.99

Random Greatest Hits GC game 19.99
Random Greatest Hits Xbox game 19.99
Random Greatest Hits PS 2 game 19.99
Random PSP Game 39.99
Random DS Game 29.99

$829.89 + $49.80 = 879.69

Doh! Overshot it slightly ;)

I think I’ll buy an HDTV for an xbox 360 instead.

I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Nintendo wasn’t going to price their Wii games (I can’t believe I’m typing that… ) at $60. Although I understand this is a worst case scenario you are putting forth.

Because I have time, I figured I’d also put this up. For the cost of the PS3 “experience” you can buy “EVERY current gen system WITH handhelds AND games for ALL of them”

New PS2 - $129.99 + a Greatest Hits PS 2 game $19.99 = $149.98
Xbox Bundle with Forza - $179.99 = $179.99
Gamecube Bundle with Zelda - $99.99 = $99.99
Sony PSP - $199.99 + a PSP Game $39.99 = $239.98
Nintendo DS - $129.99 + Brain Age ($19.99) = $149.98

Total = 819.92

  • Sales Tax

= $869.12

Meaing you’d get EVERY console, EVERY handheld AND a game for ALL of 'em AND you’d still SAVE 4 cents!

(edited this to reflect the suggestions below in the thread)

This thread is brutal.

A better scenerio would be to buy the PSP without a game (and just use it to listen to the 6 mp3s that you can squeeze into the 32MB memory stick), and buy the one game for the DS. Then you can save $10 + tax!

Here’s two:

eMachines T6532 desktop
AMD Athlon™ 64 3500
1024MB DDR (2 × 512MB), 400MHz (PC3200), dual-channel
200GB hard drive (7200rpm, 2MB cache)
16x multiformat dual-layer DVD±RW
6-channel (5.1) high-definition audio
10/100Mbps integrated Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)
256MB BFG GeForce 7800 GS OC from to replace the lame 128MB GeForce 6100 that the system comes with


And also:

Dell E1505 notebook
Intel® Core™ Solo processor T1300
15.4" XGA display
1GB RAM, Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz
80GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive
Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini Card (54Mbps)
256MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1400 HyperMemory™

$853.00 (with current rebate)

Actually, the cube comes with Wind Waker for $99.99 these days.

And don’t forget, by the time the PS3 comes out you will get those systems for cheaper, or something more powerful for the same price.

As the old adage goes - numbers speak for themselves.

Why do people do this? Is $600 just not high enough already? Do you really feel compelled to remind everyone once again that, oh by the way, systems haven’t been bundling games for ten years now? Because maybe $600 is just fine and let me get my wallet BUT WAIT what do you mean that doesn’t include tax or a game? That stuff costs extra? Well fuck that!

When the 360 was priced, people shouted OMG ADD A GAME AND A CONTROLLER AND IT’S OVER $500! Meanwhile I was thinking yeah, but take that game and controller away and it’s still $400.

The price is high. We get it.

And they were right to do so. The Xbox 360 is an expensive console. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling uneasy about coming out of the game store half a grand poorer, when all is said and done.

Why do people do this?

Perspective. Also, because it’s funny.

So there you go - add Wind Waker to the GC bundle and buy Brain Age for the NDS for $19.99.

That’s some fine number crunching, Jake. I hope the Sony plant swings by here.

Because math is fun!

I have around 30 games for my PS2 right now. Some of them are used, so let’s say the average price I paid for them was around $50 (CDN). That’s a total of $1500, making the $180 I paid for the PS2 itself 11% of the total cost.

If I replace that with a PS3 at launch at an estimated $700, and an average game price of $55, the console itself would be 30% of the total cost.

What does it mean? I dunno, I just like math… ;)