The 360 price in context

That other thread derailed long ago into the PC vs. Console economics debate. So, a new thread…

IGN has an interesting little article (I know, right?) about the 360’s price. They go back through about 14 console launches in the US, list their launch price and date, and then have what that equals when adjusted to 2005 dollars.

Some highlights: That $299 launch of the original Playstation in 1995 - that’s $374 dollars today. The $249 Genesis (1989) would have been almost $400 in today’s dollars, and the NES was a bargain at $199 back in 1985, but that’s over $350 today.

Chart in article:

A loaf of bread was .04 cents in 1901 which is 3000$ today.

Spin! Spin! :)



The correct title should be “out of context”. Why do poeple keep putting these lame things up? There are so many things diffrent in terms of costs than say the late 70’s to make this thing worthless. Were taxed more than in the 70’s. The average family pays a bigger chunk of their monthly income to their mortgage than in the 70’s and on and on. $400 is a big chunk of change to most people still. The 20 and 30 something single guys who spend all their money on toys might do well to grasp that concept…

So you’re saying people have less real disposable income than in the 70’s? Only among the lowest 20% I’d guess.

Um, excuse me: no banging your head on the display case, please. It contains a very rare Mary Worth in which she has advised a friend to commit suicide. Thank you.

I think what’s more in context is the fact that it lists the Xbox and PS2’s release price both at $299. That makes the “OMG $299 for XBOX360!?!?” stuff a bit ridiculous to me.

Yup. And it’s not going to be $400. Buy the $399 package and a couple of games–anyone buying the 360 around launch will likely be doing so to play at least a couple of the launch games, otherwise why not wait?–and you’re looking at at least $550 with taxes. $450 if you go for the lesser 360 sku, which I bet will be hard to find.

Folks, even if you admit that you’re getting a hell of a console for that price, $450-550 is a lot of money. Especially at a time when the cost of everything is going up thanks to $67 barrels of oil. Other prices and times don’t matter nearly as much as putting that $450-550 into context right now.

Microsoft really couldn’t have picked a worse time to release the 360. I still don’t see what the need is to rush into the next generation in 2005. And I don’t think most consumers feel the need to upgrade right now, either.

Beat sony to the punch.

And if you’re using gas prices as a reason for people to not want to spend money, then it should be mentioned that it’s not predicted to get any cheaper any time soon. So saying MS “picked the worst time” doesn’t work if that’s the reason.

And I think the perspective on whether or not you think consumers are “ready to upgrade” is different depending on when you bought the first Xbox. I’ve had mine for 4 and whatever years and I’ve definitely stopped playing as much simply because the graphics have been looking worse and worse over the years. It’s hard to go from playing FPS’s or racing games on PC to playing games like Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath and Forza Motorsport (which are both excellent) simply because…holy shit, the jaggies! I just have a hard time accepting something that’s now so dramatically inferior graphics-wise to pretty much everything I can play on my PC. I still play those games because I would otherwise miss out on some really good ones, but it’s definitely harder to look at them compared to several years ago.

I’m probably not in the majority, but I suspect there are enough people out there like me to make the Xbox 360 pretty damn popular on release. A friend of mine who doesn’t care nearly as much as I do about gaming has had a very hard time finding stores around here (and around here is a very large place) that are still taking preorders, but he tried until he found one. Unless their allocated stock levels are just low, that’s usually a pretty good indication of how well the thing will do.

The CPI index used in the article ( only goes back to 1913, but 4 cents in 1913 is like 79 cents today.

$3000 dollars, indeed. :wink:

Anyway, I’m not saying I necessarily agree with the article. Entertainment expenses are a hard thing to adjust for inflation properly. Clearly, movie ticket prices have inflated more than other entertainment expenses. I just thought it was interesting - not life changing.

This is absolutely true. I think that’s kind of their target market for launch…those the the people buying the first couple million systems anyway.

Let me put it another way: if they priced it for your standard, everyone-with-a-PS2, Wal-Mart crowd, the demand would far outstrip supply.

Or put another way: Microsoft is saying “why not get as much money as we can from those first couple million people that will buy up as many as we can produce?” :roll:

Well yes, you have to add the price of games to any new console launch. The PS2 was actualy $400 with a couple games! Your new video card is $100 more expensive with a couple hot new AAA games (that’s what you need it for, right?). Etc etc.

But y’know, I’ve seen a LOT of people who plunked down $400 for an iPod, which seems like an awful lot for an awful little bit of tech.

Microsoft really couldn’t have picked a worse time to release the 360. I still don’t see what the need is to rush into the next generation in 2005. And I don’t think most consumers feel the need to upgrade right now, either.

Well, because the last generation started in 2000, which was five years ago. Just like the generation before started in 1995. And so on. And because if they don’t start this generation now, Sony will start it 3-6 months later and then they’ll be in that “Sony beat us to market” boat again.

What if they waited two years? It’s not like they would produce the same exact box they’re putting out this year, only it would cost $199. They would put even more advanced shit in there, and it would still cost $400, and everyone would still complain.

People complain about how we’re “not ready” for the next generation every time it comes around. This time is no different.

No you haven’t. The Xbox isn’t even 4 years old yet. It won’t be until November of this year.

Let’s look at each release by percentage of average yearly household income

Atari VCS (1977) - 1.8%
NES (1985) - 0.8%
Genesis (1989) - 0.9%
NeoGeo (1990) - 2.3%
SNES (1991) - 0.7%
Jaguar (1993) - 0.8%
3DO (1993) - 2.2%
Saturn (1995) - 1.2%
N64 (1996) - 0.6%
Dreamcast (1999) - 0.5%
PSx (1995) - 0.9%
PS2 (2000) - 0.7%
XBOX (2001) - 0.7%
Gamecube (2001) - 0.5%
Jacked XBOX360 (2005) - 0.9%

Interesting that the CHEAPEST consoles (DC and NGC) are generally seen as not being real successes. Whereas two of the most successful console ever (NES, Playstation) actually cost a little (or a lot) more than their competitors.

“right on target”

No you haven’t. The Xbox isn’t even 4 years old yet. It won’t be until November of this year.[/quote]

Yes, thanks, great job.

Why in the hell do people factor in the price of games in the 360’s price to show how much more expensive it is than the PS2 or XBox1 was? Did they come with games in the launch package or something, and I just didn’t notice?

No they didnt.

I don’t know. If your nifty new game system saves you 100 miles worth of driving every weekend at an average 20 MPG, because you’re glued to your TV instead of out on the town, it’ll pay for itself in no time! :lol:

I’m quite married and I still plan to buy this. Does this make me a bad person or something?