For the past few weeks, I have been creating the ultimate Console War, pitting all the big consoles from all the big names in multiple fights against one another in “out of the norm” ways. Check out the intense war so far here via the links.
This week I shall be ranking the mighty consoles by their original release price. After all, pricing is super important when considering buying a console. Things get a little murky due to inflation and all that, but I will focus on the price it was when it released at that time, and only will I factor in inflation when there is a tie.
I will be using American retail prices.
All Nintendo consoles are in red text, Atari in orange, Sony in black, Sega in blue, and Microsoft in green
Let us begin.
#22 PlayStation 3- $499-$599
This console had a ludicrous price. $499 for a 20 GB system, or for another $100, you could get 60 GB. It’s high price led to very poor sales for the first few years of it’s life. It came with Motor Storm though, a sub par racing game.
I waited until many years later to get my PS3, a 200 GB slim version for just $300. Companies do like to rip us off initially, don’t they?
#21 Xbox One- $499
This is another huge price tag. Though everyone was expecting it to be this price, and it came with the Kinect, so I guess it was an okay price. But still, it’s high cost deterred a lot of people from buying it.
#20 Sega Saturn-$399
I don’t know what Sega was thinking. I don’t remember when this even came out, like the late 90’s I think. Never has anything cost this much before. This was a huge price for the time. I guess the company was overly desperate to make money. This console didn’t do so well, and the price probably had a lot to do with it. This was just another bad decision in a long string of them that unfortunately led to Sega’s downfall.
Now seeing as this is not the only console with a $399 cost, it is ranked the lowest due to its inflation, which would mean it would cost $630.58 today. Plus it was just such a ludicrous price.
#19 PlayStation 4-$399
For a console of this generation in the modern market, its price isn’t too horrible, especially since everyone thought it would be higher. But it seems Sony learned from their mistakes with the PS3. Still a high priced item in my opinion.
With inflation, this system would now cost $412.52, making it less expensive than the Saturn. But for a nearly brand new system, that increase is rather depressing to see.
#18 Xbox 360- $299-$399
This console had two versions. The more expensive one came with a 20 GB hard drive, while the cheaper didn’t have one at all. That’s a hefty difference for such a small amount of space. But it’s lower price helped put it way ahead of the PS3.
#17 Wii U-$299-$349
Though this console was cheaper than it’s two competitors, it did not help with its sales. The cheaper version of the console was colored white and came with an 8 GB memory.
The more expensive was black and came with 32 GB of memory and the game Nintendo Land, which was sold separately for $60. Compared to other consoles on this list, they give you a lot more, for a lot less when it comes to the less expensive vs. more expensive versions.
This was a high price point for 1995, but compared to the Saturn, it looked reasonable. Still, I am shocked it sold as well as it did. With inflation, this console would cost $472.54.
#15 PlayStation 2-$299
Wow what a great box…Anyway, the PS2 was released at the same price as it’s predecessor…not bad for a significantly better console. With inflation, it would cost $418.21 today.
The same price as PS1 and 2, but with inflation, it would cost $406.63. For a brand new company entering the market, I would say the price was a bit high, though it was on par with PS2.
#13 Nintendo Switch-$250-$300
This is a shady one, as it has not come out yet. Though many rumors and a European site posting it for preorder suggest the price to be around here. The higher price is rumored to come bundled with a game. This certainly seems around the price for a Nintendo console, so it is not hard to believe.
#12 Atari 5200-$269
This was really expensive for 1982…like really expensive. I guess Atari thought they could get away with it after the success of the 2600.
This was a pretty high price for 1993, though for what the console could do, it was fair enough. Today, this sucker would cost $440.33.
This price was ridiculously lower than it’s two competitors, and gave me hope that consoles have not all reached ridiculous prices. It’s significantly lower price most likely attributed to it’s high sales. With inflation, it would cost $297.48. It also came with Wii Sports.
#9 Sega Master System-$200
About what you would expect for a price at the time of its release.
#8 Atari 2600-$199
And so begins the long line of $199 consoles. Atari sort of set the bar with this price. Nowadays, it would cost $790.92. F$#k inflation.
#7 Nintendo Entertainment System-$199
Next up is the NES, it’s price inflated to$445.44. For the price, the game also came with Super Mario Bros.
#6 Super Nintendo Entertainment System-$199
This game came packaged with Super Mario World. Today it would cost $351.91.
#5 Nintendo 64-$199
This was the cheapest of its generation. Today it would cost $305.48.
This was a great price in a market full of rising prices. It would cost us $287.69 now though.
This is the last of the $199 consoles. It is the newest of these, thus inflation hasn’t had as much time to work it’s dark magic on it. It would be $270.64 right now.
#2 Sega Genesis-$189
This console stayed under in price just a bit from the SNES, but it didn’t come with a game, so it was actually a lesser value overall. But not for this list!
#1 Atari 7800-$139
And here it is, the cheapest console on this list, and the cheapest console ever made really…as far as cartridge loading, multi-game consoles are concerned. I guess the company realized they really flobbed up with the pricing of the 5200 and sought to remedy it with this extremely low price. Whatever the reason, it has earned it the number one spot in this war.
But let’s see who the true winner is, the company with the most in the top 10!
Microsoft and Sony have come up short with 0 for each of them…serves em right, those money grabbing jerk bubbles!
Atari comes in next with 2 in the top 10.
Sega is the runner up with 3.
Nintendo leads the pack again with 5. Not hard to do when you have double the consoles than all the other companies, but still. They are earning their wins nonetheless. Thank you Nintendo for always looking out for our wallets!