#1 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

I just saw an interesting thread on Neogaf that shows how cheap gaming has become today. People always complain about the money they have to spend for games and also especially consoles but the truth is that it is now cheaper than ever before. Just look at this chart alone.

And its true games back than were for the most part even shorter had less features, levels, no online and so on but still in Germany I could pay up to 200 DM for a SNES game if it was really good. I remember NBA Jam being 180 DM which is like 121$ alone without any inflation. So why do we still complain about these prices for consoles but also games? And take into account that games now became much faster very cheap and through digital copies we will not see prices claim to insane prices because physical copies of these games become rare.

Do we really even have any reason to do?

For more infos how cheap gaming ahs become:

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/10/15/the-real-cost-of-gaming-inflation-time-and-purchasing-power

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/06/are-the-ps4-and-xbox-one-really-that-expensive-historically/

#2 Edited by TowerSixteen (542 posts) -

Huh. That's handy, and interesting. I suppose, like every other facet of life, we just don't intuitively factor in inflation- hence everyone everywhere for all time complaining about how things were cheaper.

Though, the chart is in US prices and US dollars. So I guess I shouldn't assume the idea holds up outside of the US? I wouldn't be surprised to learn that, say Australia is getting hosed or something.

#3 Posted by jimmyfenix (3852 posts) -

Yeah i agree gaming has gone cheaper with steam daily deals and psn/xbl discounts on recently released games is pretty good.

It is just dlc which causes some problems for example Asuras Wrath ending being dlc or street fighter x tekken characters being locked away from the base games can be used as examples of people getting angry about game prices

#4 Posted by Zaccheus (1792 posts) -

$399 was a huge surprise for me. I was very pessimistic about pricing before the consoles were announced. I love to be wrong.

#5 Edited by Lazyaza (2176 posts) -

Yeah gaming is pretty crazy affordable now. With a pc of modest specs you can play hundreds and hundreds of great games either for free or incredibly cheap. Between the constant discounts, sales and bundles at retail and digital no one really has a reason to complain about the cost of this hobby.

The more common issue I find is that due to the internet a lot of people think they need to play the latest hottest thing day1 all the time which simply isn't true. Every game can eventually be bought and played, you just have to accept you can't get every single one brand new all of the time and theirs no reason anyone should be able to. Pick your battles, decide what is worth your money and when, get back to other stuff when its cheaper.

#6 Posted by Marokai (2898 posts) -

Much of the complaints about how much gaming costs these days, rightly so I think, is mainly about outside factors that have gotten more expensive over time, specifically for Americans, while incomes have remained pretty flat for the last few decades. So while gaming has gotten more affordable, the gaming community has grown from a hardcore enthusiast market, to a mass market audience, who are increasingly pressed by the rising cost of food, electricity, gas, and other utilities, while they're still earning a wage that hasn't kept pace with history. It's a very complicated issue that can't just be boiled down to "Look at how much the Intellivision used to cost!"

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#7 Edited by isomeri (1253 posts) -

It may be because people are used to free or subsidized content. I mean most of us have 300-600 dollar phones in our pockets which we upgrade every two to four years, but a lot of people pay for those phones in 20 dollar chunks every month so the actual cost of the device is camouflaged. This trend is probably worse in the US where the subsidy model has been accepted for years now. I don't feel that people I know have been complaining about the price of the consoles so much because people here in Finland still mainly pay for their phones up front, even though the subsidy model is increasing in popularity here too. This is why I was really surprised that Sony and Microsoft didn't have their subsidy models ready at launch, but they're probably making a smart bet in that all of the stock for the first three or four months will be sold out anyway.

And yeah people are increasingly used to free or low-cost content through free-to-play games, cheap mobile games or piracy. I do sadly have a couple of friends who pirate almost all of their PC games because "they are so expensive and why should we give money to rich multinational companies etc." even though you can get those games for dirt-cheap in sales if you just wait a couple of months.

#8 Posted by Kaiserreich (690 posts) -

Because it's still very expensive

#9 Edited by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

At this point I'm convinced that some people are addicted to complaining/whining/being angry over nothing.
Like actually addicted to it so if they don't get to act out over nothing then all hell breaks loose for them.

Not saying everyone is like that, but I could name a few.. hundred

#10 Edited by audioBusting (1506 posts) -

Welcome to the internet, where someone somewhere is always complaining.

#11 Posted by Danteveli (1176 posts) -

If you want to make charts like that put one with basic food basket prices next to it because this is not informative. Also as your chart points out consoles are not cheaper than ever.

#12 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

If you want to make charts like that put one with basic food basket prices next to it because this is not informative. Also as your chart points out consoles are not cheaper than ever.

You didn't check any of the links, did you?

#13 Edited by RoarImaDinosaur (191 posts) -

Young people who started gaming during the N64/PS1 era have to buy their own games and console now. They also consume far more content than what was normal back in the 90's. The cost of living is also higher and so is the average wage I would assume. More $$$. Life goes on. Complaining is a part of the cycle.

#14 Posted by Humanity (9054 posts) -

If GTA is to be believed it's all those millennials

#15 Edited by danm_999 (74 posts) -

Consider not everyone necessarily lives where you live.

Australians for example, are paying 84% more for their games.

I'm also not totally sold on the idea that tracking console prices alone is the best and only way to gauge the relative cost of gaming as a habit nowdays.

#16 Posted by CynicalBuzzard (240 posts) -

I have no problem with the price of the consoles.

#17 Posted by EXTomar (4677 posts) -

Why wouldn't people complain? If there is a chance they could get their way people will voice their complaint whether or not it makes sense or not.

#18 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

Yeah, for the power packed behind these new consoles, they are ridiculously cheap.

#19 Posted by Veektarius (4771 posts) -

I know the price is only intimidating to me because I haven't been awed by what I've seen from the trailers so far. The closest I've come is probably that "The Division" trailer. That level of gameplay improvement might be worth $400-500.

#20 Posted by Patman99 (1578 posts) -

Also, I don't remember a time when games costed less than $60-70. So if you take inflation and whatnot into account the price of games have relatively decreased yet the scope of them has increased. I'm never against spending money as long as the product I receive is good. The console prices are probably justified and $70 games are pretty much justified too so long as I don't get DLC'd to death. Even then, if the DLC is amazing, I don't mind paying the extra $5 to get it. But it has to be more than character skins or bonus weapons.

#21 Edited by sarahsdad (1087 posts) -

@marokai said:

Much of the complaints about how much gaming costs these days, rightly so I think, is mainly about outside factors that have gotten more expensive over time, specifically for Americans, while incomes have remained pretty flat for the last few decades. So while gaming has gotten more affordable, the gaming community has grown from a hardcore enthusiast market, to a mass market audience, who are increasingly pressed by the rising cost of food, electricity, gas, and other utilities, while they're still earning a wage that hasn't kept pace with history. It's a very complicated issue that can't just be boiled down to "Look at how much the Intellivision used to cost!"

This. Showing my age a bit, but gas used to cost about 1.00 when I started driving; it's now bouncing around 3.60 or more. It's not a huge increase dollar wise, but as a regular necessity, it does pile up.

#22 Posted by Hunkulese (2696 posts) -

@darji: Are you new to the Internet? The primary reason it exists is for people to complain anonymously.

#23 Posted by me3639 (1753 posts) -

@darji: Are you new to the Internet? The primary reason it exists is for people to complain anonymously.

People who complain cant handle the truth that they are usually wrong.

#24 Posted by Spedstyle (11 posts) -

as damn_999 said i wish we got games and consoles as cheap as US get them,

here in AU ps4 is $548-$699.98 http://www.dicksmith.com.au/gaming-movies/playstation-4

and Xbox one is $598 http://www.dicksmith.com.au/gaming-movies/xbox-one

plus unless you import games and wait how ever long it takes for Australia post to send them to you at retail games normally sell for like $80-120 depending on how popular the game and even more for special editions

i am getting really sick of us having to pay this stupid invisible tax that they say its because we are so far away and they have to ship consoles and games so far, that is a lie when i can import stuff for so much cheaper retail is just shooting themselves in the foot and its not just games and consoles it's basically any technology based stuff we pay more then everyone else does i really hope something comes out of that pricing inquiry but so far all the big players just keep dodging and weaving from the questions

#25 Posted by MikeJFlick (442 posts) -

It's cheaper, but the value of money is also weaker due to inflation, so the point is sort of null.......

#26 Posted by DarthB (249 posts) -

To me, I'd say gaming is in a good place. Especially for buying the games if you're not the type who needs to buy everything when it's new. I still remember paying like $80 for some carts on snes/genesis and such. The amount of games I've got from things like Humble Bundle, steam, xbox live sales, playstation plus is out of hand really. I have too much to play, not enough time.

#27 Edited by Floope (190 posts) -

The chart actually points out the opposite of whatever you're trying to prove.

#28 Posted by Darson (450 posts) -

I raise your graph with a graph of my own:

Unfortunately, people aren't statistics and even though the general figures have recovered from the econpocalypse of 08, many people have not.

Also given that a gaming device that has a live span shorter than a goldfish is hardly worth the average price of a console today.

#29 Edited by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -

Complaining, hyperbole, and trolling are the entire purpose of internet commentary.

#30 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

I think I hear people complain about people who complain about costs more then I hear people actually complain about costs. And with sales records breaking constantly I don't think random complaints, if they are actually being voiced, actually match behavior.

#31 Posted by FunkasaurasRex (847 posts) -

Everything else costs more and this generation is poorer than the last.

#32 Posted by IAmNotBatman (628 posts) -

Prices in everything else have gone up, but wages are the same?

#33 Posted by NoelVeiga (1093 posts) -

Huh. That's handy, and interesting. I suppose, like every other facet of life, we just don't intuitively factor in inflation- hence everyone everywhere for all time complaining about how things were cheaper.

Though, the chart is in US prices and US dollars. So I guess I shouldn't assume the idea holds up outside of the US? I wouldn't be surprised to learn that, say Australia is getting hosed or something.

Other regions get screwed, but they got MORE screwed before. In Europe new games are anywhere between 50 and 70€, but a SNES game would often run the equivalent amount at the time, non-inflation adjusted, which means it would cost upwards of 100€ in 2013 currency. That's almost 120USD!

@jasonr86 said:

I think I hear people complain about people who complain about costs more then I hear people actually complain about costs. And with sales records breaking constantly I don't think random complaints, if they are actually being voiced, actually match behavior.

I disagree. The argument of "DLC on the disc is obnoxious because I'm already paying way too much for the 60$ base game!" is all over the place, and cost is the main impetus behind all the complaints regarding other types of DLC as well.

The other point is harder to prove. Sales records are being broken on a few select games, but the rest are struggling. The total amount of business in the industry has been going down for a few years now. Everybody expects it to pick up with the new hardware (me included).

Truth is, gaming is dirt cheap these days. If you factor in Steam sales, the HUGE used games market, free to play games and budget-priced downloadable games, getting some gaming on is incredibly affordable. Getting the latest triple A fare on day one is, at best flat from where it has been for the last twenty years, especially if you look at inflation adjusted rates.

#34 Posted by ajamafalous (11959 posts) -

@marokai said:

Much of the complaints about how much gaming costs these days, rightly so I think, is mainly about outside factors that have gotten more expensive over time, specifically for Americans, while incomes have remained pretty flat for the last few decades. So while gaming has gotten more affordable, the gaming community has grown from a hardcore enthusiast market, to a mass market audience, who are increasingly pressed by the rising cost of food, electricity, gas, and other utilities, while they're still earning a wage that hasn't kept pace with history. It's a very complicated issue that can't just be boiled down to "Look at how much the Intellivision used to cost!"

#35 Edited by senrat (321 posts) -

I think it comes down to the fact that a lot of the complainers are teenagers who make no money who still want to play all the games. Also, I understand that gaming is least expensive in the US. I understand why australians complain because they seem to get ripped off on many things.

#36 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

@noelveiga:

Maybe I just ignore complainers but I just don't hear it that often.

#37 Edited by Budwyzer (576 posts) -

And a lot of games are "Free to Play", yet then can end up costing you $100 over the course of you playing the game by spending $1 or $2 here and there to unlock things or features.

I don't think comparing console prices across time is really fair. Companies now don't really make their money on the consoles, they are now looking to get those machines into as many houses as possible while attempting to break even after RMAs. Doing this allows for more purchases to be made by those households over the lifespan of the console.

And these days those purchases not only include games, but also include other media rentals such as movies, TV shows, and music. As well as digital purchases of all kinds.

I highly doubt that this sort of marketing was in practice during the launch of the Atari 2600, this is something that has evolved over time, as these companies look for ways to maximize profits.

#38 Posted by MattyFTM (14368 posts) -

I'd be interested to see comparisons between the average disposable income and the price of consoles. Because in recent years living costs have skyrocketed, leaving less disposable income to spend on luxuries like games consoles. That would be a more relevant comparison than directly comparing the prices adjusted for inflation.

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#39 Posted by Karkarov (3068 posts) -

That chart isn't exactly reliable. Yeah that is what an atari cost on launch day but if you bought an Atari 7800 say... 6 months or even a year after it came out you could get it for less than 150. The games also cost like 5-10 dollars, tops. So you could buy a game for what it cost to go to mcdonalds. So no, gaming is not cheaper today. Consoles are cheaper, games are not. In fact games (outside of sale prices) on release day at retail are more expensive than ever.

#40 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

Another important thing you can not forget is the fact that you can "waste" your money with much more stuff than you could before. Now you also everyone has a cell phone, a tablet and there are so many stuff in terms of hobbies and free time to spend your money on besides video games The prices in generally were never really cheaper back then and it is also a myth that you could play longer and had more content than today and this is the gist of the whole thing in my opinion.

#41 Edited by ttocs (763 posts) -

Gaming is cheaper now because of the ability to produce goods with cheaper technology. Companies can bid on things they want to include in their products and the cheapest company to agree gets the ability to make parts for them. The landscape is much different from a technological standpoint than it was in the 80's and you're going to see it continue to evolve. Companies know they can't release a $600 console and expect to get a huge market share - so they make cheap and make up any differences with purchase after the initial console purchase.

#42 Posted by subyman (604 posts) -

Who's complaining?

#43 Posted by CornBREDX (5096 posts) -

Because people are sheep and are never satisfied with anything.

Seriously, though, if you mean the people who complain online you have to remember that only a small fraction of people actually do that.