How much did games cost back in the day?

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Rockanomics

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#1  Edited By Rockanomics

Me and my friend were discussing games and I never really bought games way back when, would only really get them as gifts, so how much did for example NES, SNES and N64 games usually cost?

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cstrang

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#2  Edited By cstrang

 NES games ranged from around $30 to $45, SNES games were usually $50 (barring some exceptions, like Chrono Trigger), and N64 games were $50-ish, IRC.

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CABBAGES

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#3  Edited By CABBAGES

atari 800 and spectrum games were sometimes only about £3 or something if i remember correctly .
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ch3burashka

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#4  Edited By ch3burashka
@cstrang said:
"  NES games ranged from around $30 to $45, SNES games were usually $50 (barring some exceptions, like Chrono Trigger), and N64 games were $50-ish, IRC. "
Really? Where did I hear that N64 games would cost 80 bucks?
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Rmack

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#5  Edited By Rmack

N64 games were typically always 60. I distinctly remember that being the moment I found games to be expensive.

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Jimbo

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#6  Edited By Jimbo

New PC games used to always be £30 or £35 here in the UK about 10 years ago.  Now you can usually get them for ~£25, which is probably about half the price in real terms.
 
I seem to recall N64 games being stupid expensive for a while.

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MisterChief

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#7  Edited By MisterChief

It used to vary a lot more game per game than it does now.

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nintendoeats

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#8  Edited By nintendoeats

Afrigging lot. Carts are expensive.

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MrKlorox

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#9  Edited By MrKlorox

They did a recent overview in a recent EGM including system cost and adjustment for inflation. The bottom line is we're paying less now, with the current state of the dollar. PS1 (1995) through Xbox1 (2004) games cost $49.99 USD.
 
All info from EGM print issue 243.
 

System (year)
Game cost in USD at system launch year
Adjusted for inflation as of December 2010
 NES (1986)
 29.99-49.99 59.79-99.65
 SNES (1991)
 49.99-59.99 80.17-96.21
 N64 (1996)
 49.99 69.60
 PS2 (2000)
 49.99 63.41
 Xbox 360 (2005)
 59.99 67.10
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VicRattlehead

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#10  Edited By VicRattlehead

N64 games here used to cost £55-£60 if i remember correctly

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Undeadpool

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#11  Edited By Undeadpool

PS1 is where games started getting more affordable. Nintendo could be $45-60, SNES/Sega Genesis was anywhere between $50-120 (you read that right). So don't let anyone tell you $60 is somehow overblown, cause these were 80s/90s dollars.

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MooseyMcMan

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#12  Edited By MooseyMcMan
@CH3BURASHKA: That's crazy talk. The only way an N64 would cost that much would be if it was something super rare, still in the packaging, and being sold online today. It was $50. I remember, like it was only yesterday...
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Mirado

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#13  Edited By Mirado

Launch price for  Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings was $70, but due to the way the competition between stores worked, you could find it for $60. I remember paying $80 for Turok, however.
 
I believe I have the original boxes for Burgertime and Atlantis which I believe were $35 although I have no idea how standard the pricing was back before the Crash.

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craigbo180

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#14  Edited By craigbo180

In the UK ps1 games used to be like £30ish games these days are about £40

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Cameron

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#15  Edited By Cameron
@CH3BURASHKA: 
 
If I remember correctly certain popular games were that expensive. I imagine it was a mix of the better games taking up more space and therefore requiring more expensive carts, and Nintendo thinking they could get away with charging just about anything for a Zelda game.
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Wes

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#16  Edited By Wes
@MooseyMcMan Nah uh. Most carts were 60, and I remember killer instinct being 70. Carts cost more than discs to produce.
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Sargus

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#17  Edited By Sargus

Certain N64 games were definitely $60 or more at launch. I remember because it seemed like a fortune, and I was generally too young to afford games that cost that high.

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MrKlorox

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#18  Edited By MrKlorox
@Wes said:
" @MooseyMcMan Nah uh. Most carts were 60, and I remember killer instinct being 70. "
Depends where you're from. I can only assume the OP is referring to cost in North America in USDs.
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MooseyMcMan

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#19  Edited By MooseyMcMan
@Wes: That is nonsense. I own a bunch of N64 games, and non of them cost more than $50. 
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Mirado

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#20  Edited By Mirado
@MrKlorox:  That's what it was in the US as well, though. Most carts were actually $70 MSRP but usually dropped to $60 at the major stores and even possibly found for $50 at a few select chains, which is why some people remember different prices.
 
The one thing to take away is not how much games cost, but how willing the stores used to drop prices in order to stay competitive, even on day 1!
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Sargus

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#21  Edited By Sargus
@MrKlorox said:
" @Wes said:
" @MooseyMcMan Nah uh. Most carts were 60, and I remember killer instinct being 70. "
Depends where you're from. I can only assume the OP is referring to cost in North America in USDs. "
@MooseyMcMan said:
" @Wes: That is nonsense. I own a bunch of N64 games, and non of them cost more than $50.  "
Talking about USDs, I most definitely remember N64 games costing more than $50 from time to time. No question. I was pretty young, so that might be playing a factor, but I don't think I'm wrong on this one.
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iAmJohn

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#22  Edited By iAmJohn
@CH3BURASHKA said:
" @cstrang said:
"  NES games ranged from around $30 to $45, SNES games were usually $50 (barring some exceptions, like Chrono Trigger), and N64 games were $50-ish, IRC. "
Really? Where did I hear that N64 games would cost 80 bucks? "
I don't know about him, but I sure as shit spent $72 on Quest 64 back in the day.
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MooseyMcMan

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#23  Edited By MooseyMcMan
@Sargus: Yeah, I have heard rumors of N64 games costing more than $50 USD, but I never bought any of them, and don't remember seeing any of them. 
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zityz

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#24  Edited By zityz

I remember seeing a flyer Ad for Pocahontas Genesis cart for $99.99. I remember laughing at that because that's ridiculous... and it still is haha.

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MrKlorox

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#25  Edited By MrKlorox

Weird. I'm just going by the data EGM collected and computated. Surely they wouldn't get it wrong.
 
"All prices collected from original press releases, catalog, and personal records."
 
/shrug

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Wes

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#26  Edited By Wes
@MooseyMcMan: I'm trying to find the MSRP's for some N64 games, it's proving to be a hassle.
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iAmJohn

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#27  Edited By iAmJohn
@MrKlorox: Perhaps those prices were the average or what Nintendo typically priced things at, but they certainly weren't the reality.  Again, I can remember spending what seemed like INFINITE DOLLARS on video games to my eight to twelve-year-old ass.  Like $60 for Banjo-Kazooie, or $70 for Star Fox 64.  Hell, I can even remember spending $65 before tax on some dumb Garfield game for Genesis at Software Etc. back in the day, and that's not even counting how expensive some games got (again: Phantasy Star IV was $100). 
 
Carts were fucking expensive, yo.
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shivermetimbers

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#28  Edited By shivermetimbers

I remember paying anywhere between 30-40 bucks for PC games back in the day. I never paid more than 50 for an N64 or SNES game, though I'm sure there exists more expensive games.

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Mirado

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#29  Edited By Mirado
@Wes:  There's some flyer scans floating around, but I can personally vouch for $70 for SM64. My dad even went into a hilarious "back in my day our games only cost $30 and had 8-bits, and we liked it" parody speech of his father.
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wolf_blitzer85

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#30  Edited By wolf_blitzer85

Majora's Mask was 70 I believe. 80 freaking bucks after taxes. Those carts did not mess around.

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Bocam

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#31  Edited By Bocam

I remember paying 70 bucks for Majora's Mask when it first came out

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#32  Edited By Wes
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ThePhantomnaut

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#33  Edited By ThePhantomnaut

Neo-Geo games were expensive as fuck.

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cstrang

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#34  Edited By cstrang
@MooseyMcMan said:
" @CH3BURASHKA: That's crazy talk. The only way an N64 would cost that much would be if it was something super rare, still in the packaging, and being sold online today. It was $50. I remember, like it was only yesterday... "
Maybe with inflation?
 
And, yeah, people need to realize that, with the PS1 + 2 and N64, game prices in the US were mostly standardized to prices lower than those in the UK (IE: 50 USD-ish)
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Mirado

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#35  Edited By Mirado
@Wes:  That's off, though. Those prices are all for late 2000, four years after the N64 released. The only one to make sense is Yoshi's Story, but even that was two years after launch. By 2000, Nintendo was having all sorts of problems with Sony and HAD to drop prices to compete.
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#36  Edited By Wes
@ThePhantomnaut: those fuckin' things were as much as some consoles, like $300. In their defense though they were huge (HUGE) cartridges that were as good as their arcade versions. 
 Crazy.
 Crazy.
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#37  Edited By Wes
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SlightConfuse

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#38  Edited By SlightConfuse

i can't remeber what SNES games cost but N64 games were 60 i think
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Mirado

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#39  Edited By Mirado
@Wes:  That's certainly closer to what I remember. The $5 either way could be due to the cart itself, but we can take away one thing regardless; games were just as expensive (if not worse) 15 years ago.
 
God, the N64 is over 15 years old.
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ajamafalous

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#40  Edited By ajamafalous
@MisterChief said:
" It used to vary a lot more game per game than it does now. "
Definitely this. New N64 games could be anywhere from $40 to $70. As someone else mentioned, most N64 games "retailed" for $70 but stores would sell them for $60.
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Wes

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#41  Edited By Wes
@mirado: Especially when you factor in the minor inflation.
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EpicSteve

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#42  Edited By EpicSteve

Some N64 games were like $70-$80. NUTS! 

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WickedFather

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#43  Edited By WickedFather

Ant Attack and Scuba Dive on the Spectrum were £6.95.  Ultimate Play the Game (now Rare) decided to change things and made the first ten quid game: Sabre Wulf.  With it came a change to a larger carboard game box.  This happened for Underwurlde, Knightlore, etc.  It's them that drove up game pricing in Britain.

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keyhunter

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#44  Edited By keyhunter

Everything costs more in Canada. N 64 games were up to 60-70 beans. Our dollar has been equal to the USD for as long as I can remember, never off by more than a few cents. Yet we still pay more.

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UnsolvedParadox

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#45  Edited By UnsolvedParadox

I saw a new copy of Mortal Kombat Trilogy for the N64 at Toys R' Us priced at $125 Canadian, it nearly floored me...still can't get over how high that is.

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Brendan

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#46  Edited By Brendan

Judging by what I've recently learned of historical game prices, next gen titles will probably have to cost $69.99 with even more complexity added to the development process and inflation factored in a few years from now.

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RsistncE

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#47  Edited By RsistncE

During the 90's here in Canada the dollar was at an all time low compared to the US dollar (like 60 cents to the dollar) so games were ultra expensive. I remember WCW vs. NWO World Tour costing me $99.99 at retail. It was mental. I don't recall game prices before that because I never bought any for myself, they were always gifts and I was ultra young.

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uniform

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#48  Edited By uniform

The first game I purchased with my own money was Super Mario Bros. 2. That game was around 70 dollars cdn., but I paid around 80 cdn for it being I purchased it in a grocery store. Yes, back then some of our grocery stores sold toys and games. Stepping a generation ahead, Final Fantasy III (US), was over 80 dollars cdn at release with the GST and PST factored in. I was so short on money to purchase what is to date my most anticipated game, I remember trading in a stack of very good SNES games in their original cardboard boxes (Ken Griffey Jr., Super Metroid, Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Pocky & Rocky, and a few others I don't remember).  I'm not saying all games were that much here, I can't really remember, but I do remember those two very well.

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Yummylee

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#49  Edited By Yummylee

I remember N64 being freakin' expensive. I think they where around £50 in most retail shops, along with PS1 games, though they (PS1) definitely had an eventual price reduction to the temporary norm of £30.

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JazGalaxy

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#50  Edited By JazGalaxy

Yeah, the prices people have been throwing around are off. 
 
Later era SNES games would run 70-80 dollars (Crono Trigger and other Square games, Ultimate MK3, etc.) 
 
N64 games would run 70-90 dollars. (Zelda 64, Star Fox 64 etc were almost 100) 
 
This is LARGELY why PS1 became successful. It was drastically cheaper than N64 cartiidges. 
 
It's worthwhile to say, however, that this price reduction was passed on to the consumer due to the fact that manufacturing costs for CD based systems were drastically cheaper tahn the propetary hardware Nintendo was pushing out in it's carts.