Another great title for this article
would be "How To Instantly
Convince Your Parents Into Buying You
A New Game Console And They'll Think
It's A Steal" but unfortunately
that title wouldn't fit above.
are expensive. Game consoles are expensive.
Heck the Xbox and PS2 still retail at
over $200. Videogame software retails
at $50 or more a pop. Ouch right? The
new Xbox 360 will surely retail around
$300-$400 when it launches later this
Fall, thanks to absolutely no competition
from Sony or Nintendo in the immediate
future. Bill Gates wants his investment
money back and he's going to personally
allow YOU to put up the cash for it.
Trust me on that. No one will be getting
a deal on the Xbox 360.
do you convince Mom & Dad, just
Mom, just Dad or any other responsible
guardian to release their hard earned
dough to upgrade you from Uncle Larry's
alcohol and nacho stained SNES to an
Xbox, Cube, PS2, PSP, DS, GBA or any
other system that strikes your fancy?
It's not easy. You've tried I'm sure
and their answer has always been "Let's
wait until those prices drop. I'm not
spending $200 on a videogame system...that's
not spending $200 on a videogame system...that's
Is it really? This is the part where
I come in. You see, a little known secret
is that videogame systems have always
been insanely expensive. And surprise!!
Those really crappy game systems your
dad keeps waxing poetic about, like
Pong, Atari VCS (2600), Intellivision,
Colecovision and Sega Master System....those
were the most expensive videogame systems
in history!! Seriously!!
Pong? I do. You could hook it up to
your TV and play the first home videogame
ever released. It was in black and white,
cost an arm and a leg, and as an added
bonus the image would burn itself into
your set and you could watch a virtual
Pong match forever! Of course only kings
and queens could afford such luxuries
such as these newfangled techno entertainment
time wasters.....or is that true? My
family owned a Pong game and we weren't
rich. But I have since figured out that
the reason we weren't rich is because
we owned a Pong game system.
inflation into account a Pong game system
that sold for $199 in 1975 is equal
to $745.38 in 2005 funds"
this out. Taking inflation into account,
a Pong game system that sold for $199
in 1975 is equal to $745.38 in 2005
funds. Think of how many powder blue
polyester suit jackets or Avacodo Green
kitchen drapes that cash could have
bought! Dad & Mom really did do
without, didn't they? Do you want proof
of these insane prices? Check out the
screenshots of the catalog scans.
your parents have Pong? Maybe not. But
I bet they had Atari or Intellivision
or Colecovision or maybe even an NES.
Well, toss this information into your
arsenal and march right into the living
room, swat the Hustler mag out of dear
old Dad's hands and let him have it
with both barrels. He probably thinks
those games didn't cost all that much
back then, after all, he wasn't buying
them...your grandparents were! Imagine
dear old dad, wasting his life away
on Space Invaders, Adventure or even
Atari VCS system in 1979 sold for a
whopping $289!! And the most popular
games like Space Invaders were $46.99!
Once again using inflation, that $289
and $46.99 in 1979 is equivalent to
$818.37 and $133.06 respectively! And
they think an Xbox and Halo 2 is going
to break the bank today? They totally
owe you dude! Your grandparents were
dropping loads of cash on your parents
videogame habits and now you're getting
the short end of the videogame stick.
Tell them, for shame! Did the Atari
play DVDs? Could it go online? Could
it do anything but sit there and suck
deal with the Intellivision, the Colecovision
and that gameplaying albatross that
connected to it, the Adam computer.
My dad bought the Colecovision system
for me for Christmas in 1982. He spent
$300 on it. The following year he bought
the Adam computer for, are you sitting
down? $900!! In todays cash that would
equal $2327! Almost $2500 was spent
so I could waste my life playing BC's
Quest For Tires and some lame ass Buck
Rogers game, on tape! Yeah, the coolest
games were on tape casette back then.
Man...that takes me back. Good times....good
a completely bizarre twist, ask your
mom or dad if $78 was a lot of money
back in 1980. They'll probably say "No."
Then go in for the kill and tell them
that a game system that sells for $200
today would have sold for $78 in 1980!
readers of my stuff might remember me
mentioning numerous times over the years
that I paid exactly $321 for the right
to play the cool new Sega Genesis system
in the fall of 1989 and $350 to nab
a SNES in 1991. I was making about $8
an hour back then, which even today
is pretty good since the minimum wage
isn't there yet (17 years later). Using
the same model of inflation, in 2005
terms, I paid $500.35 for the Genesis
and $493.00 for the Super Nintendo.
A little known fact, when Phantasy Star
II came out in 1990, I paid $108 for
it. No word of a lie. That's $160 today!!
And I didn't even like it! What a sucker.
fast forward to 1995. The PlayStation
retailed for $350 US when it hit stores.
While inflation hasn't really bumped
up that price ten years later, it's
still a considerable amount of money
for something you wouldn't probably
use as a doorstop today right?
that's the whole problem with technology,
isn't it? What's expensive today, is
tomorrows garage sale fodder. In 5 years
the Xbox 360 will look like old technology
and chances are you won't even be able
to look at Halo 2 without wanting to
puke because the graphics will suck
so hard and the gameplay will be lacking
compared to the what you're playing
the grand scheme of things, game systems
today have never been cheaper and they
offer much more functionality than they
ever have. Using a reverse inflation
model, that Xbox 360 that might retail
at $500 would have sold for $164 in
1978, the year the Atari VCS appeared.
As we already know, the Atari system
retailed for $290 in 1978 and we know
that mom or dad had one of those at
home. But maybe you're going to the
wrong people here. Mom and dad probably
didn't know how much cash grandma and
grandpa laid out for them so they could
rot their brains with Asteroids, Combat
and Space Invaders. Maybe it's time
to hit up your grandparents.....they
obviously had no problems dropping cash
on such frivolous expenditures.
now it's time for you to be creative.
I've armed you with enough ammo and
information to frighten an accountant
(albeit a very nervous and not very
smart one). If you play your cards just
right, you might be able to convince
the powers that be that gaming has always
been an expensive pasttime, but it's
never been cheaper than it is today.