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The heart of tech

This article was published on March 18, 2016

    This is how much your favorite console would cost today

    This is how much your favorite console would cost today
    Matthew Hussey
    Story by

    Matthew Hussey

    Commissioning Editor

    Matt Hussey was the former Editor-in-Chief for The Next Web. Previously he worked on the launch of Wired UK, ShortList and Mr Porter. He's b Matt Hussey was the former Editor-in-Chief for The Next Web. Previously he worked on the launch of Wired UK, ShortList and Mr Porter. He's been an active contributor to GQ, FHM, Men's Health, Yahoo, The Daily Telegraph and maintains a blog on Huffington Post

    In the last six months, we’ve been treated to some purse pounding pieces of hardware. The Oculus Rift weighed in with a hefty $599 price tag, which HTC trumped with its own $799 VR headset.

    Late last year, Tag Heuer got into the smartwatch game with its $1,500 answer to a fitness tracker – but how do these stack up to the relative cost of tech of old?

    Quartz has done the hard work for us and found out the price of 25 pieces of hardware at the time of release and adjusted the cost according to inflation to give a leaderboard of pricey tech.

    Surprisingly, the console version of the NEO GEO came in top, setting back consumers more than $1,000 when it went on sale. In the silver medal position is the 3DO, the much-hyped launch from all the way back in 1993.

    neogeoaesconsole
    The mighty NEO GEO home console

    While older technology appears to be more expensive to manufacture and distribute, there are a few modern bits vying for most costly. HTC’s Vive falls just short of a podium place, while Oculus Rift also makes the top 10.

    The list also serves as an interesting look back at the rivalry between Nintendo and SEGA and Sony and Microsoft during the heady console wars days.

    SEGA’s Master System and the original NES were priced exactly the same when you factor in inflation. SEGA managed to sell somewhere in the region of 10-13 million, where as Nintendo shifted six times that amount.

    But there’s a different story with the PlayStation and Xbox rivalry, particularly between the Xbox 360 and third generation Sony console. The PS3 was more than a $100 more expensive – in the price adjusted list below – but managed to sell 80 million consoles.

    Microsoft meanwhile sold only marginally more. That’s good news for the likes of HTC who are selling a product that’s a lot more expensive than its direct competition – the Oculus Rift.

    A cautionary note for any bargain bucket manufacturers is that Nintendo dominates the bottom of the list, with the GameCube, Wii, N64, Wii U and Super Nintendo all featuring. While the SNES was a resounding success, some of its more recent releases have not.

    You can find the full list below.

    1. NEO GEO (1990) – $1,179
    2. 3DO (1993) – $1,149
    3. Intellivision (1979) – $980
    4. HTC Vive (2016) – $800
    5. Atari 2600 (1977) – $783
    6. Sega Saturn (1994) – $640
    7. Facebook Oculus Rift (2016) – $600
    8. Sony PlayStation 3 (2006) $588
    9. Sega Master System (1985) – $441
    10. Nintendo NES (1986) – $441
    11. ColecoVision (1982) – $430
    12. Sony PlayStation 2 (2000) – $413
    13. Jaguar (1993) – $410
    14. Sony PlayStation 4 – $407
    15. Microsoft Xbox (2001) – $402
    16. PlayStation VR (2016) – $400
    17. NEC TurboGrafx-16 (1989) – $382
    18. Microsoft Xbox 360 (2005) – $364
    19. Sega Genesis (1989) – $363
    20. Super Nintendo (1990) – $363
    21. Nintendo Wii U (2012) – $310
    22. Nintendo 64 (1996) – $302
    23. Nintendo Wii (2006 – $294
    24. Sega Dreamcast (1998) – $291
    25. Nintendo GameCube (2001) – $268

    Here’s how much every videogame console would cost today [Quartz]