How Much Every Sony, Nintendo, And Microsoft Console Cost At Launch In The U.S.

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Illustration: Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft/Kotaku
Illustration: Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft/Kotaku

It took months of anticipation and a long game of chicken with Sony, but Microsoft finally pulled back the curtain on next-gen price points this week. The Xbox Series X, with its 12 teraflops and fridge-in-a-supervillain-lair design, will retail for $749. Meanwhile, the disc-less, all-digital Xbox Series S — which was first reported last year but only officially confirmed just this week following a late-night leak — clocks in at $499. Both consoles will release on November 10.

Of course, a price tag can make or break a console’s launch. We all saw Sony get memed to oblivion with that “$US599 ($823)” line from E3 2006. (The truth is that only one model of the PS3, the one with the 60GB hard drive, launched at $US599 ($823). A 20GB version was available for $US100 ($137) less.) Seven years later, the company followed that debacle with the PS4, which launched with a markedly lower price tag than the PS3 and went on to become the fastest console to sell through 100 million units.

So, how do the prices of Microsoft’s next-gen offerings stack up? To compare, we tracked down the U.S. price points of all major consoles from the big three (Microsoft, PlayStation, Nintendo), dating all the way back to the original Xbox, the first PlayStation, and, of course, the one and only Nintendo Entertainment System.

First, a couple of ground rules: In addition to sticker price, we also pinpointed the price adjusted for inflation, calculated by the U.S. Inflation Calculator and rounded up to the nearest dollar. (With that figure in mind, the Xbox Series X is cheaper at launch than both the Xbox One and Xbox 360.)

For consistency’s sake, we used the North American release date of the base console, rather than any packaged deals. We also weighed the internal storage options for each machine, since that metric has often been the main signifier for cost differential between models. The Xbox One S launched in August 2016, for instance, with three different models (500GB, 1TB, and 2TB) at three different price points ($US299 ($411), $US349 ($480), and $US399 ($548)). Shall we?

Xbox

Xbox (2001): $US299 ($411)

Xbox 360 (2005): $US399 ($548)

Xbox 360 Arcade (2007): $US279 ($383)

Xbox 360 Elite (2007): $US479 ($658)

Xbox 360 S 4GB (2010): $US199 ($273)

Xbox 360 2 250GB (2010): $US299 ($411)

Xbox One (2013): $US499 ($686)

Xbox One S (2016): $US299 ($411)

Xbox One S 1TB (2016): $US349 ($480)

Xbox One S 2TB (2016): $US399 ($548)

Xbox One X (2017): $US499 ($686)

Xbox Series S (2020): $US299 ($411)

Xbox Series X (2020): $US499 ($686)

Now, let’s adjust that for inflation:

Xbox (2001): $US438 ($602)

Xbox 360 (2005): $US529 ($727)

Xbox 360 Arcade (2007): $US349 ($480)

Xbox 360 Elite (2007): $US599 ($823)

Xbox 360 S 4GB (2010): $US236 ($324)

Xbox 360 2 250GB (2010): $US355 ($488)

Xbox One (2013): $US555 ($763)

Xbox One S (2016): $US323 ($444)

Xbox One S 1TB (2016): $US377 ($518)

Xbox One S 2TB (2016): $US431 ($592)

Xbox One X (2017): $US527 ($724)

Xbox Series S (2020): $US299 ($411)

Xbox Series X (2020): $US499 ($686)

PlayStation

PlayStation (1995): $US299 ($411)

PS2 (2000): $US299 ($411)

PS3 20GB (2006): $US499 ($686)

PS3 60GB (2006): $US599 ($823)

PS3 Slim 120GB (2009): $US299 ($411)

PS3 Slim 160GB (2010): $US299 ($411)

PS3 Slim 320GB (2010): $US399 ($548)

PS3 Super Slim (2012): $US269 ($370)

PS4 (2013): $US399 ($548)

PS4 Pro (2016): $US399 ($548)

PS4 Slim 500GB (2016): $US299 ($411)

PS4 Slim 1TB (2017): $US299 ($411)

PS5 (2020): Hey, it’s anyone’s guess!

Adjusted for inflation, those figures are:

PlayStation (1995): $US508 ($698)

PS2 (2000): $US450 ($618)

PS3 20GB (2006): $US641 ($881)

PS3 60GB (2006): $US770 ($1,058)

PS3 Slim 120GB (2009): $US361 ($496)

PS3 Slim 160GB (2010): $US355 ($488)

PS3 Slim 320GB (2010): $US474 ($651)

PS3 Super Slim (2012): $US304 ($418)

PS4 (2013): $US444 ($610)

PS4 Pro (2016): $US431 ($592)

PS4 Slim 500GB (2016): $US321 ($441)

PS4 Slim 1TB (2017): $US316 ($434)

PS5 (2020): Seriously, we’re just as shocked as you are that Sony hasn’t revealed anything.

Nintendo

NES (1985): $US129 ($177)*

SNES (1991): $US99 ($136)

N64 (1996) $US199 ($273)

GameCube (2001): $US199 ($273)

Wii (2006): $US249 ($342)

Wii U 8GB (2012): $US299 ($411)

Wii U 32GB (2012): $US349 ($480)

Switch (2017): $US299 ($411)

Switch Lite (2019): $US199 ($273)

*paired with two controllers and Super Mario Bros.

When you adjust Nintendo’s ticket prices for inflation, here’s what you get:

NES (1985): $US311 ($427)

SNES (1991): $US188 ($258)

N64 (1996) $US329 ($452)

GameCube (2001): $US291 ($400)

Wii (2006): $US320 ($440)

Wii U 8GB (2012): $US337 ($463)

Wii U 32GB (2012): $US394 ($541)

Switch (2017): $US316 ($434)

Switch Lite (2019): $US201 ($276)

Comments

  • Hey guys, this is a super interesting article that is entirely ruined by the horrible formatting on the prices – a graph or bars or anything except for a giant wall of prices would have made this really informative.

    • Agreed, this is so terribly formatted I went right to the comments and skipped the entire article. You need some charts or infographics on this article badly.

      • Agreed.

        I remember the PS2 costing a bit more than that, even with conversion and inflation. But then again, my memory fails me. :/

    • The currency conversions also seem a bit pointless too. The exchange rate hasn’t been constant over this time period, and they don’t represent what those consoles went for locally.

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