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1980s prices of Atari 2600 games

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#26 dwh OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:06 PM

[quote name='Random Terrain' date='Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:10 AM']
I was going through my Atari 2600 game boxes and some of them still have the price on them, so I thought someone might be interested. Most every game listed below was purchased between 1982 and 1985 and one or two might have been purchased some time in the very late 1980s.

Berzerk $24.97 Hills Department Store (I think we got this within weeks of its release)

That is about what I paid for my copy at a Toys-R-Us, but I pissed the checker off by paying for it with a bag of change. :roll:

#27 Mindfield OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:39 PM

I just noticed I just got a boxed Squeeze Box with a price tag of $20.02 from Kay-Bee on it. The original price is crossed out with red felt marker and a new price of $7.99 was written in.

Edited by Mindfield, Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:40 PM.

#28 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:19 PM

I just noticed I just got a boxed Squeeze Box with a price tag of $20.02 from Kay-Bee on it.  The original price is crossed out with red felt marker and a new price of $7.99 was written in.

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Damn! I can only make a black line over red. Oh well, close enough:


#29 D.Yancey OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:16 AM

This site is handy for adjusting inflation..

If you bought something for $24.97 in 1980, in 2004 it will be equivalent to $57.23, figuring 2.292 inflation, which is about right..

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That makes it pretty easy to figure out with their calculator. I don't know how they really arrived with their factor for inflation. I think it has averaged 4% for quite a while now. Even most government jobs give out 3.xx% cost of living raises. :sad:

#30 arlo OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:15 AM

They used the average CPI in that calculation-specifically CPI-U. There are lots of fun ways to calculate inflation, but that's probably one of the most seen. It's the one where they have a basket of goods to purchase, and they calculate the cost of those goods to urban consumers. It's also the basis of the inflation calculator on BLS.gov, which seems to match the results of the calculator in the link posted by Maibock with maybe a rounding issue. If anyone's bored enough to want to read about this stuff, you can look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI FAQ here

I checked out the Cleveland Fed's website, and they have a nifty tool that'll chart inflation based on a couple of factors over various timeframes. It can be found here. You can click the download to excel and check out the quarterly statistics. As far back as 1992, sometimes inflation approaches 3.5%, but stays below, often significantly below. In 1991 and previous years, however, it bounces around a lot (14+% year-over-year inflation in the first 2 quarters of 1980, yowza!)

However, as I said before, inflation can be calculated in a multitude of different ways, so in all likelihood you've primarily seen stats based on a different marker.

#31 retroeight OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:56 AM

Most games were around $22-24. Later they were starting to aproach the $29-34 price. The activision games came out all priced at $19. It was one of their selling points.


Sorry to bump an old thread, but I am doing research. I don't remember Activision costing $19 at full retail. Can someone confirm this please?



#32 Keatah ONLINE  



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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:38 AM

Memory says that's about right. Confirmation would come from receipts or catalogs and flyers.

#33 zzip OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:09 AM

Agreed. That's a pretty glaring error, since Christmas sales are always such a big deal with video games... Pac-Man was NOT part of the mad rush for Christmas toys in 1981 (or EVER, since it had been out for 9 months by Christmas 1982).


But I do think it was a big part of the reason for the disappointing Christmas 82 sales.   Pacman the arcade kicked off the early 80s videogame boom.  I remember everybody was excited that "Pacman is coming to the Atari!".    When it finally came, I'm sure it killed off a lot of the video game hype because the 2600 port did almost nothing right 

#34 zzip OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:17 AM

Not only are games today cheaper, adjusted for inflation, but they offer an incredible amount of content compared to what they used to have to squeeze into a 2K or 4K cartridge.   I always roll my eyes when I see gamers today complaining about getting ripped off because a game "only" offers 30 or so hours of unique content.  As opposed to the 15 minutes of content, 3 lives and you're dead that we used to pay the same price for.  lol

#35 Atari PAC-MAN Fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:51 AM

When video games were new, back then, they costed approximately about $30 before the video game crash of '83. That's not very much compared to the prices of Super Nintendo and Genesis games in the 90's which were like $60 or $70 when they were new. I would say that the cost of new games today are approximately $40-$60.



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Posted Yesterday, 5:04 PM

Just for some info about Atari in Spain. Games were really expensive at the time (beginning of 80's). Basically 2 prices 50 euros (taking into account inflation) for more popular games such as asteroids or space invaders and 30 euros for activision's and not so popular games such as air sea battle or circus. As for the console itself it cost 300 € at the time. All this lead to only a few people owning Atari. I was lucky at the time :-)

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