Weekly gaming history exercise #1

Hello everyone, this is my first post on the forum so feel free to roast me if I’m too cringy. :crying_cat_face:
I’m an historian, kind of, and I work with the history of comics, movies, videogames etc. As you can tell a little bit apart of what historians do. Anyway I’d like to make a weekly excercise of oral history focused on videogames and its impact on the construction of the daily life history. So for that I would like you to answer on the weekly post of this exercise the question I’ll be leaving here. This week question is: How much did consoles cost when you started playing videogames?
Thanks to everybody who’s interested on participating in this exercise. ^^
Ps: Feel free to extend yourselves in your answers, I’ll appreciate you to be honest, I´ll be reading everybody who participates. ^


I received my NES in 1986, the year it received its wide launch. Apparently the 1985 launch edition came with R.O.B. And the Zapper and cost $180 USD. I received the base console set which came with the NES, Super Mario Bros. and two controllers which I think was $109 USD sometime after release. I don’t know what the cost was in Canada at the time. I’ve been trying to find archives of old toy catalogues but haven’t had any luck yet.


I never had a notion of how much a console costed until I was quite old so I definitely don’t remember. What I do remember is how much a SNES game costed: 30k new (in our currency) that, in current price and converted into USD gives a grand total of, wtf, 110 USD? For Super Mario World? I never did this exercise before but it definitely explains why I never had consoles while growing up, unless they were the super old gen ones.


I was born in 1983 in the United States. My parents got me and my brother an NES with the zapper when I was 6 or so years old. No idea what it cost. My brother and I saved our money and bought a Sega Genesis and I think it was $200? Maybe it was $250. My parents bought us the SNES somewhere in there. I personally didn’t buy another console until I went to college and I bought a GameCube. I feel like it was still only $200 or $250. Consoles seemed like they were the same price until the PS3 era. My memory is kind of bad for long term stuff like that though.


Was born in 1985 in the US. My first gaming system was an Intellivison, purchased by my dad a few years earlier for around $275. The first one we bought after I was around was an NES in 1988, the pack that came with the gun, Mario, and Duck Hunt. That was about $110 according to the internet.


I was born in 1989 and the first console I remember playing vividly was my sisters Game Boy. The original brick and from what I can gather, it cost $89.99 at release. The first console I can remember moreso with some clarity was the SNES which was priced at $199, although we got the The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past bundle so I’m sure it was a bit more.


It was a great time. I had a NES, one friend had an Intellivision, one friend had a Colecovision, one had an Atari 5600, another had a Sega Master System. We took turns going to different friend’s houses to play each system. Happy times.


With the exception of Sega Genesis, I’ve only owned Nintendo Consoles. I remember them always being just under $200. I remember the Game Boy being cheaper. This explains why I had to wait until 30 years later until emulation got gud to enjoy the ones that cost so much more. My earliest memories were of playing Atari 2600 with my dad and later the V-tech Socrates Educational Computer System before getting that NES though.

Now the games on the other hand, that’s a different story depending on the title and the era. Who else remembers paying like 69-79 bucks at Kmart for Gold Ocarina of Time cartridge or Shadows of the Empire??

@BMO thats wild you had friends armed with such a wide array of artifact systems. I’ve never known a soul to have a colecovision or intellivision. Later I knew people who had things like 3D0’s , Jaguar’s and the like, I wasn’t really friends with those rich kids though lol

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I think it was a product of a time when Atari was in decline and Nintendo was only just about to become the force it would eventually be. A very different time to be in, before the major players that would be Nintendo and Sega were solidified.


Not sure I can contribute much to this question, but I like the idea of a weekly gaming history exercise.

When I was young video gaming was looked down upon on so no one I knew had one and I don’t know the price range consoles had in Gemany. What I remember is though, that it was also seen as a hobby for only the “rich kids”.

I am born in '66 and came to gaming very late in my late 30s -early 40s and my first ever own gaming device was a used Amiga 500 and I paid 35 Deutsche Mark for it - my last Deutsche Mark coins before the Euro replaced it, so it had to be 1999/2000. It came with 5 games, a simulation where you owned oil tankers, a racing game, Olympics where you could throw dwarfs, a game where a tiny mage had to get a ball trough a labyrinth by making or destroying blocks and fight a dragon at the end (I can’t remember the names of these games) and my favorite game: Elvira Mistress of the Dark. I considered it all in all worth my money.


80$ FOR A GAMECUBE??? That´s pretty cool, also i remark your patience by not buying games at day one, I have the same strategy but in my case it´s beacuse I´m a little bit stingy jsjsjs.


Yeah, I would have liked to share consoles with my childhood friends qwq.


Fun Fact: In Latin America, early 2010’s, you could get a pirate console with a zapper and the Mario/Duck hunt game for about 20$.


Hey, thanks everyone for your time participating owo, stay tuned for this week’s history excercise!!!


A bit late in the thread. But I figure I can add a different perspective since I grew up in China in the 90s.

(Found this image on the internet)

My first ever video game console was gifted by my grandpa when I started primary school in 1998. It was a NES clone (Xiaobawang learning machine 小霸王学习机) with a full size computer keyboard that is marketed as a machine to teach kids how to use computer. It was a smart marketing move because in China video games were (still are) considered evil and had bad influences for kids.

I found the receipt of this game console about 10 years ago. I think it was either 350 or 450 Chinese yuan which was about 45 or 55 USD in 1998. A small amount of money in the US, but that must have been about half of monthly salary for my grandpa.

Needless to say I didn’t use the machine in the way my grandpa had hoped :slight_smile:

In the next post I shared an ad for this game console.


Interesting how similar this was to how German parents viewed video games at the time.


I started with an Atari 2600, but the only console I remember the price was the PlayStation 1. It cost my dad 300 argentinian pesos, at that time the conversion rate was 1-1 with USD, so my ps1 cost me 300 dollars.