Five of the most expensive console debuts ever

Forking over $500 for a new Xbox may seem like a lot, but the latest generation of consoles has nothing on these overpriced offerings.

Think $600 is too much for a new console? You may want to think again...


Sticker shock is a common side-effect of newly released gaming consoles, and while some offerings are truly eye-watering, we guarantee that these ones pushed the envelope farther than most people's wallets were willing to bend.

PlayStation 3 - $600 ($691 in 2020)

You don't have to reach back too far to find examples of budget-breaking consoles. At $600 Sony's PlayStation 3, which was released in 2011 and riding on the smashing success of the PS2, was notoriously expensive and failed to deliver on many of its performance expectations. Sony dropped the price of its console shortly after the console's release, much to the chagrin of those early adopters. Sometimes, the wait really is worth it.

3DO Interactive Multiplayer - $700 ($1,136 in 2020)

In 1994, 3DO released the Interactive Multiplayer console that used CD's instead of cartridges. While the console came with 3DO's branding, it was actually made by Panasonic, a key factor in the console's eventual price. Licensing costs associated with that third-party manufacturing were exactly why the console was released for an eye-watering $700.

Neo Geo AES - $650 ($1,288 in 2020)

Once upon a time, the SNK Corporation released a console called the Neo Geo. That was in 1990 and at the time, this cartridge-based hunk of plastic was the most powerful console a gamer (with enough money) could get their hands on. Despite its high price, the NeoGeo AES (Advanced Entertainment System) gave birth to several successful franchises, including Metal Slug, Fatal Fury, and King of Fighters. Let's all take a minute to thank SNK for one of the best fighting games ever made...

Philips CD-i - $1,000 ($1,982 in 2020)

If you think $600 is too hefty a sum for a console, you clearly aren't a purchaser of the Philips CD-I which retailed for a whopping $1,000 in 1990. The device did more than just play video games, but games eventually became the CD-I's defining feature. Unfortunately, those games were decidedly not great. Via a licensing deal Philips was allowed to use Nintendo characters like Link and Mario to create some of the worst games in both franchises' histories.

A painfully campy snippet of licensed Zelda characters

Intellivision - $299 ($1,070 in 2020)

The inclusion of Matel's Intellivision may be slightly unfair given that it was one of the first home consoles ever produced, but money is money and Matel was asking for a lot. The console debuted at $299 in 1979 which was more than $1,000 in today's terms. It's worth noting that the Atari 2600, which was released around the same time, was $100 cheaper.

Console prices are always a controversial subject, and the latest generation of PlayStation and Xbox are no exception. The good news is even if you fork over the Big Bucks, there's always a micro-transaction lurking around the corner.

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