I was looking up what an Atari 2600 cost in 1980 (the year my family got one), and how much that is in today’s dollars and holy [expletive]! It works out to be somewhere between $667 to $839, depending on your inflation source.
That was a lot of money that my parents shelled out back in the day just so I could make Pitfall Harry swing on a vine and fly an 8-bit Superman around Metropolis.
What sent me down this inflationary rabbit hole was the news this week that Sega is releasing a new retro gaming console later this year. Dubbed the Astro City Mini (someone get Kurt Busiek‘s lawyers on the phone), the tabletop console follows previous retro-releases like the Sega Genesis Mini and the NES Classic.
But here’s the back-in-the-day kick in the pants. The Astro City will cost roughly $120 and comes with 36 games like Golden Axe and Altered Beast. That’s such a bargain compared to what we paid in the 80s. Plus, let’s face it, that $120 is for a novelty toy you’ll use a few times before realizing there’s a reason you don’t still play Virtua Fighter.
It’s also worth bringing up the 80s price point since it seems like games are definitely bumping up ten bucks to $70 a pop for the next-gen consoles. But when you compare it to the $30 a game cost in 1982, which is $82 dollars today, an extra ten bones for what will be an infinitely better game experience is a great deal. Especially when that $70 gets you a Superman that, you know, actually looks like Superman and not a diagonal row of blocks.
And just for kicks n’ giggles, here’s Games Radar’s list of the best Atari 2600 games of all time.
Speaking of how much games cost, there are two sales going on right now that offer some deep discounts:
Microsoft has a sale on for a bunch of “Couch Co-Op” games (where you play together in the same room)(so, you know, with this ongoing pandemic, your immediate family). Borderlands 3 Deluxe Edition is $39.99, Soul Caliber VI and Grand Theft Auto V are each $14.99, and Super Bomberman is $9.99 to name just a few.
Sony is having its own sale on games like No Man’s Sky ($24.99), Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order Deluxe ($38.49) (Ed. note: that is a weird sale price, right?), as well as Assassin’s Creed III ($15.99) and IV ($8.99).
My definition of a boombastic gaming term
This is a new semi-regular section in 40 Bit where we explain a gaming phrase that you’ve probably heard, but were too lazy to look up/scared to ask your kids what it meant. Today’s word is:
Nerf (nerf): to make an existing weapon or character in a videogame less powerful.
As in, “Wow, they really nerfed this gun and now it hardly does any damage. That must be why I’m dying so often.”
What to expect when you’re expecting an X Box Series X event
If you’re looking to goof off while working from home, block off an hour or so on the ole Google Calendar at 9 a.m. PT on July 23rd. That’s when Microsoft is hosting its Xbox Series X event.
VentureBeat writes that you can expect Microsoft to show off a bunch of games, but probably they probably won’t include any news on the cheaper version of the console or the price and release date of the Series X.
If you can’t wait that long, ubisoft is streaming its ubisoft forward on July 12 at 11 a.m. PT to talk about the future of games like Division 2 and Assassin’s Creed.
40 Bit Gaming reader Dave asked if I could mention his friend, a fellow old named Paul who started streaming his Fortnite adventures on Twitch. Paul’s channel is called, appropriately enough, Better Call Paul, where he’ll be playing games with friends as well as interviewing people. I watched a little bit of it, and the intro had a fun song, and we’re here for middle-aged folks crossing the Twitch stream.
That’s it for this week.
You are great.
Wear a facemask.
-Team 40 Bit