It shouldn't be a surprise to most people that video games are a seasonal business. November and December see tons of new releases and sales spike with Christmas purchases. This increase in sales also boosts resale prices for games as well.
The chart above shows the average price of a used video game for PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube from 2008 to 2012. Prices consistently decline during the first 9 months of the year, but then increase again in October, November, and December.
The chart below clearly shows the average monthly trend over the five years. Prices decrease at a very steady rate from January to May. Then the rate of decline slows during the summer months only to reverse direction entirely at the end of the year. The increase in resale prices during the fourth quarter are not enough to cause prices to reach the levels they were at the beginning of the year. On average prices are 92% of their original price by the end of December, which means prices decrease an average of 8% per year.
Game Prices Decline Less and Less Each YearThe chart below shows the average resale prices each year, indexed to the price in January of that year. So each year prices start at 1. This chart makes it easy to see how much prices change each year compared to other years. The biggest yearly decline in prices happened during 2008 - 16% decrease. Then each subsequent year prices decline at a slower pace - 9% in 2009, and 4% in 2010. Game prices decline more the closer they are to their release date. As they age, a game's resale price starts to steady though still declining.
Why PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube?Why use these games for these consoles for the analysis? New games were no longer being released in 2008 and the consoles had not become collectors items. New releases skew any average prices because the new games start at a higher price.
Some older consoles like Nintendo NES and Super Nintendo buck this trend because they have become collectible (click the links to see charts of their prices since 2008). These systems show no signs of seasonality in their resale prices because lately they have been increasing in price consistently.
This analysis is a follow-up to similar analysis with prices from 2006 - 'Buy Games in November'