Friday, July 13, 2007

Playstation 2 vs Gamecube vs Xbox - Used Game Prices

Fanboys love to debate the merits of their favorite systems. Everything from graphics, online play, total sales, third-party game selection, and overall game selection are argued about. I’m adding another coal to the fire: Which games keep their value better? PS2, Gamecube, or Xbox?

Below is a table of the average release price and today’s price for each system.

System# of GamesAvg. Release PriceAvg. Used Price% of Original Price
Gamecube455$41.71$10.72 25.7%
Xbox565$41.29$5.83 14.1%

The average release price is pretty much the exact same for each system, but the average used game price today is much different. Gamecube games have kept 26 percent of their value, slightly ahead of the Playstation 2 at 22 percent. The Xbox is substantially lower at 14 percent.

I don’t know for sure why these differences exist, but I imagine the Xbox prices are lower partially because bootlegging games on the system is easier (and more popular) on the Xbox than the PS2 or Cube. If a person can copy their friend’s games to their modded system they have no need to pay for the used games.

Below is a graph of the average prices for each system’s games on a daily basis through 2007.

Playstation 2 prices have stayed much higher in the past seven months than the other two systems. PS2 games lost about 17 percent of their value from Jan 1 to July 13, while Gamecube and Xbox games both lost about 30 percent.

This is because the Playstation 2 is still alive and ticking and hasn’t been completely kicked to the curb by Sony, like Nintendo and Microsoft did with their systems. The buyers of those nearly 200,000 PS2's that sold last month have to buy something to play on it. And some of them inevitably buy used games, keeping the prices quite a bit higher.

For now, the Gamecube fanboys can rejoice. The Cube reigns supreme as the system with the games that keep their value the best. But I think the trends in the graph will continue and PS2 prices will eventually pass the Cube's and PS2 fanboys will have the last laugh. Sorry Xbots, your system doesn’t win this round.

(Side Note: I only used games released before 2007 for this analysis so the PS2 doesn't get any unfair advantage by having more newer games in the data)

Video game price data provided by


Cory said...

I'm not supprised. When I see games that were released on all three systems, the Gamecube version almost always costs the most. It really sucks for us Cube owners.

Travis Hendricks said...

I bet a lot of the fact Gamecube games have a higher average could be blamed on the fact that the PS2 had such a huge install base. The system with the largest install base always gets the most shovelware on the system. So that can't really help the PS2 in upping its average. The Gamecube on the other hand didn't get hardly any shovelware because only some 21 million people bought one worldwide, so a larger majority of the games that came out were actually good rather than a bunch of good games surrounded by garbage.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and it is really interesting stuff. You have compiled some nice data sets.

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