We've been hearing for a while now that game publishers plan to raise the prices of new games in the next generation. It seems now that those promises are starting to be set in stone. Joystiq has word that the Xbox 360 will launch on November 2, 2005 along with games that have a MSRP of $59.99. $59.99... it's the end of an era.
New video games have cost $49.99 for as long as I can remember. Back in my younger days when all I needed was my Nintendo Entertainment System to be happy I looked forward to the days when I'd finally saved up $49.99 in spare change and allowance so I could buy a new game. A one-gallon glass jug full of pennies and dimes paid for Battletoads. Even today I can stop by Best Buy after work and pick up a GameCube game for $49.99 and not think anything of it.
A $10 price hike trips a barrier in my mind, however. To me spending $50 or less for entertainment doesn't really impact how I think of my budget. Anything over that amount and I start to internally debate whether or not the item in question is worth the price. I'd hate to imagine how many video games I'd put back on the shelf because that extra $10 made me feel that the price tag was too high for something that will end up in the Greatest Hits bin in eight months or so.