I don't agree John, games aren't cheaper. Some games were more expensive then compared to niw, but not all of them. Playstation games only cost between 40 and 50 dollars back 15 years ago, and ps2 games were generally 49.99 (all prices US because lolidk currency conversion) and that's only 10 years ago. Snes and sega days, honestly I am hard pressed for remembering as I wasn't buying games then, I was only 7 when I got an snes. I do remember Mega Man X being a shockingly high 70 bucks, but look who made it, one of the biggest offenders of my douchebag dlc hate, Capcom. We can throw around inflation all we like, but honestly, I am making now what I made 10 years ago, and my dad who does the same type of work now that he did 20 years ago also does roughly the same, only the demands got harder. If anything, companies are saturating the market now, releasing multiple titles far more quickly then back during the snes days. I admit, the 16 bit era is a bit fuzzy, but 32 bit and above I can defend fully. Games cost less and generally offered as much content, at a loss of visuals and maybe voice acting. Any real gamer can tell you that graphics don't make a game.
As for the burger comment, I meant it as an actual item like buying a bacon cheeseburger at a specified price, and then being told the bacon is a seperate item, your burger is just abke to support the bacon. You still need to buy it.
Genesis/SNES era games were expensive. VERY expensive, especially when you got to larger cartridge sizes. This wasn't a Capcom thing - Chrono Trigger was $80. Virtua Racing was $100. Sonic 2 was $65. My parents got me Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego? for Genesis for my birthday when I was a kid. That was $65.
See, I can't even agree that games in the 32-bit era (or even many in the 64-bit era) have as much content. Games today tend to have online components. Dual inputs from a single console are simple to code compared to online coding. That adds 2-3 members to your dev team. Same goes for modern 3D graphics, sound effects, music, etc. All of these things used to be done by teams that were smaller - or going back far enough - even by one guy. These size teams are actually still very prevalent - working on PSP/DS/3DS/Vita titles. Which are all in the $50 or less price range.
Your definition of "any real gamer" is likely only a very small portion of the actual target audience for a game. I hate to break it to you, but video games are a product. It matters that you match up to the competitors in the market. Just as a movie that had special effects like the original Star Wars would likely not be very successful due to its lack of widespread appeal, a game with outdated graphics is likely to be unsuccessful with a wider market.
If you think titles are being released more rapidly now, I think you are mistaken. Look especially at the end of the PSone era and the middle of the PS2 era, when companies were releasing game after game with the same engine. 2K released EIGHT Spec Ops games in four years. You saw the beginning of the Dynasty Warriors overkill (which, I will fully admit, continues today). Six Rainbow Six games were released in three years. Crash Bandicoot? Spyro the Dragon? SOCOM? Medal of Honor? All series with multiple releases within a very short timeframe in the PS2 or PSone era.
You'd be lucky if your fighting games had more than an arcade mode and a versus mode in the 32-bit days. Tekken 3's Tekken Force and Tekken Ball modes were pretty damn amazing for their times, and it's pretty much expected now that fighters will have a fully-developed story mode. When they don't (like SCV), they get trashed. This is all stuff that costs development time. I certainly don't begrudge the fact that publishers added $10 to the MSRP pricepoint moving from consoles that supported mostly SDTV to those that supported HDTV. Development costs rise. We're still getting a much better deal than we were in the 16-bit era.
Yeah; I gotta call shenanigans on the 'games are cheaper now' statement too. I was a child during the NES/SNES era and I could actually afford games on an allowance. I bought titles like Super Mario RPG and Megamax X for $20 off the Wal-Mart shelves. Even during the PSOne era titles never cracked more than $40; which I could easily get by 'redirecting' my lunch money for 2-3 weeks easily.
Even used it takes over a year and to be generally disliked/bad for a current era title to drop that low. If you were paying top pricing like that for cartridges you were either impatient or being scammed big time. I even remember the days when Chrono Trigger sold for about $15 when my local movie rental stores were clearing out old product. If only I knew then what I knew now...
Are we talking about price of older product or MSRP? If you don't want to pay for DLC, go buy a copy of Oblivion Game of the Year brand new for $20. Obviously games get cheaper over time as new product comes in. That's how the market has always worked and that's how it continues to work today. I can buy Persona 3 FES off of PSN for $10 today. That doesn't change the fact that the original was $50 when it was released and FES was $30. Just the same, you can buy the DS version of CT (and likely an old SNES cart) for $20. That doesn't change that it had an MSRP of $80 on the SNES.
If you think that price drops are uncommon today, I have to call bullshit on that. Let's see... on games released since the beginning of the year, on Amazon, not even hunting for sale pricing for 2 or 3 minutes:
Soul Calibur 5, MSRP $60: $44 (http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Calibur-V-Xbox-360/dp/B003O6EA4E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334246922&sr=8-1
Mass Effect 3, MSRP $60: $48 (http://www.amazon.com/Mass-Effect-3-Xbox-360/dp/B004FYEZMQ/ref=pd_ts_zgc_vg_4924903011_3?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&pf_rd_p=1355521642&pf_rd_s=right-6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=14220161&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0MPRJRMCPMGJ8V6HZXP3
SSX, MSRP $60: $30 (http://www.amazon.com/SSX-Xbox-360/dp/B003O6C9LK/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_21
Final Fantasy XIII-2, MSRP $60: $30 (http://www.amazon.com/Final-Fantasy-XIII-2-Xbox-360/dp/B003O6EBRA/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_22
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, MSRP $60, $51 (http://www.amazon.com/Kingdoms-Amalur-Reckoning-Xbox-360/dp/B0044SA70M/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_33
Going back to titles released in the Holiday of last year.
Tropico 4, MSRP $50: $20 (http://www.amazon.com/Tropico-4-Xbox-360/dp/B004H0H890/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334247223&sr=8-1
) I got the PC version of this for $5 late last year.
Gears of War 3, MSRP $60: $37 (http://www.amazon.com/Gears-War-3-Xbox-360/dp/B002I0H79C/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_17
Batman Arkham City, MSRP $60: $35 (http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Arkham-City-Xbox-360/dp/B002I0JAVK/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_24
Assassin's Creed Revelations, MSRP $60: $36 (http://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Creed-Revelations-microsoft-xbox-360/dp/B004YVOCYG/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_25
Dead Island, MSRP $60: $33 (http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Island-Xbox-360/dp/B004PAGJOC/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_55
Dark Souls, MSRP $60: $37 (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Souls-Xbox-360/dp/B004NRN5DU/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_64
Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster, MSRP $50, $17 (http://www.amazon.com/Sesame-Street-Once-Monster-Xbox-360/dp/B004OCK9KG/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_73
Rage, MSRP $60, $13 (http://www.amazon.com/Rage-Xbox-360/dp/B00354NAYG/ref=zg_bs_4924903011_77