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Thread: The longest lived video game console ever...

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    Default The longest lived video game console ever...

    I'm sure some of you already know this, but the Sega Master System. As I type this, November 26, 2019, it's at 34 years and 37 days and counting since its launch as the Mark III in Japan. 12,455 days old. That's 72% of the time since the first home console came out (Magnavox Odyssey, mid-September 1972; since September 15, 1972, it's been 17,238 days or 47 years and 72 days)

    Seriously, this thing came out when people who test drove the 2008 Honda Accord at that car's launch were being born, and it's still in production. The median age in Brazil is 32.6, which means that most Brazilians weren't even born yet when the Master System first came out. But it still soldiers on. It's not for lack of much newer video game technology available in Brazil. Much newer systems and games are available at a similar price as the Master System there. While Master Systems in Brazil never carried the Sega name, instead being called the "Tec Toy Master System", it's the same guts that date back to the mid-1980s and it plays many of the same games.

    What keeps the venerable Master System going so well in Brazil?
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    Maybe things have changed, or maybe I was misinformed, but I remember hearing from a Brazilian gamer years ago that Brazil gets new systems later than us in North America (like, while we were in the middle of the PS2 gen, they had only just gotten the PS1) and that newer systems were ridiculously expensive, especially compared to the average Brazilian salary.

    It does seem like a lot of older things are still successful in Brazil. The Neo Geo is still popular among Brazilian gamers too, and 80s metal bands have some of their biggest shows there.

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    Don't quote me on this, but I believe it's a law in Brazil that's the issue. Something regarding tariffs on imports or needing to be manufactured in Brazil. Hence why locally produced items, like systems from Tec Toy, can be widely sold but items manufactured elsewhere are priced out of the market or simply not available.

    The fact that the technology is also very cheap probably helps.

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pr3tty F1y View Post
    Don't quote me on this, but I believe it's a law in Brazil that's the issue. Something regarding tariffs on imports or needing to be manufactured in Brazil. Hence why locally produced items, like systems from Tec Toy, can be widely sold but items manufactured elsewhere are priced out of the market or simply not available.

    The fact that the technology is also very cheap probably helps.
    I think you're on to something. Due to the tariffs and lower salaries in Brazil, the Master System is one hell of a value. In 2015, a new Master System with 132 built in games was $50. A PS4, with no games, was $712, with games around $80 a pop, meaning a PS4 with 132 new games would be $11,272. (Those prices were converted from Brazilian real to US dollars). The average yearly salary in Brazil is 2,298 real/month, or 27,576 real/year ($6,764/yr). The same website puts the average hourly wage in the USA at $23.70, at an average weekly hours worked at 34.4 and 50 weeks per year is $40,764 per year, 6.03 times that of Brazil's average.

    A PS4, to the average Brazilian, has the same financial impact as $4,291 to the average American, with games at $482. The Master System is $301 and it already has 132 games built in.

    I wonder how much it costs to manufacture a Master System? The RAM, CPU, etc must cost pretty much zero now and the chip fabrication, etc was paid for decades ago. It probably costs more to make the plastic case than the guts inside. I would imagine that one could make a "Master System Classic" in the vein of the PS Classic, NES Classic, Genesis Mini, etc for under $20.

    https://tedium.co/2015/07/16/sega-master-system-brazil/
    https://tradingeconomics.com/brazil/wages
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    as an aside, those figures for average hourly wage and average hours worked seem strange to me. i am not familiar with many jobs that will pay $15+ an hour that will only give you 34 hours a week. typically the only jobs Ive seen whose employers give less than the standard 40 hours a week are jobs that pay minimum wage to maybe 11 dollars an hour. its unheard of for someone to be making 23 an hour and working 34 hours a week where i am from. and typically jobs that pay higher $35-50/hour usually those are jobs where people are required to work 40 hours a week or more
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    also Im not gonna spend too much time racking my brain over it but the best comparison when looking at actual costs between two different countries typically is "minutes needed to work by average wage earner" because there are so many variables in cost of living, dollar to real conversion, and all the other things you pointed out. I dont remember what book I read that explained this but it was comparing the actual cost of a flight ticket 50 years ago compared to today. the hours needed to work in order to afford a flight ticket then was vastly higher
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