When we're not spending $150 on "collector's edition" versions of games or buying $50 worth of post-launch DLC, we're spending less than ever on brand new retail copies of video games. Ars Technica explores the history of game prices in comparison to the current climate in a recent piece, astutely pointing out that when adjusted for inflation, game prices of yesteryear are vastly higher than today's Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games (by as much as $40). As seen in the image above, Streets of Rage 2 brand new would've run $64.99 in 1993, amounting to $98.19 in 2010 dollars.

EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich offered an explanation for the declining cost for brand new games at retail, saying the cause is the continually growing audience for video games. "Our industry continues to grow, and as such, so does the revenue, which increases competition in the market and generally results in bigger development budgets," Divnich posited. Of course, publishers are finding other ways to get our cash -- namely the aforementioned collector's/limited editions and various downloadable content. Still, though braving your local used game retailer might not be the most pleasurable experience every time, it offers another opportunity to pay less for games than ever before. As Ars says, "This is a fine time to be a gamer."

[Image credit: Ars Technica]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.