Click on the image above to see a larger version of this image, but you kind of get the general idea. This is a bar graph the various console prices unadjusted for inflation (click here to see it adjusted for inflation). Essentially, this shows us that even in non-relative terms, the PS3 isn't that expensive. The most expensive system? NeoGeo at $650 or $993.65 in today's dollars. As an aside, the Atari 2600 cost $659.41 in today's dollars, which is pretty amazing.
History of Console Prices (or: $500 ain't the worst...) [CurmudgeonGamer]