One of the blogs I go to almost every day is Gizmodo.
They had this post today: Console Prices Adjusted for Inflation OR $500 Ain't 'Spensive
On it, they have two bar graphs which I've included here, but you may want to go read their article.
This first graph shows the prices of Consoles from 1976 to Present. Looking at the purchase price, the PS3 is not the most expensive console to market todate. (Click on the graphs for larger versions)
The second graph shows takes into consideration inflation. Looking at this graph tells gives me a much better idea of the consoles costs.
That being said, the PS3 is more expensive than the XBox 360, and both are way more expensive then the Nitendo Wii (expected to be releases around the $200 range). The Wii (other than its silly name) is getting good reviews.
Anyway, of these NextGen consoles, their prices are not that out of sync than the older systems.
Don't get me wrong though, they're still expensive.