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Eerie Sense of Urgency in the Collecting World?


MotoRacer
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While it's pretty common knowledge that certain systems have been seeing booms in the last few years, I've been noticing a more recent trend that's kind of concerning.

 

It seems that nearly everything is going up in price, rather recently (within the last few months) and rather violently. I'll explain.

 

Just a few months ago, you could easily find an N64 system with a memory expansion and a controller for under 40 bucks. You might find some for less or more, but that was the median price. Now, it seems that most of the N64s on eBay have randomly spiked to over 80-100 dollars! No games, no nothing.. just a system, controller and memory pack (if you're lucky).

 

Vectrex was worth about 90-120 about a year ago. Now they go for over 300 dollars, regularly. Gamecube collecting used to be rather cheap. Now Phantasy Star Online 1 & 2 have spiked to be worth about 80-120, depending on which version you get (regular or plus). This game was a 50 dollar game any day of the week not a year ago. Other Gamecube games are going up radically as well, including previously cheap titles like Rogue Squadron 2, F-Zero GX, etc.

 

I guess my point is, I'm sensing a concerning change, and I'm starting to think that the days of anything from the 90's (or early 2000's) or earlier going for a decent price are numbered, and closing in. In fact, I've been specifically targeting my favorite systems that haven't yet spiked, because I can sense they're about to go up, like the original DS and the PS1 & 2.

 

Considering I don't care too much for modern systems outside of a few games (mainly found on Nintendo systems or PC), the games I like to play are rapidly becoming rediculously priced. I'm not sure if it's because people are trying to be opportunists, or if the younger gamers are starting to figure out the older games were better, so the supply is running out. Either way, it sucks, as I don't really have the space for bookcases of games, nor do I believe that one should collect to that degree (past their ability to play the games they own). But then, I also don't want to have to rebuy games are prices I can't comfortably afford. So it makes you keep things you might not otherwise simply because you can see the value on it will shoot up.

 

Have you noticed the increase in prices in the last half year, and has it affected how you collect and what you're collecting for? More importantly, is there a ceiling before prices have to start coming down from a lack of interest of insanely priced goods?

Edited by MotoRacer
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Seems like most people who are interested in this stuff are getting alarmingly closer to death, so they're scrambling to grab a piece of their childhood before dementia kicks in and they can no longer enjoy these corroding ancient playthings. Prices might start to drop again when enough of these crusty old cling-ons die off.

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While it's pretty common knowledge that certain systems have been seeing booms in the last few years, I've been noticing a more recent trend that's kind of concerning.

 

It seems that nearly everything is going up in price, rather recently (within the last few months) and rather violently. I'll explain.

 

Just a few months ago, you could easily find an N64 system with a memory expansion and a controller for under 40 bucks. You might find some for less or more, but that was the median price. Now, it seems that most of the N64s on eBay have randomly spiked to over 80-100 dollars! No games, no nothing.. just a system, controller and memory pack (if you're lucky).

 

Vectrex was worth about 90-120 about a year ago. Now they go for over 300 dollars, regularly. Gamecube collecting used to be rather cheap. Now Phantasy Star Online 1 & 2 have spiked to be worth about 80-120, depending on which version you get (regular or plus). This game was a 50 dollar game any day of the week not a year ago. Other Gamecube games are going up radically as well, including previously cheap titles like Rogue Squadron 2, F-Zero GX, etc.

 

I guess my point is, I'm sensing a concerning change, and I'm starting to think that the days of anything from the 90's (or early 2000's) or earlier going for a decent price are numbered, and closing in. In fact, I've been specifically targeting my favorite systems that haven't yet spiked, because I can sense they're about to go up, like the original DS and the PS1 & 2.

 

Considering I don't care too much for modern systems outside of a few games (mainly found on Nintendo systems or PC), the games I like to play are rapidly becoming rediculously priced. I'm not sure if it's because people are trying to be opportunists, or if the younger gamers are starting to figure out the older games were better, so the supply is running out. Either way, it sucks, as I don't really have the space for bookcases of games, nor do I believe that one should collect to that degree (past their ability to play the games they own). But then, I also don't want to have to rebuy games are prices I can't comfortably afford. So it makes you keep things you might not otherwise simply because you can see the value on it will shoot up.

 

Have you noticed the increase in prices in the last half year, and has it affected how you collect and what you're collecting for? More importantly, is there a ceiling before prices have to start coming down from a lack of interest of insanely priced goods?

 

Damn you for posting this, thus further confirming my own concerns on the matter, and thereby hastening my own already exacerbated buying tendencies as of late. You are correct to note a strongly prevalent sense of urgency towards buying up what one must for ALL systems. We know we're not the only ones, and we and everyone reading this has to know deep down that if they don't buy it soon there will not be an opportunity to do so in the very near future. Prices will never go back down, and will skyrocket far sooner than can currently be imagined. Buy now while you still can- the end is nigh!

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I've definitely noticed it too over the last few years, especially when it comes to Nintendo brand home consoles. First it was SNES games that shot up in price, then NES, GameCube, and now N64. If I had to speculate at what is going on here I think it's kind of like a feedback loop in the retro game collecting world.

 

What I mean by this is that when retro game collectors hear that prices are starting to go up on games or systems they don't own yet and would like to own at some point, they start prioritizing adding a copy of that game or system to their collection. Since they've heard prices are going up they become willing pay a little more for it than they normally would, and every time someone buys the game or system at a higher than usual price it creates a new higher market value for that game or system. Ironically it seems that collectors who fear rising prices are themselves the ones making the prices rise.

 

That all said, I'm just as guilty of contributing to this as anyone. One of the systems I've always enjoyed playing the most is the GameCube, and knowing that GameCube prices are sharply on the rise (which may be due to collectors fearing that it might be Nintendo's last "traditional" console in addition to the feedback loop theory) I have every intention of buying as many of the GameCube games that I'd like in my library as I can afford to acquire in 2016.

 

The Nintendo DS is another one that I'd like to start collecting for, but where prices go from here may depend largely on whether or not Nintendo's next handheld supports backwards compatibility with original DS games. If it does then I think we can expect to see DS game prices continuing to rise as the majority of gamers who prefer to use current gen hardware seek out copies of DS games to play, but if backwards compatibility with DS games is dropped on Nintendo's next handheld then DS game prices should drop off for a year or two before rising once again when it becomes a "retro" system sought after by collectors.

 

This seems to happen every time a current gen system drops backwards compatibility with an older generation. Game prices on the older generation games drop sharply as retailers try to liquidate their stock, since the majority of gamers want to use current gen hardware and no longer desire the older games that they can't play on their current system. Eventually, a year or two after all the big retailer liqidations, a collectors market begins form around the older system and prices slowly start rising again. It's the natural ebb and flow of the gaming industry, so if you're looking to pick up original DS games on the cheap I'd recommend waiting until Nintendo rolls out a handheld that drops backwards compatibility with the original DS. At that point prices should fall to their lowest. :)

Edited by Jin
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Yeah, 2016 will be a big buying year for me on systems that haven't quite hit the bit boom. In fact, I've already started in the last 30-60 days or so.

 

I don't see DS prices going down. In fact, I think it's one of the largest untapped Nintendo libraries that has yet to be heavily sought after by collectors. In fact, prices are just starting to rise if you pay attention to some of the mainstream favorite and cult favorite game prices. We live in a world where a DS Lite costs 50-80 dollars now. I honestly don't think DS compatibility in the 3DS' successor matters.

 

PS1 is now going up for the first time since it was overshadowed by the PS2. A lot of games, and even now the original grey and even the redesigned PSone systems are going for considerably higher prices than before. You used to not be able to give away a grey PS1. Now they go for 30-40 dollars in really good shape. I recently got a mint condition (not a stratch) PSone with matching white controller and the Sony screen. I was hesitant to pay 50 dollars for it from my local game store, until I came home and checked ebay prices and suddenly became really thankful I picked it up.

 

And yeah, you're right about the Gamecube. I think it's the last traditional Nintendo console, and collectors know it. Despite it's general lack of popularity back then, people seem to appreciate it a lot more now a days, and if you look at the plethora of great games that came out for the GC just in the first two years you'll see potential to collectors, and resellers on ebay alike.

 

What sucks is that I sold a huge part of my collection over the last couple years as we've moved into smaller places and I simply didn't have the room for it. But man, am I regretting it in many ways. I'll never be able to afford a Vectrex ever again, and I miss that flash multicart I used to own, that's for sure.

Edited by MotoRacer
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You certainly could be right about DS prices, since some of the cult favorite games on the system like The Dark Spire and Solatorobo: Red the Hunter just keep going up and up and I don't think those will be going down any time in the foreseeable future. But, I do still anticipate that most of the more common and widely known original DS games, especially first party titles like Mario Kart DS and New Super Mario Bros., will fall in price a bit when Nintendo eventually drops backwards compatibility with original DS games on their current gen handhelds. Who knows though, the DS does have what is probably the largest and most diverse library of quality games of any handheld ever produced; so it wouldn't surprise me if it bucked the usual market trend and saw a steady increase in prices even after support for the games gets dropped on current gen hardware.

 

As long as we're on the subject of game prices though, I have to say that I am really glad that my favorite systems both to play and collect for, the original Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance, don't seem to have gotten hit by the recent collector's market madness like most of Nintendo's other systems have. I'm not sure why exactly, but while NES and SNES prices have skyrocketed their handheld counterparts have stayed very affordable and easy to collect for. The only Game Boy/Color/Advance games that I can think of that have really gone nuts price wise over the last few years have been Shantae for the GBC and Invader for the GBA, and I'm still kicking myself for not picking up Shantae when I had the chance to buy a copy CIB for $100 three years ago. I just found out about the shmup awesomeness that is the European exclusive Invader for the GBA earlier this year though, so I'm not beating myself up too much for not getting a copy when it wasn't $100+.

 

Those two games aside, I'm thankful that my favorite systems are still really affordable to collect for. :)

Edited by Jin
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You used to not be able to give away a grey PS1. Now they go for 30-40 dollars in really good shape. I recently got a mint condition (not a stratch) PSone with matching white controller and the Sony screen. I was hesitant to pay 50 dollars for it from my local game store, until I came home and checked ebay prices and suddenly became really thankful I picked it up.

 

And yeah, you're right about the Gamecube. I think it's the last traditional Nintendo console, and collectors know it. Despite it's general lack of popularity back then, people seem to appreciate it a lot more now a days, and if you look at the plethora of great games that came out for the GC just in the first two years you'll see potential to collectors, and resellers on ebay alike.

 

What sucks is that I sold a huge part of my collection over the last couple years as we've moved into smaller places and I simply didn't have the room for it. But man, am I regretting it in many ways. I'll never be able to afford a Vectrex ever again, and I miss that flash multicart I used to own, that's for sure.

 

PS1 for 50$? What is that alternate universe?

No one in his onw right here would try to sell a random model of PS1 here for more than 20€... There is simply too much of them in garage sales and even in bins.

Tho for games I can agree that some titles have been seen to hit the 15€ mark - not counting Castlevania that sell up in the 100€.

 

GameCube prices have skyrokected at the Wii release on the other hand - retrocompatibility on the Wii hurted a lot. I remember around 2010, GameCube consoles sold for as little as 10€.. Unless you added two controllers and two memory cards, and the price would jump up to 40/50€.

 

I found recently that the market dropped a bit recentl for older games. Tho it isn't as cheap as it used to be befoer asshole ratsellers got into it.

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The thing I'm wondering about is whether those people paying the high prices are actually playing the systems and games they buy, or are they just applying the ol' Pokémon catch-phrase "Gotta catch 'em all"? If I bought myself a Vectrex, for example, at the current price of a working unit, I'd be too scared to break it by playing it, so it would stay up on a shelf as a display item. :P

 

If those people do play with their high-priced acquisitions, how long is it going to last? I understand people finding the Game Cube more attractive nowadays than it was during its commercial life, but the number of good games really worth playing on that system isn't going to magically increase. Of course, the Game Cube is not a good example, because there's the Game Boy Player adaptor that lets you play GB/GBC/GBA games on your TV, and that's a huge plus.

 

I think another factor that drives prices up is the fact that people are slowly realizing that the era of games that you can actually buy, own and eventually sell (perhaps even for a profit) is coming to a close. Ten years from now, playing video games will be a download-only affair, no matter what platform you're using to play, and cartridges/discs will be a distant memory by then. You can't really resell a downloaded game, so suddently, the number of games on cartridge or disc suddently becomes finite, and some people with disposable income want a piece of the action. People simply like owning the games they buy, regardless of where the video game publishers want the market to go (to maximize their profit margins).

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I think for recent games that it's more speculation going on.

After all, if those old NES and SNES games that only 10 years ago ended in garage sales for 50 cents, now sell for an average of 30$, well those PS1, PS2, GameCube games might sell for the same price in some years and it's worth getting them now!

 

After all, their prices are raising already... And no one wanna see that prices rise mostly because of speculation.

Classic economic bubble. IMO the retrogaming market is going to crash or slow down heavily in the upcoming years.

It already started to slow down here; I see NES prices slightly dropping; things like Castlevania 2 boxed selling for 120€ are a thing from the past... Ironically.

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Cube prices are back on the rise again? Hmmm, interesting... will be curious to see what comes when I try selling about 80% of full US set early next year then!

 

Part of me is definitely glad I started on the Vectrex 15 years ago... console prices have gone up and down a bit, but the games have gone steadily upwards in the last few years, especially some homebrews.

 

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter price is going up? I've still got a SEALED copy of the special edition (with bonus CD) here... hmmm, maybe I'll go check out eBay hah hah...

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I already built most of my PS2 library, and I do expect any uncommon games to become very expensive very fast. I just got a PSP, and a dozen games, in time I think those will also go up in Price.

 

I got a Mega drive a while back, and I rarely buy a game. Anything that's not common or crap goes for 20+ euro.

 

I don't even want to know the NES Prices. To me it's just insane.

 

Maybe games will stop being cool and prices will drop. I don't know though. There are tons of People out there getting into collecting. We have tons of collectard crate Services. If People are willing to pay a monthly fee to get junk sent to them every month I guess it's expected that People are willing to collect games for real money.

 

I'm fine though. I have a bunch of great games, buy tons of great games on the cheap DRM free for PC, and there are some librarioes still with good Prices. So I won't run out of games. But I just have to live with the fact I'll probably never find 8 or 16 bit games I would love to have for a price I'm willing to pay. As much as I'd like to have musha and Fire Shark for mega drive I won't pay more than 30 euro for them. even 30 Sound kinda ridiculous, but whatever, I'd pay that much I guess. More than that for a MD game? I could buy 10 good indie games for that Price.

 

Forums, YouTube and gaming culture in General are playing a huge role in this whole Price changes. But yeah. No idea what's going to actually happen.

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This is why I'm glad I'm into stuff like the 2600, TRS-80 Color Computer, Timex 1000, and other things whose waves have already passed or never hit to begin with. I have just about all the Nintendo and Sega stuff I'd ever care to play.

The problem with scenes like those, though, is that they're smaller and made up of equally fanatical (if not moreso) people who have specific interests in them, so they can be competitive, which means higher prices. And even with the more broadly known 2600 I'm at the point where most of the games left missing from my collection are rares that are going to cost a ballpark minimum of $30 a pop. But theoretically, supply still outstrips demand in most cases.

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I've definitely noticed this over the past decade... back in 1999/2000 I was buying up everything I could get my hands on. I'm mostly trying to get rid of everything, and quite honestly... I have only a few systems left... just my 2600, 7800, NES, SNES, Jaguar, Saturn, Dreamcast, and my wife's Wii. I may still get rid of some of those... but I do collect HARD for the Jaguar. It's the only system I'm willing to spend big money on... and the prices of games have gone up astronomically over the past 6 years I'd say.

 

I bought up a lot of stuff when they went defunct in 1996, but I make sure I buy anything and everything that gets offered in the aftermarket for the Jaguar immediately, because I know it won't always become available again afterwards. I'm totally opposite in everything else... Jaguar is the only system I let myself spend money on, and it's the only system I actually think I can have a complete collection for.

 

But yeah... I think a lot of it also has to do with Inflation. We've seen about 40% inflation over the past 10 years too... so that has a lot to do with it as well. Most of these homebrew carts are very reasonably priced. I remember Starflight for the IBM PC DOS... was first available in an album sleeve with two 5.25" floppies, and it was selling for $84.95 at SoftwareCity... back in 1986. So to spend $70 bucks for Another World on physical cartridge really isn't that bad!

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They've stopped making collectible games, which frees an awful lot of my money up. I'm personally sticking the extra into old arcade hardwaref, but I'd imagine others are going for classic home games. With the supply of new stuff cut off, it's a game of hungry-hungry hippos to snap up what's left. Additionally, we're to the stage where well-cared-for hardware is starting to fail too, which is removing the excess of extra systems from the market. They guys selling cap kits and repair services are about to start making a killing.

 

We're also making more money at this stage in our lives, and a lot of us who have had kids (not me), convinced them to finally move out. We now have more money for this stuff. Supply is lower than ever, and demand remains high.

 

Fear not, however. As soon as we start to die off in large numbers (10 years?), prices will drop hard, starting with pre-crash systems. 'Thrift finds' will be back thanks to estate sales. Supply will increase as demand 'dies off' so to speak.

 

I've started listening to a few weekly gaming videoblog things, and games that I own and don't even *like* seem to be selling for buckets of money. The latest I've heard about is mega man x3--I don't think I've ever bothered to play the damn thing, and if you asked me its value before, $15 would have been my answer. I talked to the wife about it, and she seems to want to start listing the pricier ones for me...so I have more money for arcade stuff, or maybe an engine swap for my car.

Edited by Reaperman
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I just think more people are entering the fray. Gamecube has been gone for a decade now, so the people who were 10 and had one are now 25 and want one back. And then older collectors are moving forward as they complete collections. It'll never be an easy road for those that collect for everything. Your best bet is to start for last gen immediately after it ends. The Wii U is going to be the same way - a really highly collectible system because the games are good, the collection is small and it didn't sell well, bumping up the rarity. Jesus Christ, it took me a year to get Hyrule Warriors at any sort of a discount, and that was only because the store my friend works at stopped carrying it and I got him to order me in a copy for $15 off. My point is GC has Nintendo games and people always want to play those. That's going to be a primary factor because you can only play so many new-ish games. When Xbox was cheap (maybe it still is?) I was gonna buy a bunch of their games, but I thought, what's the point? It takes a long time to beat those games, you can't even really try them out and put 'em down like you can an old game because the best parts are always at the end. While I have tons and if I exclusively gamed in modern times, I could probably go through a lot, but combined with retro, I just don't have time.

 

Nintendo consoles will always be the ones for collectors, I think. Their games never get old and people young and old all have an interest in them. Depending on how things go with VR and, in 10 years the Wii's fun control scheme could make it new to a whole new group of collectors, or people getting nostalgic for just how excited we were when it came out. Plus, people are likely realizing that there's not much collecting to do after the last gen we had now with everything having to be online.

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I've been collecting dead systems for over two decades. I've amassed a pretty good collection. Perhaps not everything I set out to get, but a good chunk of it. I'm pretty content with that. The games on my want list now are in the dozens, not hundreds or thousands.... and flashcarts make seeking them out a luxury, not a necessity.

 

I can't speak for everyone, but for me at least, collecting has become less urgent, not more. If the rat race is about to really get going, I'm glad I got an early start. This rat is tired and just wants to play his games.

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Nah, people dieing off will not affect anything. You have no idea how popular nes and SNES is with kids today who weren't even born in the same decade. People tend to forget that the reason why Atari value plummeted wasn't just that the collectors started dying off, but it was because outside nostalgia, the games just ....well I mean you can't tell what's even trying to be displayed on the screen half the time. A kid trying to play Indiana jones today, his mind would explode. Nes, I feel, was the first system where you could tell what the graphics represented, and you had great controls to go along with it. That's still appealing even to kids today. So the market keeps growing and growing.

 

One system I forgot to talk about that I think is due to boom despite it not quite yet is the dreamcast. I'm currently burnt out by the system, so unfortunately for me, by the time I get back into it I'm sure the prices will be insane. But if you want the best that system has to offer, I'd say getting all that the sooner the better.

 

And yes, for those in doubt gc is most certainly going up, yes even the systems. Many people, like me, just don't like playing cube games on the Wii. Look at component cable prices. Last year they cost 100. I know because i bought one. Now they're over 250! For a cable! Why else would people pay that when a Wii and a 10 dollar component cable is so much cheaper? Even cube prices have gone from useless to respectable. And gba players with a disc? Forget about it.

 

I went the smarter route. I got a switch less modded cube and bout a brand new in box South Korean gba player. The disc plays obviously fine, and the new emerging South Korean accessories and systems on eBay are cheap as all hell. Worth checking out btw. They act as the same region as Japan. But they cost much less.

 

Anyway, mark my words. The days of finding good deals is rapidly closing for the most part, and I agree, even in things like psp. It's about ready to boom as well. Even finding a game to buy, for whatever price....I challenge you this: find a complete us copy of Bomberman Fantasy Race that's complete and in US format. Have fun. That came used to be worthless and uncommon at best. I had to settle for a loose copy at 20 bucks recently. Rebought bloody roar 2, a 5-10 dollar game complete. Now nearly 30. I wasn't even aware most gamers today even remembered bloody roar haha.

Edited by MotoRacer
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Fear not, however. As soon as we start to die off in large numbers (10 years?), prices will drop hard, starting with pre-crash systems. 'Thrift finds' will be back thanks to estate sales. Supply will increase as demand 'dies off' so to speak.

Isn't the average age of game collectors somewhere between 35 and 50? We can't be in such bad shape that we'll be dying off en masse in our 60s, can we? 60 is the new 40.

 

I just think more people are entering the fray.

This is it. There are just more and more people going back and revisiting old games. So of it is people going back to the games of their youth, some of it is "historians" and serious collectors who want to experience everything or certain subsets of the video game collective. Retrogaming has also become mainstream to some degree, and things like classic arcade compilations and flashback/plug 'n' play units unwittingly serve as advertising for retrogaming (not to mention all the random t-shirts, glasses, and silly crap with the Atari logo slapped on it). Such "advertising" was much less prevalent in the '90s and early '00s.

 

Nintendo consoles will always be the ones for collectors, I think. Their games never get old and people young and old all have an interest in them. Depending on how things go with VR and, in 10 years the Wii's fun control scheme could make it new to a whole new group of collectors, or people getting nostalgic for just how excited we were when it came out. Plus, people are likely realizing that there's not much collecting to do after the last gen we had now with everything having to be online.

I think Nintendo stuff will be popular as long as Nintendo is a current and relevant force in the industry. Sega, for instance, is usually the domain of nostalgia trippers, hardcore collectors, and contrarians. Nintendo is Coca-Cola and Sega is Moxie.

 

That said, there are even plenty of young fans of Nintendo franchises that have little or no interest in anything past two or three generations.

 

Nah, people dieing off will not affect anything. You have no idea how popular nes and SNES is with kids today who weren't even born in the same decade. People tend to forget that the reason why Atari value plummeted wasn't just that the collectors started dying off, but it was because outside nostalgia, the games just ....well I mean you can't tell what's even trying to be displayed on the screen half the time. A kid trying to play Indiana jones today, his mind would explode. Nes, I feel, was the first system where you could tell what the graphics represented, and you had great controls to go along with it. That's still appealing even to kids today. So the market keeps growing and growing.

I mostly agree. I think for kids and other people whose definition of classic gaming is the NES or SNES, stuff like Atari and Coleco is just too different. To people who only know D-pads or some later evolution thereof, even the controllers are alien. Even the way you interact with the console (so wait, you actually have to flip switches and push buttons on it to get the game to do different things?) is different. Everything about pre-crash systems must be just weird to younger players (personally I think that's part of their charm, but we're not talking about me!). And yes, some games are obtuse to the point of not being immediately comprehensible or accessible, especially when you factor in game variation selections and difficulty switch settings.

 

But I think the bigger thing is, apart from Donkey Kong and Mario Bros., there isn't much there that they recognize or identify with. I don't mean literally or graphically. I mean games like Defender and Berzerk and Missile Command don't really resonate with them. If Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, and other high-profile Nintendo games appeared on Atari systems BITD, I'd bet you kids today would play them.

 

FWIW my wife's nephews (ages 8 and 12 or thereabouts) had a lot of fun with the 2600 I brought over last Christmas.

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Yeah, I must be pretty stupid.

I didn't mean you specifically. I was just mentioning that a lot of people aren't aware of just how much 8 year olds AND 35 year olds are in to stuff, which further strains the supply chain for collectors. I think you took that a bit personally. I wasn't insulting your intelligence. I'm sorry if it seemed that way

Edited by MotoRacer
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I would like someone to expand on the "burst" of the Atari market bubble. I've heard of this mentioned many times but it was before my time collecting. What years? Was there a spike or gradual? Anything notable? I have sold a few in the last 2 years and haven't noticed it being particularly undervalued compared to other systems (NES, SNES). I was getting $60-80 for a 2600 and a couple games. What would this have been before the crash?

Edited by Dashopepper
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This is it. There are just more and more people going back and revisiting old games. So of it is people going back to the games of their youth, some of it is "historians" and serious collectors who want to experience everything or certain subsets of the video game collective. Retrogaming has also become mainstream to some degree, and things like classic arcade compilations and flashback/plug 'n' play units unwittingly serve as advertising for retrogaming (not to mention all the random t-shirts, glasses, and silly crap with the Atari logo slapped on it). Such "advertising" was much less prevalent in the '90s and early '00s.

 

I think Nintendo stuff will be popular as long as Nintendo is a current and relevant force in the industry. Sega, for instance, is usually the domain of nostalgia trippers, hardcore collectors, and contrarians. Nintendo is Coca-Cola and Sega is Moxie.

 

That said, there are even plenty of young fans of Nintendo franchises that have little or no interest in anything past two or three generations.

 

I mostly agree. I think for kids and other people whose definition of classic gaming is the NES or SNES, stuff like Atari and Coleco is just too different. To people who only know D-pads or some later evolution thereof, even the controllers are alien. Even the way you interact with the console (so wait, you actually have to flip switches and push buttons on it to get the game to do different things?) is different. Everything about pre-crash systems must be just weird to younger players (personally I think that's part of their charm, but we're not talking about me!). And yes, some games are obtuse to the point of not being immediately comprehensible or accessible, especially when you factor in game variation selections and difficulty switch settings.

 

But I think the bigger thing is, apart from Donkey Kong and Mario Bros., there isn't much there that they recognize or identify with. I don't mean literally or graphically. I mean games like Defender and Berzerk and Missile Command don't really resonate with them. If Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, and other high-profile Nintendo games appeared on Atari systems BITD, I'd bet you kids today would play them.

 

FWIW my wife's nephews (ages 8 and 12 or thereabouts) had a lot of fun with the 2600 I brought over last Christmas.

 

I've watched a friend's kid a few times and he'd play whatever I threw at him. I had him playing TMNT arcade or Out Run, 8 or 16 bit stuff, he didn't care. That's the one misconception I think older people maybe don't quite get - this isn't bretthorror's generation (I'm 30, so a generation below a lot of people) where graphics were the focal point. This is a younger generation's game, and while these kids love their CoD, they also play Minecraft and games on their phone. They are now used to every different style of game. The old guard can no longer say things about graphics and non-simplistic games in regards to the youth of today. They ARE playing simplistic games. You can't play CoD on your lunch break at school or on the bus or at a friend's house, and the phone thing puts handheld consoles to shame. Convenience is huge.

 

I'm not saying Nintendo is Disney - not at all - but they are REALLY getting to that point Mario has been constantly popular, outrageously popular, for 30 years now. This isn't a character that is going to fade from memory, he's too far along. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, I'm just saying Nintendo has themselves in a really good spot. And it'd be one thing if it was just Mario, but it's not, they have a couple dozen known names. There's just too many people over the years that have heavily played Nintendo and Mario and if they get into collecting games, well they're gonna buy them all. And that's every collector, in a nutshell, because I don't think anyone is ever gonna turn into a video game collector from Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. Cut from the same cloth, but totally different. The people collecting games are the ones playing the RPGs and games with single player campaigns. You mentioned F-Zero GX and that's a perfect point. Sure, it sold great, but how many have been tossed out or are sitting in a closet somewhere? But if you're new in the collecting game, that's a perfect game to seek out. And if you're old in the collecting game, it's a perfect game to seek out.

 

The magnitude of game collecting is retro stores are half useless because they all use prices higher than Ebay (at least the closest store to me, 2 hours away). So we all gotta go online for a "deal", but for people like me, Ebay is my only way of getting a 7800, let's say. People like me are allowed to get involved when we never could have before, but we also are gonna put the prices up because it's all we have. And you can only be stingy with $5 or $10 for so long before you say fuck it and just outbid the other guy. And even if the market was to calm down, systems are breaking down and that is gonna raise prices as well. For better or for worse, I see prices getting higher. 30 years from now some of us may have died off, but then you have the 8 year old today hitting 38 and the cycle starts again, maybe on a smaller scale, but with less units available.

 

The solace of the collector is flash carts and emulators, at least you're never gonna be without.

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Gamecube collecting used to be rather cheap. Now Phantasy Star Online 1 & 2 have spiked to be worth about 80-120, depending on which version you get (regular or plus). This game was a 50 dollar game any day of the week not a year ago. Other Gamecube games are going up radically as well, including previously cheap titles like Rogue Squadron 2, F-Zero GX, etc.

 

 

Phantasy Star Plus has gone for $80 to $120 for a couple of years now. The regular version going for that price is ignorance on the buyer or seller. Actually the plus version going for more money is kinda dumb to begin with. If you hook up to a private server on the GC via broadband adaptor, then all of the extra quests can be downloaded for free.

 

I've watched that component cable climb in price for years. SMH

 

 

Dreamcast is sort of another world with it lacking the major franchises outside arcades and sonic. I don't doubt all systems will go though rise but with somewhat brittle gdrom drives, easy burning and arcade focus I'll be most curious to watch the DC.

 

Dreamcast's hot ticket item has always been the broadband adaptor, and anything that says Capcom on it.

Power Stone 2 used to be a $40 sleeper, now it looks like it's going to fetch high $70s.

Ill bleed went from $30 to $70 over the last couple of years.

The Dreamcast is a finicky beast to collect for. You would think that being able to just burn CDs to play on it would have a negative effect on pricing, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

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