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Software The Almighty Buck Games Hardware

Will Your Video Game Collection Appreciate Over Time? 127

Posted by timothy
from the mine-has-nowhere-to-go-but-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Pundits tell us that the world of console video gaming is in dire straits, but recent collections of console video games have sold on eBay for tens of thousands of dollars. There are still a lot of video game disks and cartridges out there, but is it worth your effort to try to complete your collection and sell it on eBay? If you're a potential buyer for a massive collection of video games, are they likely to appreciate over time, or is this a really bad investment? Market research company Terapeak runs some numbers and suggests that it depends on your goals, the size and quality of your collection, and the console you're focused on." There's a film crew hoping to bypass the uncertain hoarding phase, though, and just mine a landfill in New Mexico for the legendary hoard of dumped Atari inventory.
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Will Your Video Game Collection Appreciate Over Time?

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  • No, because (Score:4, Informative)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:05PM (#43885843)

    No because in a few years the hardware will be horribly outdated.
    Only a few will want to play the games.
    And a lot of the games these days depend on being popular with a lot of people. What's the point of playing a massive multiplayer game with 3 people.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No because in a few years the hardware will be horribly outdated.
      Only a few will want to play the games.
      And a lot of the games these days depend on being popular with a lot of people. What's the point of playing a massive multiplayer game with 3 people.

      Most games from the 80s-90s are not multiplayer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Most games from the 80s-90s are not multiplayer.

        But man, how much time did we waste playing Mazewars back then? It's like it would never stop until we finally ran out of pot. Sigh....

    • Re:No, because (Score:5, Informative)

      by flayzernax (1060680) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:39PM (#43886027)

      Emulators are already advanced enough for anything done with windows 3.1 or dos back on pentium ones. As we move forward you will get better virtualization and emulation of that hardware. It's worth it to keep the original game data.

      There are also projects like Exult. Or Ioquake that keep that data viable long past its shelf life. People still mod retro game engines, like the infinity engine. There's occasionaly a new mod or a patch to old mods from time to time for BGII and BGI. People do stuff like BGTutu.

      This is a few examples. There might be others that I don't know about. Everquest I will still be around probably long after the SoE servers shut down in some form or fashion. At least the code for good server emulators exists. Hopefully it will get released to the public when the time is right.

      People still do occasionally even play Diablo II over lan play using IP tunneling and an IPX protocol hack or Icewind dale ii. As well. Same goes for the original Warcraft II games. It's fun if you've never played them before. If I had a child I wanted to teach about gaming technology I would involve them by doing that with them. Or teaching them how to mod engines like infinity engine.

      I could see a future museum were you can play obscure games like "Outcast". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outcast_(video_game) [wikipedia.org] because they were interesting milestones in game development. Outcast being a particularly interesting voxel game engine somewhat ahead of it's time.

      • Oh and additionally with some of the most loved franchises you don't even need emulators or virtualization. They are being lovingly adapted to modern times.

        http://www.baldursgate.com/ [baldursgate.com] enhanced edition.

        Some will always be popular like classic books.

        • by Mashiki (184564)

          To be realistic? Baldurs Gate worked fine before they tried milking it for an "enhanced edition" which was horribly broken. And most people used Tutu [pocketplane.net](be kind /. they can't always handle the load) to make it a bit more stable and of course add kit classes.

          • I have not tried the other version since I have a really personalized install of BG and Tutu. Though I read other good reviews on the official bg forums about the enhanced edition so thought it worth mentioning. Thanks for the alternative viewpoint though. And don't get me wrong I don't think BG or BGII are the pinnacle of gaming. I just can't think of any more prominent examples off the top of my head of well loved and extremely long lived games.

        • by turp182 (1020263)

          Fantastic analogy. I have an Atari 2600 for Pitfall even though I have about 80 games (Football = terrible game).

          Playing it occasionally is like a good book. And I read good books multiple times, as I play the Atari system.

          Wish I still had my original Ms Pac-Man stand up machine. Expensive when it required maintenance, but a party unto itself when company was over.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Emulators are already advanced enough for anything done with windows 3.1 or dos back on pentium ones. As we move forward you will get better virtualization and emulation of that hardware. It's worth it to keep the original game data.

        Not really. For the old games, you need a cycle-accurate emulator because a lot of games relied on precise timing of instructions and the busses in order to function correctly.

        It's only the recent games made for super-powerful consoles (like say, a dreamcast, PS2 or Xbox era for

        • Oh and don't forget about the Amiga emulator for Eye of Beholder... http://eob.wikispaces.com/EOB1+AGA+GAME [wikispaces.com]

          If were talking PC architecture or similar there are plenty good emulators or hacks to make the games work. Maybe not all of them. But an uncountable number.

          • Also the Thief series, PlaneScape:Torment and many others have dll overrides which replace functionality from directx to work on modern video cards for games that still work native but have hardware issues.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Perhaps a car analogy...
      • Re:No, because (Score:4, Insightful)

        by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex.project-retrograde@com> on Saturday June 01, 2013 @09:11PM (#43886447)

        Perhaps a car analogy...

        GP is trying to say that only sports cars are popular, because they're fastest. No one will ever value a VW Bug because it's not fastest. Buses and Vans won't stay popular if your friends only want to ride in faster better vans. Newer faster cars will mean all the old hot-rods will be considered SHIT. Which is bullshit. It's like saying the Mona Lisa is crap because Digital Art has more bits per pixel. Some folks like classic cars. Some folks love classic games. The tech level of the hardware the game runs on is the artistic medium -- Watercolors are still valuable even though oil on canvas reproduces more vibrant color; Not all cars are great or worth anything to a collector, but the interesting ones are. Same with games.

        An MMO dies because the server dies, not always because of lack of players. City of Heroes was making money, but that it was still successful while new games flopped caused embarrassment to the studio, so they killed it. If you collect a car but leave out the transmission and part of the engine, then it's not worth hardly anything. The client is not the whole game, it needs a server to be called the whole game, and thus be collectible. For this reason I don't play online games that don't have a private server community. Leasing a car is not the same as owning it.

        Sorry, I got a bit of paint on that car analogy...

        • Not really,

          I'm saying we don't have lots of races with 1967 formula one racing cars any more.

          And in my parent post I was referring to console games more than PC games.
          However, I don't know many folks that play the original team fortress any more, the original quake in multiplayer mode, etc. And those copies of those games are not particularly valuable.

          If they set up a city of heroes game (as they have for everquest and wow), then a couple thousand people may play it- but not a million people.

          • by doccus (2020662)

            Not really,

            I'm saying we don't have lots of races with 1967 formula one racing cars any more.

            Actually, that's not (ahem) *quite* true.. retro or vintage racing is fast increasing in popularity, especially by us "old folk", and is only limited by the availability of retired racing cars from all classifications, and by how many privateers can actually afford to risk racing a second hand McLaren or Ferrari !

            • Interesting. How many races per year do you do each year?

              Are they on any TV networds or Youtube?

    • And a lot of the games these days depend on being popular with a lot of people. What's the point of playing a massive multiplayer game with 3 people.

      I don't know about "a lot." Most games don't seem to be MMO. The highest rated games of this generation seem to be predominantly single player mode. None of the top 100 games for the 360 on metacritic are primarily multiplayer. [metacritic.com] Left 4 dead (and its sequel) may be the closest thing to it. I'll grant you that a lot of the shooters, most people playing it seem to be playing multiplayer most of the time, but the single player games will still work.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      Wait, didn't an Apple one just go for over $600K recently? IMO a 2600 may bring some bucks but I have to think that it would need to be pristine with enough cartridges for example to make it worth while. There's lots of folks who collect things from their childhood/teenage years as they get older and if you don't believe me try and find and old Pre-WWII Lionel train set, or for that matter one still made of metal built after WWII.

      So, maybe they won't be "usable" but they'll still probably wind up on someb

      • by narcc (412956)

        2600's are really inexpensive as they're ridiculously common. You can snag one with a bunch of games in good condition for $50 easily. A quick check on eBay shows a heavy sixer in beautiful shape, with pristine looking box and 20 games (also in near-perfect boxes) going for just over $100 bucks

        A Nelsonic Pac-Man watch (LCD game) in okay shape will easily set you back more than that!

        Even my Odyssey only cost me $200 bucks, and it included the original shipping box, chips still wrapped in plastic, etc. Even

      • But the apple that went for that much was one of less than 200 ever made.

        And I don't see copies of "Pest Patrol" or Superscribe going for tons of money.
        If they do, it will be the media in good condition (not just a copy of the game).

        • by Virtucon (127420)

          What we're both saying is the collectible value may be there if it's Mint In Box for example.

          Anybody remember metal ice cube trays? They were around until the late 1960s and then they came out with
          plastic bendable ice trays and then refrigerators started having ice makers. Now they're $20. Yes it took 50 years to get there but those aren't in such demand. In 50 years who knows what things we take for granted will be valuable?

          • That's fair enough. And I even imagine a very few people will maintain old hardware to play them on.

            Literally ANYthing can become a collectible. One of the first steps to it being valuable is that most people throw it away.

            In 300 years, a copy of "Quake" on the original media in an unopened box might be worth thousands of dollars.

            In our lifetimes, I think computer games (especially those made in the last decade) are not likely to be highly valuable.

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      Yes and No.
      Good games are still good games.
      Being software they can be infinitely copied (the no part)...yet, some of the older stuff is still very hard to find (the yes part), and hard to get working (the only part of the hardware statement that matters).

    • ... my collection of vintage wines will appreciate over time.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      No because in a few years the hardware will be horribly outdated.
      Only a few will want to play the games.
      And a lot of the games these days depend on being popular with a lot of people. What's the point of playing a massive multiplayer game with 3 people.

      ..that's why you need to buy 15 year old games.

      they will appreciate in value. not necessarely for playing.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      There are plenty of people interested in playing old games. Hell, that is what GOG.com is all about -- and people handily give them money for twenty-five year old games.

      The primary problem is the hardware, though. People consider themselves lucky if their XBOX 360 makes it through the rest of this generation without dying -- it sure as hell isn't going to keep running in 2023 or 2033, the way other consoles do and have. Even the PS3 is iffy, about that.

      An additional problem is the advent of online multiplay

      • by cusco (717999)
        Sad that the MBA Disease has infested the gaming industry as well, but I suppose it was inevitable. I have a couple of favorite authors whose oldest books have been out of print for a couple of decades. Since they're not making any money on them any more they wouldn't mind releasing them under a Creative Commons or other license, but their publisher (who also isn't making any money on them) refuses.
  • by alen (225700) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:10PM (#43885861)

    iOS is getting a lot of rereleases. Knights of the old republic just came out too.

    With all the consoles supporting downloadable games its cheaper to buy a few older games like this than an old collection. As the retro fad keeps going watch for more old crap to be released again

    Just like music. In that biz it's called catalog sales

    • Though I agree with your analogy to a point, I have one word for us to consider in its context: Vinyl

    • Square Enix has released a lot of games for iOS. Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy, you name it. Sega too. They sell both Sonic the Hedgehog and Phantasy Star II.

      The 3rd generation of AppleTV includes a single core Apple A5 (ARM Cortex-A9) CPU and dual-core SGX543MP2 graphics chip. Basically the same as an iPad2. There's technically nothing preventing Apple from turning the AppleTV into a console for iOS gaming. All you really need is a game pad to relive the nostalgia of the 16bit era.

      Give it a few generation.

  • by randomErr (172078) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hcsok.nivre]> on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:10PM (#43885863) Homepage Journal
    You can download emulators and ROM's for little to no money. The only time a game is going to be worth anything more then scrap value is if the cart is physically rare like baseball cards. There will only ever be a handful that will meet that kind of rarity.
    • by Lisias (447563) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:24PM (#43885947) Homepage Journal

      Classic videogame gadgets are valuable for a decrescent amount of collectors.

      Everybody will die someday, including the ones that, now, are willing to spend some serious money on buying their childhood back.

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        But with a decreasing pool of collectors and a relatively large supply of working cats and consoles that's exactly his point! Supply and demand, and most vintage consoles are still fairly supply heavy...

        Personally - wanting a real Intellivision and some games vs the emulated versions (love those overlays!) I went on eBay, and discovered while there is a healthy market they are for the most part still less expensive in absolute dollars form their cost in the 80's, let alone their adjusted value; i.e. it wou

    • Everything becomes rare over time, you just have to wait long enough. Of course, if cryo-freezing yourself doesn't work out, maybe that ET cart will net your grand-kids at least $5. Or whatever the steel bottle-cap equivalent is.
  • by dbc (135354)

    n/t

  • I bought everything used. I bought mostly super-great games. I've made repairs. Stuff could appreciate over time. The real question is, will you keep your video game collection long enough for it to appreciate? The answer is almost always no.

  • by Bieeanda (961632) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:25PM (#43885953)
    Yes, comics, because their value is based on the same principle of rarity and condition. A '38 Superman comic is valuable for the same reason that a new-in-box copy of Radiant Silvergun is: there weren't a lot of copies made, many have physically deteriorated (so your well-loved copy of Super Mario: My Uncle Who Works For Nintendo edition is worth squat too) and many more have simply ceased to exist.

    Compare that with an industry that's gone on to consider sales in less than the millions of copies to be failures. Rarity simply isn't an issue, whether it's console games or comics since the early Nineties-- going back to the Superman example, there may only be a few hundred copies of the one that made the news earlier, but they overprinted the Death of Superman (polybagged at the factory, packed with a black mourner's armband) by a massive degree for the sheer number of idiots who thought they'd make a killing on speculation when it eventually became rare.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      Yes, comics, because their value is based on the same principle of rarity and condition. A '38 Superman comic is valuable for the same reason that a new-in-box copy of Radiant Silvergun is: there weren't a lot of copies made, many have physically deteriorated (so your well-loved copy of Super Mario: My Uncle Who Works For Nintendo edition is worth squat too) and many more have simply ceased to exist.

      Compare that with an industry that's gone on to consider sales in less than the millions of copies to be failures. Rarity simply isn't an issue, whether it's console games or comics since the early Nineties-- going back to the Superman example, there may only be a few hundred copies of the one that made the news earlier, but they overprinted the Death of Superman (polybagged at the factory, packed with a black mourner's armband) by a massive degree for the sheer number of idiots who thought they'd make a killing on speculation when it eventually became rare.

      uh that's a really bad analogy for this case. it just means that halo4 won't be worth that much in a while. super mario bros+duckhunt carts might be a dollar a piece but not all of them are.

      some games are rare and appreciate in value.. some don't. rarity is an issue and over time it comes an issue. try to find 3do version of star control 2.. well, you might find it, but that's just an example because I would like to have a copy and a working 3do. it's just not rarity driving the price, it's also nostalgy de

  • No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mofomojo (810520) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:44PM (#43886057)
    Honestly, $25,000 for a complete collection of SNES games isn't that much considering how many SNES games were made. There were aprox 784 Super Nintendo games, which, if you do the math, is only $31 per game. This is considerably less than what many of those games retailed for. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_Nintendo_Entertainment_System_games [wikipedia.org]

    It's going to take some time, and will certainly depend on the tastes of the collector. This being said, there is a growing second hand market, which I don't think will really overtake any modern game industry, but will certainly persist for a long time. Classics will remain classics, and there will be a few rare picks, but more than anything, I think the prices are pretty much going to stay level for a long time, at least until they become antiques because these things are still pretty easy to get your hands on and until they become super rare, nobody is really going to take an interest, and even by that time the games will be so dated that only the truly esoteric collectors will care so even so, with such a small after market, the prices will still remain low.

    So no, most vintage or old video games aren't going to become more valuable over time and they certainly won't remain super-rare for a long while. They'll just remain just a little farther than arms reach at most, but not much farther than that, just gathering dust on the shelf because you have more important things to do.
    • $31 a game is huge. particularly considering I can get all of those games and more and play them on an emulator for free.
      It obviously only got that high because of hype, you can by 99% of SNES games (including the ones actually worth money) for less than that.

    • I guess the "profit" for that sale really depends on the amount of time put into it(and how valuable you consider your time). While the games did retail for $50-$80 a pop, most snes games nowadays can be found at garage sales/flea markets/online auctions for less than $10. If you use that as your yardstick, the person is probably "making" at least $5k(while your Super Mario Worlds go for $10, the rare games are worth many times what the original asking price was, so you have to factor that in). However
    • Especially if it includes the bootleg 1,000,000 in 1 pirate carts and prototypes.

    • Just crazy. I am over halfway through reading the comments to this article and not a single person glommed onto the obvious troll: Of course "your" video games will not become collectors items because they are all going the way of online activation. Geez people. Get with the program... feed the troll machine.

      BTW, you had good arguments. :)

  • Not really. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ameoba (173803) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:51PM (#43886101)

    Let's look at the typical life-cycle of a collectible using baseball cards.

    When they first came out in the early 1900s, nobody really cared about them. Through the 70s and 80, they were mostly seen as kids stuff and abused, lost & thrown away. Supplies of cards up through this time are fairly limited. Around 1990, news hit of a baseball card selling for half a million dollars [wikipedia.org]. Things changed overnight - every kid was treating their cards like treasure. People have held on to them in pristine condition. These days, you can buy unopened, complete sets of cards from the mid-90s for less than their original retail value. They have become so un-collectible that their value hasn't even kept up with inflation.

    Video game collecting has passed this point. Sure, you might still see big deals on used NES collections but anything much newer was sold in large enough numbers and preserved well enough that unless you have sealed boxes, it's just used junk. There's always going to be exceptions but, for the most part, I wouldn't plan my retirement on keeping my XBox clean.

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:57PM (#43886121)

    There are a few factors which affect collecting. The big one is that you have to be collecting the right thing at the right time. Things like toys and comic books seem to gain value when their target audience reached maturity and had enough disposable income to purchase nostalgia items. Once those people have the items in their hands, grow out of their collecting/nostalgia phase, or simply die off, those items tend to lose their value.

    The other factor is supply and demand. We are talking about mass produced products. In many cases, the glut of unwanted items outweighs the demand for them so prices will remain low until most of the supply is destroyed. Hoarding doesn't really help here because every time a copy fetches a high price, a large enough number of hoarders will release their wares on the market and that will drive prices back down. So you'll probably find yourself holding onto the stuff for decades, and having to maintain it during those decades, just to fetch those high prices (unless you're lucky, of course).

    • by King_TJ (85913)

      I think you make an interesting point, except I'm trying to think of examples proving it's true, and I'm not really coming up with them?

      What I mean is, sure -- there's always going to be a "right thing at the right time" to get maximum value out of it. But in general, I'm not so sure collectibles reach "peak value" when the audience who grew up with them as kids reach maturity?

      As one example, think of the used market today for pedal cars. The most valuable ones seem to be the oldest ones still in good condi

  • As far as I understand it, the ones that make the real money are hideously rare, like the Nintendo World Championship gold cartridge for the NES.

    A full collection makes money because it contains a lot of rare games in among the big sellers. Old console games are inherently collectable as well which helps.

    The way to make money out of it would be to identify which games may become collectors items and start buying them up before a real collectors scene for the console starts to appear. The risky bit is they m

  • I don't buy games because they might be worth more someday; I buy games to play, to have a good time, and even to appreciate them as a kind of art. I buy games that matter to me.

    • I don't buy games because they might be worth more someday; I buy games to play, to have a good time, and even to appreciate them as a kind of art. I buy games that matter to me.

      I do this too. It's also why I don't buy games with DRM. In the past I only bought games with DRM I could crack. Now I'm not so sure future emulators will work with the cracks -- Some of my old games require NO-CD cracks that don't work in my emulator... I alternate between games in my backlog and games I really liked to play in my library. Recently played the old X-Com again, good thing I still have the manual for the codes it requires, it's getting old and faded though, but there are digitized versi

  • by MnemonicMan (2596371) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @09:13PM (#43886455)
    Take a 360. You put in the disc which may contain horrible game-breaking bugs and the first thing it does is connect to Xbox Live and get the newest patch for that game. Now, twenty years out.. What will perform the Xbox Live function so that you aren't left with a collection of buggy games?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      For a few treasured games, Steam is picking them up and rebundling and selling them quite cheap. Not Xbox stuff, though, due to massive Microsoft DRM and massive failure to ever document their own tools.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      You could download Xbox (as opposed to Xbox One) DLC and sideload it, I'm sure there's some way to do that with the 360 as well. Or, there could be, and probably will be by the time it's an issue.

      • Oh, but where would you get the "DLC"? Right now Microsoft is the exclusive distributor and they aren't sharing their database of patches.
  • When I was a poor college student, I sold my copy of "Star Fox Weekend Competition Edition" for beaucoup bucks... like close to $500. I also sold my copy of EarthBound for a considerable amount of money (I want to say like $200).

    I recently wanted to purchase Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Wii, but found out I can't, because it's like $300 for a used copy. I can't do a pirated copy using an ISO image on the Wii because the game is apparently a dual layer disc and the Wii freaks out over that.

    So, yes, some gam

  • In most cases software doesn't become more valuable. Technology in hardware and software changes. Features become superceeded by new or improved ones. I have a copy of VisiCalc for the Apple IIe and I'm pretty sure that no one is looking for VisiCalc as much as a working floppy drive let alone an Apple IIe.

    There maybe occations where a game generates some nostaliga but that isn't "appreciation" in the economic sense. Maybe if such a game only had a few copies left in the world that could increase in value b

  • I had a clearout in April. 50 C64 games, a dozen Atari ST games, around 100 PC games, some xbox and wii games, various bits of hardware including the c64, the ST, the xbox and the wii.

    Sold the lot for £140 to a local shop.

    The shop will have made a decent profit. Great - I want small local shops to stay in business. If I'd sold them individually on ebay I'd have made nearer £250, but it would've cost me 1-2 days effort.

    More to the point.. fuck the money. Almost everything I sold is i

  • by Dwedit (232252) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @10:56PM (#43886807) Homepage

    The buried copies of ET were pulverized before being buried in the landfill. You won't find any intact cartridges in there.

  • Things such as stamps, coins, and baseball cards are collected mainly because people want to own them.

    Video games have functionality, and a lot of the market for video games is to people who want them mainly to play. While there are people who want the games as collectible items, similar to stamps or coins, this just isn't true of everyone who wants to get an old video game. Emulators, either legal or otherwise, will handle the needs of most people who want to play old games until you get to the era that

  • If we are talking older generations of stuff, the problem is usually only a few titles are really worth alot and most of worth nothing. So if you bought everything new at the time of release, you'd have a few titles worth big money, and most of the stuff loses it's value. Now if you were smart enough to figure out which games you don't need to buy (sports games, etc) and just bought the games that should go up in price, then waited to pick up the other stuff at bottom prices, maybe.

    But collectors are a

    • by eWarz (610883)
      I don't consider myself a collector but to own an unopened copy of The Legend of Zelda or Super Mario Bros 3...Yeah i'd pay a decent amount for those games. Hell, as a kid I happened to receive dragon warrior as part of a nintendo power promotion, complete with a comprehensive strategy guide....yeah i'd pay a bit of money for that. Even if these games are opened they are worth something. The box art...instruction booklets...maps... etc...they don't make them like that anymore. Nowadays a video game is a
  • by nystul555 (579614) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @01:06AM (#43887155) Homepage

    This is what I do for a living, my company is the largest retailer and distributor of classic video games in North America (and most likely the world). Over the years we've built up a database with hundreds of millions of price points and sales transactions for tens of thousands of games. The overall trends haven't changed much, and with most games it's fairly easy to tell if the value is going to increase or decrease.

    First, if you are talking about a new game - if you open it then it is highly unlikely the game will become worth more than you paid for it any time soon. If you don't open it and it is a limited edition or collector's edition, and actually contains figures, books, artwork, etc, it may increase in value. If it ends up being a popular game it can skyrocket in value, especially if no one expected it to be a huge success when it first came out. We bought several copies of the original Mass Effect Limited Edition in 2007, never opened them, kept the receipts, paid 69.95 for each and sold them all for over 1k each last year. During its peak unopened copies of the original World of Warcraft were going for several thousand dollars. But those are the exceptions. RPGs tend to do far better than other genres, most other games will lose value even if unopened.

    Now if you are talking about older games, its a completely different story. For the last 8 years prices for classic video games have been going up at a steady, rapid rate. There are a few main factors. 1) - People get older, get better jobs, have money, and want to either replay the games they loved as a kid, get the games they couldn't afford when they were young, or show the games to their own children. 2) - International buyers are buying a HUGE number of classic video games - many of them were never released in their country and they only way they can legal play the game is to import it from the US. 3) - These games aren't made anymore. The supply is only decreasing. A decreasing supply combined with a rapidly increasing demand means price increases.

    As long as people continue to enjoy collecting games, and as long as they continue to enjoy playing classic games on the original systems, prices are likely to increase, although more slowly than in the past. Virtual Console, PSN, and other re-releases usually result in a small increase in demand for the original games (unless they were already way too expensive). Roms have been around for far longer than we've been doing this and the demand for the originals, and the prices, are still increasing. But keep in mind that unless you are talking about unopened games, then the prices are increasing relative to their value a few years ago. A good, new NES game for bought for $60 in 1988 may only be worth $20 today. But in 2010 you could have bought it for $6. In 2008, $3.

    If you have a bunch of old video games and need some cash, I'd sell them. Don't count on them to skyrocket in value. But if you don't need the cash and if you still enjoy playing them, it's fine to hold on. They should continue to increase in value. If they are new games - sell them as quick as you can! But not to GameStop. Sell them on Ebay or Craigslist. Places like GameStop will rip you off and give you half what you could have gotten selling it yourself.

    • But those are the exceptions. RPGs tend to do far better than other genres, most other games will lose value even if unopened.

      Indeed, I've noticed that trend with RPGs as well and platformers tend to do the

    • But those are the exceptions. RPGs tend to do far better than other genres, most other games will lose value even if unopened.

      Indeed, I've noticed that trend with RPGs as well and platformers tend to do fairly well as well with racing games and FPS games seemly doing the worst. Rare SHMUPS seem to do very well but I'm willing to bet that is more to do with low production than anything else.

      Awhile back I started tracking the value of my collection (mostly RPGs) and other than a couple of stand outs (e.g. Valkyrie Profile, Persona: Revelations Series, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, etc.) it seems like unless you are getting the ga

    • I'm just curious if anyone out there is maintaining any type of "price guide" or can speak first-hand to the value (or lack thereof) of the electronic hand-held video games that were popular in the early 80's?

      For example, I found my original Tandy Radio/Shack "Cosmic Fire Away" game in a box not long ago, and after cleaning it up, realized it still plays as good as when it was new with a fresh set of batteries in it. I knew it was the original version they released. (I remember Radio Shack coming out with

  • One full of old Atari games, or a truckload of LISAs? A LISA is worth about $10,000.

  • I'd say the consoles and games to keep an eye on for the longer term are, curiously, the ones from the current hardware generation. I'm not including the Wii here, which is a) not really current generation any more and b) easily to emulate using the excellent Dolphin.

    The PS3 and 360, however... while it might take a long time, certain models of the hardware and certain games may have value in the longer run. The next generation is going to be a very stark break in terms of back-compatibility. Sony are talki

  • At the best of times, buying things because it/the collection will be worth a fortune down the track is dumb. The cases where something does get valuable decades down the line involve a combination of scarcity and desirability. And it's nigh on impossible to predict what will be that combination. In general, if anyone cares enough to buy it in the first place when it's new, they do so in sufficient quantity that it never gets that scarce. If not many get sold to begin with, it's usually because not many pe
  • Cartridge based games don't have moving parts and will be playable forever and their from the beginning if gaming. They'll probably hold some value but no one will care about your halo collection.
    • Cartridge based games don't have moving parts

      How exactly? A cartridge slot's pins bend every time a cartridge is inserted. This goes double for the front-loading NES with its funky ZIF connector.

      • I'm not sure what cartridges you're using but they don't bend at all. They're on a standard board like your video card. Try bending your video card in half. The NES is the only cart based system with moveable parts but they're still working and to be on the safe side I bought the top loading version too so I'm not too bothered about that.
        • They're on a standard board like your video card.

          Video card? This computer is a laptop, and the majority of laptops have onboard video.

          Anyway, the slot that a desktop PC's video card sits in has a metal pin for each of the contacts. This pin inside the slot bends when the video card is inserted into the slot. People change cartridges in a video game console far more often than they change video cards in a PC.

          • Given the fact that nearly anyone still dedicated to even the oldest cartridge system can still play them, I think that's a non issue. They've lasted well over 20 years which is the life a disc could have due to disc rot and I wager they'll keep going after 100 years (given some systems are already approaching 50 years and that puts them around the upper lifespan of a disc and I'd say good luck on finding a xbox that has a disc drive that lasts that long.
  • by blackicye (760472)

    This will be even more irrelevant as more software eventually become single activation / digital download only.

  • I'm collecting games so that I can re-play them in the future, or play them at all since I have quite a few that are unopened or at least unplayed. And I won't have to rely on any server authentication to do so! I'll also have the original unchanged and uncensored versions. Some games that have been re-released have included modifications and changes that are a result of expired agreements or what the developers deem "fixes" and other such things. Even NES and Genesis games.

    Even if the next generation
  • I've been into classic game collecting since the mid 90's (back when the real Atari was actually still around). Up until last year I had a massive gaming collection that spanned multiple systems from the Atari 2600 to Neo Geo (many were boxed as well). For the longest time, anything classic would sell. Loose 2600 games, common 5200 games, Vic-20 cartridges, Colecovision stuff, anything as long as it was pre-1985ish. People were reliving their childhood, only this time they had access to a much bigger al
  • Game collections like my old Sun2/3 workstations will appreciate over time. But they will go from almost no value to a little value. A quote that comes to mind is about investing in artwork:
    "You had better really like it because you may wind up owning it for a very long time"

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  • Have a bunch of unopened Atari games, still worth $2 each, like the price they were originally sold for. Why? because nobody wants them just like most old games. If you buy a video game as an investment, you need to get a life.

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