I really liked this video by Metal Jesus because game collecting is so different today. This is longer video, but I’ll summarize the bigger points for discussion fodder
- NES and SNES loose carts prices are stabilizing after years of growth. I think is this a generational thing. Older Millenials and Gen Xers who have fond memories of these systems have probably got their fill or are sticking with emulation (hacked NES/SNES classics, Rasperry Pi, etc)
- However, it seems there’s an uptick with N64/PS1. The younger Millenials are starting to get paid so this makes sense!
- Generation 5 and 6 (PS2/Xbox/Gamecube and 360/Wii/PS3) are ripe for collecting right now, especially at places like GameStop
- Xbox 1 collecting may worth collecting right now especially with excellent BC support on the 1X.
- 3DS and Vita are going to be very collectible.
- The 3DS being very unique in its form factor (2 screens, 3D screens on several SKUs, touchscreen support). It just doesn’t emulate as well as conventional systems, making it very collectible.
- The Vita never caught on the mainstream yet it has a rather strong collecting community due to companies like Limited Run Games
- Pre-NES collecting. Atari, Coleco, and so on are ripe for collecting and prices are cheap.
Right now, my focus is on 3DS. Same reasons MJR mentioned. Its library is crazy, especially if you love JRPGs. Nintendo’s first party output is also very strong. Yeah, I know about the emulators, but it’s the unique form factor makes you think how Nintendo will re-release these games as the Switch is single screen.
Any collectors out there? What’s your focus these days?
I find the question “What should I collect if I’m starting in 2019” to be incredibly bizarre. At least MJR calls that out and recommends collecting what you’re passionate about. But even so, I struggle to understand where someone would be coming from if they are asking that kind of question. It sounds a bit profit-driven, as in “how do I get in before the next bubble develops”, which is also really weird to me - If I was looking to make money in 2019, there are a million other investment options I’d recommend and retro video game would never be one of them.
The only reason I collect anything video game related is because they are the types of games I enjoy playing. And for me, playing is the key part because I truly believe games are meant to be played, not permanently sitting on my shelf (cue the backlog jokes ) or, god forbid, sealed in a plastic tomb and “graded”.
Perhaps a better way to phrase a similar question would be “If I enjoy a certain system’s games, what does the landscape look like for collecting that in 2019?” I absolutely love Nintendo handheld systems and made it a point to snatch up a lot of my favorite games from the DS/3DS. I don’t want to deal with the hassle that I’m encountering now with some of the GB/GBC games that I’d like to play but are getting hard to find and/or expensive. But for something like Xbox, I’ll never have an interest for anything in that library regardless of how “collectible” it becomes.
Nostalgia plays a factor in some of my collection, which someone starting in 2019 is not going to have. It goes beyond basic nostalgia, however, because there are many games I missed back in the day and I get a chance to revisit now. Exploring the library of the systems I enjoy is another important aspect of my collection.
In the end it all comes down to personal interests. Honestly, I’m glad to hear that systems like the NES/SNES are finally leveling off. I would be happy if the whole damn retro bubble would pop so that I could go back to buying good old games for cheap to play on original hardware.
@fester I think that’s what majority of people who collect now get in it for. Between people buying games to have complete xbox collections or hording stuff because it’s rare it feels like it’s used more as a way of making or storing wealth. That’s what collecting in most communities has always been and will likely always be that way. People who buy power 9 cards in magic the gathering buy it for a mix of e-peen or because it’s expensive and it keeps going up in value. Most people who are spending that much money on a single card aren’t doing it because they really want to be able to play a legacy deck with those cards. It sucks if you want to play those games but it’s largely always been the case.
Instead of spending exorbitant amounts of money on SNES games, I decided to start collecting for the Super Famicom instead. The games are literally 35% the cost of SNES games and many titles are English friendly. Not to mention there are a ton of exclusives that never were localized for North America. It made me wonder if I should start collecting Japanese exclusives on other systems as well.
Saturn is still a no go zone
I have a mix of US and Super Famicom games due to prices. I bought Hagane from Japan for example while the pricey US stuff I have was bought back when it was new for the most part.
That’s the way to go now for games that don’t require knowledge of Japanese.
I think it can also depend on people just not knowing where to start. Say for instance a kid who never had a ps2 growing up. Lots of good games for that system are still super cheap so now is a good time to start collecting for it. Wish someone had told me that years ago with Sega Saturn
Yeah, I can see that. I never had a Genesis growing up so it’s been fun exploring that in more detail. Pointers could be helpful, but it’s been fueled by my interest the games and hardware.
Regarding the Saturn, I hear that’s still a no go zone.
Saturn is a no go ONLY if you want to start with Panzer Saga and such. Most of the good games are readly avaliable and not expensive at all. Even more if you go JP hunting.
Wii U for me. So many bangers and games and hardware are relatively cheap. You can still buy new games from Nintendo directly.
If I were to start collecting for a completely new system though, I think it would be 3D0.
I think the Wii U is an excellent choice. The expectation that everything will be ported over to Switch seems a bit unrealistic. And the hate that the system gets in other places on the Internet borders on the irrational. So many timeless classics that you can play today rather than holding out for a possible port (and being disappointed if it never happens.)
I think it’s less about true investment and a bit more about treating collecting like a meta game. Can you pick winners? Can spot the future holy grails? That part is kind of fun. But, yes, it’s a bit removed from actually playing and enjoying the games - though they are certainly not mutually exclusive.
I pretty much every game I want for the modernish systems. I’m sure I’ll learn about new games to try, but I am really trying to limit my collection to games that mean something to me.
He raises a good point with the 3DS, especially regarding how you only really get the full experience on the system itself. Like the DS it certainly justifies being a handheld - many of its games only come together when played on the hardware itself.
I’ve noticed that European versions of many third party games tend to go for a lot more than their North American counterparts. It’s likely either due to smaller print runs or publishing rights changing - NIS America released Atlus’ games here, and they didn’t print many copies of games like Stella Glow and Soul Hackers. The rise of digital distribution may have also led many publishers to underprint boxed copies of their games. Persona Q2 already goes for crazy money because it only received a single, small print at launch. It is interesting how modern factors impact the pricing of boxed games.
One of the other nice things about 3DS carts is you can be guaranteed you’ll get the full game without the need for patches, they have rewriteable storage for save files, and the solid state media means you don’t need to be extremely careful handling them.
I haven’t watched the video so I don’t know if he mentioned it but: The PlayStation TV (Vita TV) had dropped down to $20 (brand new) at some stores and is now selling for over $150 used. It’s a great little system (in my opinion) and is the best hardware investment I’ve ever made. It may still be a good investment at $150 but it’s hard to say. Regardless, it’s the only way you’ll be able to play Vita games on a TV for the foreseeable future so if that interests you, I’d grab one now.
The problem with the Vita tv is having to hack it to be able to play a lot of Vita games on it. Thanks to Sony’s stupid whitewash list or what ever the hell it was called.
I think its crazy to spend lots of money on older cd based games because of disk rot.
Why did they do this? So weird lol
Because Sony seemed absolutely determined to screw over anything connected to the Vita line. It’s like they didn’t want the Vita or PS TV to be a success.
I just began collecting NeoGeo this year, perhaps not the most financially sound time to do it since it has gotten really crazy. I’ll atick to AES Japanese games and MVS loose carts. My wallet is ready.