Stadium Events Auction Exposes Weird Reporting

The recent auction of another copy of Stadium Events has surfaced some weird reporting.  How much of this do you recognize?

From The NY Daily News:

The 8-bit game soured into history after being recalled shortly after its limited release in the US. It’s believed only 200 copies sold at $29.99 sneaked into the hands of consumers before the rest were inevitably destroyed, industry experts say.

From BizTekMojo:

Why has this retro game attracted such a high price? Probably because there may only be less than 2000 copies floating around and finding one that is still factory sealed makes it even more collectable.

Before the auction finished, Technobuffalo reported the following:

It hit in 1987, but it was pulled from store shelves the next year because Nintendo wanted its own crack at the family fitness stuff. Remember the track pad? There were supposedly only 2,000 copies in North America, 200 of which made it on to consumers.

From TechTimes:

According to retro console website RacketBoy, Stadium Events is normally valued at $1,800 and $8,000. When the first factory-sealed copy of the game was put up for auction in January 2011, however, the highest bidder put up a winning bid of $22,800. Since then, demand for rare collectible games has exploded. Stadium Events started with an opening bid of $5,000 but more than 80 bids later, the amount has skyrocketed to astronomical levels.

Kudos to Pat the Punk who called it out weeks ago:

 

stadium events nes

Opinion: ColecoVision Flashback – Meh

colecovision flashback

The ColecoVision Flashback is scheduled for release this October and it hasn’t been without controversy.  First and foremost I have repeatedly over the years stated that this would never happen.  My reasoning behind this is that the majority of the titles on the ColecoVision were licensed arcade games.  Donkey Kong – Nintendo; Zaxxon – Sega; Frenzy – Stern.  The list goes on and on.  So how could a flashback system release all of these classic titles when many of companies that own the IP are still around and kicking?  Well the answer came a few days ago.

As posted on Armchairarcade.com here is the list of titles that are allegedly coming with the ColecoVision Flashback:

Alphabet Zoo
Aquattack
Artillery Duel
BlackJack/Poker
Blockade Runner
Brain Strainers
Bump ‘n’ Jump
Choplifter!
Cosmic Avenger
Dragonfire
Evolution
Fathom
Flipper Slipper
Fortune Builder
Frantic Freddy
Frenzy
Gateway to Apshai
Gust Buster
Jumpman Junior
Jungle Hunt
Miner 2049er
Montezuma’s Revenge
Moonsweeper
Motocross Racer
Mountain King
Nova Blast
Oil’s Well
Omega Race
Pepper II
Quest for Quintana Roo
Rolloverture
Sammy Lightfoot
Sir Lancelot
Slurpy
Space Fury
Space Panic
Squish ‘Em Featuring Sam
Super Cross Force
Telly Turtle
The Dam Buster
The Heist
Threshold
Tomarc the Barbarian
Tournament Tennis
Venture
War Room
Wing War
Zaxxon

Plus 12 additional homebrew games.  Does anyone see a problem with this?  I sure do.  Very few of these titles were actually popular.  I’m willing to say that unless you are a ColecoVision enthusiast you may never heard of more than 7 or 8 of these titles.  That is not necessarily bad in itself but if you’re like me you have a very specific “vision” of playing ColecoVision, its probably not going to be this.  The ColecoVision was my first game system and I remember all of the titles I got, in the order I got them: Donkey Kong, Centipede, Q*Bert, 2010, Popeye, Cosmic Avenger, Mouse Trap, Front Line, Lady Bug, Tarzan.  Perhaps I wasn’t as privileged as other kids who might have gotten some of the other titles listed on the Flashback, but looking online at lists of “popular” ColecoVision games I again see very few overlapping titles.  Will the ColecoVision Flashback be a waste of money?  Probably not.  Will it rekindle memories of playing ColecoVision on a Sunday afternoon?  Sure, maybe for the half dozen of us who were lucky enough to experience these games in their heyday.

 

A New Way To Play Game Boy Advance Games On Your TV

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Hyperkin announced yesterday they will be releasing the Retron4. Like the Retron3 the 4 will feature the same Genesis, SNES and NES cartridge slots and controller ports but this new system will support a Game Boy Advance slot as well. No word if the system will support original or Game Boy Color games. This is excellent news as the Advance games can be played on a TV with a Gamecube and the appropriate adaptor and disc – but the disc is hard to come by and is pretty expensive. The system will debut at the Midwest Gaming Classic on March 23rd. Get ready to blow the dust off of your Advance games!

Now Is The Time To Collect PlayStation 2 Games And Accessories

Several news outlets have announced that Sony Japan will cease distribution of the PlayStation 2 console in Japan.  Its only a matter of time before the popular console’s life finally ends here in the United States.  That said, now is the time to start collecting and or hoarding PS2 games, hardware, and merchandise either as a personal investment, or to jump start that collection you always promised yourself that you’d get.  Here are some things to consider:

Systems:

The PS2 was released in both the original, and slim models.  The larger models are as follows:

  • SCPH30001 – this is just the standard console
  • SCPH35001 – This is the GT edition
  • SCPH30001R – same as 30001 but has the IR drivers built in
  • SCPH39001 – same as above but with minor changes
  • SCPH50001 – same as above but with progressive scan, IR receiver built in, and Firewire port remove
  • If the console has an N after it then it came with the network adapter.  If it has a C then it was most likely (but not always) a Canadian console

For the slim there are two different ones

  • SCPH7XXX1 – the 70000 series have an external power supply.  The Network Adaptor is built in, but does not have the phone port
  • SCPH9XXX1 – the 90000 series have the power supply built in

If you’re interested in buying a used console stick with the 30001R, 50001, or 90001 series.  If you have a broken system you can still have it serviced for about $50 from SCEA but you might be better off buying a new slim in stores (if you can find one) because if you consider the $50 for repair plus another $15 for shipping, thats $65, with a 90 day warranty.  A new system is $99, but you get a one year warranty, a controller, new flat end av cables, etc.  But if you are insistent on a repair call 1-800-345-7669 – you will unlikely get your exact console back.

If you’re going to buy a used slim avoid the 7XXX1.  The power supplies were recalled around 2004-2005 and there isn’t an easy way to tell if the one you’re buying is a replacement.  Over the next five years I predict you’ll see plenty of PS2 consoles in thrift stores, just as you can easily find PS1 and Nintendo 64s in thrift stores now.

Accessories:

The most valuable accessories for the PS2 will end up being the licensed memory cards, and licensed controllers.  If it’s not licensed than its probably junk anyways and might not have much collecting value (think: Madcatz, and Pelican).  Some controllers will say they are licensed when they are not SONY licensed.  Example being the Starwars and NFL controllers.  Even though it says Licensed on it, it means its licensed from Lucasfilms and the NFL, not from SONY.

The licensed memory cards are only 8MEG, they will say Magic Gate on them.  Nyko released a licensed card, also 8MEG.  Its yellow with a black thumb grip.  ANY OTHER MEG SIZE IS A KNOCK OFF AND NOT A LICENSED PRODUCT.   EVEN IF IT SAYS SONY ON IT!  Be cautious of Chinese knock offs as it can blow out the peripheral ports.  The model number is SCPH10020.

Dual Shock 2 controllers (if you can find them) are still expensive in stores.  Typically $25 – $30.  Licensed model number is SCPH10010.

Games:

Games came in two formats: silver and blue back.  Silver are DVD’s, Blue’s are CDs.  There is no real difference between the two except the storage size and color.  This normally makes no difference, unless you have a system that won’t read games.  If the system can read one format and not the other just consider it broken.  No amount of internet instruction is worth the hassle to attempt to ‘adjust the laser’ or any other ridiculous crap.  Hundreds of millions of systems were sold so you should be able to find a replacement working system cheap.

On a side note about games, black backs are also CD’s and are PS1 games.

Your game collecting should be entirely a matter of preference.  Like most consoles the sports games are traditionally super cheap, and the RPG’s (the good ones at least) tend to be worth more.  Greatest hits titles are usually cheaper then the original release (PS2 Greatest Hits will have a Red marking at the top of the label indicating its a Greatest Hits).

In closing I have one more thing to mention.  If you’re curious about the least expensive game for the PS2 its Gran Turismo 3.  Though this guide rates it at around a buck, the previous two Black Fridays Gamestop unloaded the game for $2 or less!

For the PlayStation 2 price guide click here: http://www.videogamepriceguides.com/blog/sony/sony-playstation-2-ps2/

 

Classic Video Game Christmas Buyers Guide – Part I – Nintendo NES

If you have a loved one who appreciates video gaming from years ago, or gets teary eyed speaking of the days of Super Mario Bros. 3, Contra, and Tetris then you might find this guide of value!  This guide will cover some of the basics for purchasing an original Nintendo NES, the required accessories, a few recommended games, and some alternative suggestions.

Fortunately for you and your loved one finding an original Nintendo isn’t that difficult.  But depending on where you look comes with its on risks, challenges, and savings.

Thrift Stores

  • Likelihood of finding a system: slim
  • Likelihood of finding games: fair
  • Likelihood of finding controllers or other accessories: good
  • Likelihood of everything working: poor
  • Affordability: good

We wouldn’t recommend a thrift store for acquiring an original Nintendo.  Since by design the system was susceptible to dirt, 22 years of neglect is going to make it a coin toss if its going to work.  Further the games too will have the be cleaned which can also be a nightmare.  Save yourself a headache and trust us – don’t bother with a thrift store.  If you have the patience you can always buy a new edge connector to clean the system, but still its going to be a hassle.

Used Game Stores

  • Likelihood of finding a system: good
  • Likelihood of finding games: fair
  • Likelihood of finding controllers or other accessories: good
  • Likelihood of everything working: Very good
  • Affordability: Poor

Most used game stores (not Gamestop) will more than likely have original Nintendos.  There is a chance they won’t work or will be dirty but you can demand that they be tested first.  A used game store could be your one stop shop for everything to give your loved one a great holiday without the worry of the system not working.  The only problem with used game stores is that they will usually have a poor collection of games, or the games and systems will be grossly over priced.

Online – eBay

  • Likelihood of finding a system: very good
  • Likelihood of finding games: very good
  • Likelihood of finding controllers or other accessories: very good
  • Likelihood of everything working: fair
  • Affordability: fair to good

eBay is always an option, but the only real worry is a buying from a reputable buyer (to make sure that they ship and you receive in time) and that the system and games works.  Some sellers may have a generous return policy but who wants broken merchandise on Christmas day?  Do eBay only if you plan to do it early.  One other thing to note, as it gets closer and closer to the holidays the price of games particularly the popular ones will tend to creep up in price.  But if you’re willing to go the eBay route it can sometimes be one-stop-shop: a system, games, and accessories in one purchase.

Online – other

  • Likelihood of finding a system: very good
  • Likelihood of finding games: very good
  • Likelihood of finding controllers or other accessories: very good
  • Likelihood of everything working: good
  • Affordability: poor to fair

Purchasing online that is not eBay is another alternative to save you the hassle from a broken or dirty system.  There are many reputable dealers out there.  Lukie Games for instances has really stepped up their game (no pun intended) over the past few years.  Don’t consider this an official endorsement for them – it’s not.  We’ve purchased from them hassle free however.

Used Nintendo Pricing

These are recommendations of what we’d suggest spending for original Nintendos:

  • System: $15 – $50 working
  • If you purchased a system that knowingly needs a new pin connector (this is the connector inside the Nintendo which the cartridges insert into) and you want to purchase a new one and install it yourself expect to pay $5 – $12.  Make sure its not a refurbished, buy a new one.
  • Controllers: Used $2 – $5 (make sure the buttons have a good ‘push’ to them in other words they should spring back after pressing them) New or “cloned” controllers ($5 – $9)
  • Power Supply: $4 – $6 – for just a 9 volt dc adapter that works – no more than $2.  If at all possible when dealing with original hardware, try to get an original power supply.
  • RFU Adapter: This is the device that connects the system to the TV.  It has a long black cord then a grey box about the size of a pack of cigarettes, then a shorter cord that plugs into the TV.  We are not recommending you purchase this.  If it comes with the system – great.  If not, you don’t need it provided that you have a TV that has audio video jacks and the Nintendo you purchased is an original, or a clone.  Unfortunately if you have the redesigned Nintendo you WILL need an RFU adapter.  Since they are pretty common and most people are not using them don’t spend more than $2.
  • Accessories: Zapper* (the light gun) no more than $6; the NES Advantage (this is the arcade stick) make sure the buttons are not sticky – no more than $7 if the stick is clean.  The Advantage controllers don’t fair well under abuse, especially the buttons.

*NOTE: If you plan to connect this Nintendo up to a newer TV – like an LED or LCD the Zapper games will not work.  The Zapper works by identifying light coming off of a traditional TV.   This doesn’t mean your loved one will have a poor experience with an original Nintendo on a flat screen TV – it just means the light gun games will not work so no Duck Hunt, Hogan’s Alley, etc.

 

Game Prices

This site has a wealth of suggested pricing for original Nintendo games.  But here is a break down for a few:

  • Super Mario Bros. Duck Hunt: $3 or less
  • Super Mario Bros. 2: $5 – $11
  • Super Mario Bros. 3: $8 – $12
  • Contra:  This game is notoriously overpriced, so unfortunately $15 – $25
  • CastleVania: $7 – $11
  • The Legend of Zelda: $7 – $15 – look for gold “flaking” on the cartridge, also this game uses a Battery Backup which might need to be replaced
  • Kung-Fu or Excitebike $5

Alternatives to the original hardware

If you want certainty, affordability, and convenience but don’t necessarily care about authenticity then there are a few alternatives to the original Nintendo Entertainment System hardware.  Several device manufacturers make “Nintendo clones” which will play most Nintendo games problem free and use the original accessories.  A few popular games won’t work correctly on these systems such as CastleVania III, and Kirby, but the majority of the others will.  These systems can cost as low as $30 can include two generic controllers, and come in a variety of different colors.  Some of the systems like Retron3 actually accept Super Nintendo and SEGA Genesis games as well!

The “Yobo” system ($15 – $40):

 

 The “Retron 3” ($55 – $70):

 

There are also a few portable systems which act similar to a Game Boy but accepts original Nintendo cartridges.  These systems are also susceptible to a few compatibility issues.

The “FC Mobile” ($40 – $60):

 

Original Nintendo Value

Curious about the value of the original Nintendo?  You won’t believe what a Nintendo Entertainment System would cost today!

When the original Nintendo Entertainment System was released there were three different bundles: the Deluxe Set For $199.99 which included R.O.B, the zapper, two controllers, and Gyromite and Duck Hunt.  The control deck bundle included no game and retailed for $89.99.  For $10 more you could get the control deck with Super Mario Bros.  Later, the Action Set was released for $149.99 which is the set most remembered which game with two controllers, the zapper, and Mario/Duck Hunt.
Much later other sets came out including the Power Set which included everything from the Action Set, but also included the Power Pad and the 3-in-1 game pak with Mario/Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet.  Later another set was released which included the NES Satellite, four controllers, and Super Spike V’Ball/Nintendo World Cup.  A Challenge Set was released that included two controllers and Super Mario Bros. 3.  And of course, the last set which included the redesigned NES for $49.99.
If you take into account the price of the Action set which was $149.99, it would have cost $271.02 in 2010 due to inflation!  A $39.99 game pack in 1988 would have cost $72.74 today.
If you look at reverse inflation, a PlayStation 3 Greatest Hits release usually costs between $19.99 and $29.99 today – we’ll take an average and say its $24.99 which converts to $13.41 back in 1988!

Sonic The Hedgehog Turns 21 Today

Sonic the Hedgehog turns 21 years of age today!  He can now legally purchase alcohol in the United States which I’d imagine would be the first thing he’d do.  After SEGA left the hardware market they seemed to have focused more on more on Sonic the Hedgehog shovel-ware, and there seems to be no slowing down with the merchandising.  Pajamas, backpacks, pencil sets and more have been getting equal shelf space in stores next to Super Mario Bros.

If there is any good news out of this it is that the original game is easy to find, and very inexpensive.  See: How much is Sonic the Hedgehog Worth?

Game Boy Advance Turned 11 Years Old This Week

On June 11th 2001 Nintendo released the original Game Boy Advance in North America.  This was one of Nintendo’s most significant product launches as it was their first Game Boy system to take a radical departure in the design from the original Game Boy.  No longer would the screen sit above a NES-inspired control scheme.  Instead it resembled more of a Super Nintendo controller with shoulder buttons and the screen seated squarely between the D-pad and A and B buttons.  Neat.  But flawed.

The lack of back-light made the screen, like it’s predecessor the Game Boy Color near impossible to see unless you were looking at it under bright light.  That would eventually be resolved with the release of the Game Boy Advance SP.  Good going Nintendo!  Happy Birthday Game Boy Advance!

Your Nintendo Game Boy Advance Price Guide has been updated for this special occasion.  Enjoy!

Newt Gingrich is Mortal Kombat And Mitt Romney Is Super Mario Bros. Do I Have That Right?

The 2011 update to Mortal Kombat was mostly well received, which is a good thing considering the franchise has lost most of it’s luster over the past two decades. When the original game was released to home consoles, particularly the SEGA Genesis and Super Nintendo, it seemed all hell broke loose. It was the first time that I heard video games be mentioned in a negative light in the popular media, but it was exciting to see something on the nightly news that actually interested me.

Anyways, the other evening I listened to a debate on the O’Reilly Factor on the long drive home from work, where Mary Catherine Ham compared Newt Gingrich to “Mortal Kombat” and Mitt Romney to “Super Mario Bros.” It seemed that even Bill O’Reilly found humor in Ham’s reference:

O'REILLY: They want a straight talk and they want to eviscerate Obama, that's for sure.
HAM: No and they're -- and they are missing that spark from Romney.
They are missing that little bit of force.
And he does have trouble. Like Newt Gingrich is like "Mortal Kombat"
to Romney's "Super Mario Brothers."
O'REILLY: Ok this is a video game reference I think you are making here?
HAM: Yes.
O'REILLY: Ok good, a very trendy Mary Katharine, thank you.
HAM: Actually, sort of dated but --

The full transcript can be viewed here.  It should also be noted that Ham would have been 12 years old when Mortal Kombat was released, and that there is a popular YouTube video where Bill O’Reilly presents a story about Super Mario Bros.

So after 20 years, what are the original Mortal Kombat games worth?  Not much.  Over production runs, and the lousy blood-free Super Nintendo port didn’t help matters.  To the individual collector they are only worth a few dollars each, but to the video game industry as a whole… they are worth every dime made on an M rated game.

Below are current cheap auctions for both the SEGA Genesis and Super Nintendo versions of Mortal Kombat:

Mortal Kombat For SEGA Genesis:

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Mortal Kombat For Super Nintendo:

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SNES Super Nintendo Campus Challenge Cart

Have $25,000 to spare?  If so you can be the proud owner of a copy of the SNES Super Nintendo Campus Challenge Cart.  One recently went up on eBay here:http://www.ebay.com/itm/SNES-Super-Nintendo-1992-Campus-Challenge-NWC-/150718347290#ht_3904wt_1398  .  No point in talking about it here because the seller themainkirkman has pretty much summed up everyone you’d want to know about this cart in the listing. 

I am concerned that this game, like the Stadium Events for the original Nintendo NES from a few years ago, will artificially inflate the prices of SNES games.  On the other hand this news can force some people to dig through their closet for the prospect of quick richest.  Unfortunately for most their copy of Combat Basketball won’t bring in enough money even for bus fare.