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Monday, November 14, 2016

Nintendo NES Classic Mini's Impact on Original NES Cartridge Prices

Since it's surprise announcement July, 14th 2016, the Nintendo NES Classic Mini has excited nostalgia loving gamers. The teaser video has been viewed more than 2 million times and the system quickly sold out everywhere when it launched.

How has the Nintendo Mini impacted the prices for Nintendo NES cartridges?
Are people ditching cartridges for the pre-installed versions?
Is the hype for the console renewing interest in the NES?
Or maybe just sparking interest in the other 683 games not included in the Classic Mini?

We've analyzed the NES prices to answer these questions.

nintendo classic mini prices

The Price Data

The Classic Mini let's you play 30 different NES games on a miniature version of the NES and all the games are pre-installed on the system. No need for cartridges if you want to replay some of your childhood favorites. And the $59.99 MSRP is cheaper than the cost of buying an NES and all 30 games (~$500).

We compiled the prices for all 30 games included in the Nintendo Classic Mini during the last 9 months. 4 months before and after it was announced and the announcement month itself. (See the full data set). The prices for November are from November 14th, two days after launch.

nintendo classic mini impact on nes cartridge prices

Prices After Announcement

The price for the average NES game was increasing before the Classic Mini announcement and continued to increase afterwards.

The average price for the 30 games included in the Nintendo Mini was decreasing before the annoucement and continued on the same trajectory.

It's easier to see the trends before and after the announcement by indexing both prices to 1 at the time of announcement. See the chart below.

nintendo nes prices after classic mini launch

The announcement of the Nintendo Classic Mini had no impact on Nintendo cartridge prices.

Prices After Launch

The Classic Mini launch has lowered NES cartridge prices at least in the short term.

See that little decline in the red line between October 2016 and November 2016? Prior to the launch, NES prices had increased 13 months in a row. After launch, prices dropped.

nintenod nes prices before classic mini launch
Two days is not enough data to see the full impact on cartridge prices, but initial data looks like there will be an impact.

Will the Mini launch continue to lower NES cartridge prices? Or is this just a short term blip? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

PriceCharting is Tracking 9,000 More eBay Game Listings Every Day

We made a recent change that tracks 9,000 more video game listings on eBay every day. This leads to thousands of additional sales in our database each day.

This additional data improves our price calculations and our sales history....especially for less common games.


How We're Tracking More Listings

eBay has product identifiers on their site. When someone sells a game they can tell eBay "this is the game I'm selling". On some products, like Call of Duty Black Ops III, there are hundreds of listings available and we track 10-20 sales per day.

On other games eBay doesn't offer a product identifier or sellers never it. Contra for NES is a good example. The product identifier for that game has a measly 7 listings, yet Contra sells copies every day.

We used to limit ourselves to only tracking listings with a product identifier attached.

Now we can infer the product from the listing title with very high accuracy. This allows us to link those listings to a game on our site. We can do it even when seller's use different punctuation, nicknames, or aliases.

For example:
"Super Mario 3 [Nintendo NES] Complete in Box"
"Mario 3 (Nintendo) with Box and Instructions"
"Super Mario Brothers 3 for NES **Game + Case + Manual**"

All of these can automatically be associated with Super Mario 3 for NES in CIB condition.

After the change went live, Contra went from a 1-2 sales per month to 1-3 sales per day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Automatically Value Video Game Lots on eBay with Our "eBay Lot Bot"

We just launched a new tool we're calling the eBay Lot Bot. It automatically calculates the value of every video game lot available on eBay.

You can browse every lot available and look at the photos, listing title, and the value. If you see one you like you can click to read the description, see what games are included in the value, and buy it on eBay if you think its a good deal.

Tips for Browsing for Game Lots

Filter by Console:
The results are always filtered by console.

Nintendo NES, Atari 2600, and Xbox 360 are included for everyone for free. Other consoles can be added for as little as $1 for one additional console or $5 for every console.

Sort by Ending Time:
You can see the available lots sorted to show those ending soonest first. Or see newly listed lots first.

Ending soonest will show some good auction deals below their value. Newly listed will show some Buy It Now deals that might be a steal.

Filter by Listing Type:
You can filter results to show only auctions, only Buy It Now listings, or both, whichever you prefer.

Tips for Looking at Lot Details

The lot details page for each listing will show the listing description the seller used, all the photos included, the games found, and the total value of the lot.

Listing Description: The listing description will appear almost exactly as it does on eBay. Every title found by the Lot Bot is highlighted in red.

Games Found The games found in the listing are shown on the left side of the description with their value.

We aim for about 90% accuracy on the matches but we will miss some titles due to spelling errors or ambiguity (seller said "cooking mama wii", is that "cooking mama cook off" or "cooking mama world kitchen"?).

You can add any titles missed and they will be added to the total value.

You can also remove titles by clicking the 'x' next to it.

 
Please try out the video game Lot Bot. Let us know what you think. Will this be useful for you? How can we improve it?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

PC and Mac Games Being Deprecated

PC Games and Mac games make up 30% of the products on PriceCharting.

At the same time PC Games only account for 0.4% of page views on the site (MAC is only 0.01%)

The sheer number of titles causes lots of strain on our servers. Things like monitoring ebay sales, calculating new prices, and loading all the games for price comparison. The vast majority of PC games are never even viewed by users in any given month.

Because these pages are not popular with our users and increase costs and strain on our systems, we have decided to remove them from our site over the next few weeks.

This will help the site perform better for the other 99.6% of the pageviews. The vast majority of users will have a better experience.

I'm sorry to the few PC game collectors who use our site.

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