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Monday, June 30, 2008

Saled Auctions 1st Edition: Zelda Master Quest

We recently created a new program that allows us to see whenever sealed, rare game come up for auction on ebay. We are going to have a new regular feature on the VGPC blog that let's readers know of any sealed auctions that are available.

All the auctions we list in this series will be brand new and sealed and be relatively hard to find or sought after by collectors.

Zelda Ocarina of Time Master Quest - Gamecube
This game was only a limited release by Nintendo and never sold in stores. It was a pre-order bonus for Zelda Wind Waker.

Mario Dance Dance Revolution with Pad - Gamecube
The game is sells for about $60 on average so the brand new one will probably go for over $100. Nintendo and Konami didn't manufacture enough copies of this game to meet the demand so used copies even sell for more than retail price.

Sonic Jam - Sega Saturn
Not extremely rare but still sells for about $20-30 used. This sealed auction is listed for $50.

Lunar 2 Eternal Blue - Playstation 1

Vagrant Story - Playstation 1

Pikmin 2 - Gamecube

UPDATE
Chrono Trigger - Super Nintendo
It ends in 7 hours, but is already at $325. A sealed Chrono Trigger previously sold for $1,217 on ebay. Will this one go as high?

Family Fun Fitness - NES
This is a rare game for NES and was pulled from production. This is a sealed version with the pad included. The seller is asking $1,299. A bit high if you ask me but it is rare and sealed.

If there are any particular sealed games you are looking for, let me know in the comments section and I will specifically look for those ones too. Give me any other feedback you have about this new article series. Information I should add for each auction, pictures, current prices on VGPC, etc.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

VGPC Site Running Slow

We wanted to let you know that the VGPC main site is running very slow this morning because of some malicious attacks on the data center where our site is hosted. There are some server overload attempts coming from many different IP addresses so it takes a while for the host to fix these kinds of issues. For the next few hours our main pricing site will probably be running very slow or not be accessible at all.

Sorry for any inconvenience. We hope this is resolved shortly.

UPDATE: As of 10:00 AM MST we are back to normal. The attackers have been defeated and justice restored to the Internet. Or at least our data center.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mario Kart Wii Is Selling Over Retail Price

Mario Kart Wii has now entered the company of WiiFit and the Wii Console and is selling for more than retail price online. Mario Kart prices on ebay are over $60. Overall the game is selling for about $65 on ebay, amazon, and half.com.

Mario Kart Wii Prices
It seems Nintendo has problems keeping any games in stock that include hardware. Even Wii Play is selling for just at retail price or slightly over and its been out for well over a year. It is much harder to increase supply for these games because they aren't just printing discs. They actually have to make something with electronic components. Which takes a lot longer to make.

Wii Game Prices | Xbox 360 Game Prices | PS3 Game Prices

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

People Bought Video Games With Their Stimulus Checks

Did you buy video games with your stimulus check from Uncle Sam? Join the crowd. The IRS mailed the first stimulus checks on May 2nd and by May 6th video game resale prices started increasing. Just enough time for people to cash their checks and choose their games.

The chart below shows the average resale video game price for 2007 and 2008 (The average includes more than 5,000 video games from every console from NES to Xbox 360). The prices shown are an indexed price starting at 1 so you can see the relative price change easier. Because video games drop in price, for the most part, the actual 2007 average price is higher than 2008 average price.

Video Game Prices April 17th to June 16th - 2007 vs 2008


Click the chart to see a bigger image

Zoomed in Game Price Data for May


Click the chart to see a bigger image

The prices in April 2007 and 2008 followed almost the exact same pattern in price depreciation, but starting May 6th the prices diverge. 2008 prices start increasing while 2007 continues to decrease. The gap continues to widen until May 22nd, six days after the last stimulus check arrived. The difference in prices has slowly shrunk ever since.

This tells us a few things about the stimulus checks and video games:
  1. Some people bought used video games with their checks.
  2. People didn't wait very long to start spending the checks
  3. The stimulus looks to be only temporary. The prices are slowly going back to the prices they would have been without the checks.

It will be interesting to see when the prices actually do converge again and how long the stimulus actually lasts. I'll have to run another analysis later this summer to find out.

Average video game prices came from VGPC.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Price Guide Fully Integrated With Wolf Track POS

We are happy to announce our video game price guide is now fully integrated with Wolf Track Software's video game store POS (Point of Sale) software. For $100 per month you can have a fully functioning software package that runs an entire video game store. Everything from accepting credit cards, buying back games, setting prices for new games, accepting pre-orders, and more.

If you own a video game store you can save time pricing your inventory and quickly integrate your software into your current setup.

If you're looking to start a video game store this is the perfect package. No software package you have to buy. Low monthly fees. And you can have the entire back-end of your gaming store ready to go in no time.

Friday, June 13, 2008

World Ends With You Shortage

Joystiq posted an article today about the shortage for the World Ends With You for Nintendo DS. The article says the game has been in short supply for quite a while but Square Enix has shipped the game to retailers and is in stock now. I thought this would be an interesting game to check on to see how severe the shortage has been and if the restock lowers the resale price. The chart below shows that World Ends With You has been selling at retail price since it's release.

The game must be relatively hard to find because most games start dropping in price right after they are released. The resale price also increased a little in June to be above retail, about $40.36 when retail price is $39.99.

The current price on vgpc is $36.00 so the game has come down almost $4 already from retail price. If Joystiq is right and the game has been restocked at most retailers, I expect the price will keep coming down in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Collecting 101: Review Score Is Important Factor In Video Game Resale Prices

GTA IV Price DropJust like new cars drop in price when you drive them off the lot, the resale prices of video games drop in price the day you buy them. In fact the resale price of video games released in 2007 dropped 0.24% per day. But do well reviewed games drop as much as poorly reviewed ones? We set off to find out.

For our analysis we looked at every game released in 2007 for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii. A total of 322 games. We then gathered resale price data from VGPC.com and review scores from metacritic.com for each game. We then charted the review score vs the price change per day for every game to see if there is a trend (Every trendline show below is statistically significant with 99% confidence. See discussion below for more details). The chart below shows all the data points:

Click Chart For Larger Image


There is an obvious trend with the lower the review score the bigger the price drop per day. Based upon the data, a game with a review score of 90 points would be predicted to drop in price 0.19% per day, while a game with a 50 review score would drop 0.24% per day. This might not seem like a huge difference but after a year the great game would sell for $16.70 and the bad game would sell for $7.38. The same basic trend holds true for each console too:

Xbox 360 Games: Review Score vs Resale Price

Xbox 360 Review Scores vs Resale Prices
Click Chart For Larger Image

Xbox 360 games had an average review score of 68.7 and dropped in price 0.24% per day. A game with a 90 metacritic score drops 0.21%/Day and a 50 reviewed game drops 0.27%/Day. Also worth noting, in 2007 the 360 had the highest average review score of the three main consoles.

PS3 Games: Review Score vs Resale Price

Playstation 3 Review Scores vs Resale Prices
Click Chart For Larger Image

PS3 games had an average review score of 61.6 and dropped in price 0.24% per day also. A Playstation 3 game with a 90 metacritic score drops 0.18%/Day and a 50 reviewed game drops 0.27%/Day. The PS3 is statistically the same as the 360 in terms of the price drop per day, which makes sense because many games on the 360 are also available on the Playstation 3.

Wii Games: Review Score vs Resale Price

Wii Review Scores vs Resale Prices
Click Chart For Larger Image

The average Wii game had a review score of 45.7 and dropped in price 0.22% per day. A Wii game with a 90 metacritic score drops 0.16%/Day and a 50 reviewed game drops 0.22%/Day. The average Wii review score is below 50 so companies are making quite a few bad games for the Wii. But at the same time the Wii has the lowest percentage drop per day. Maybe all those casual gamers keep the resale prices up.

Why does this matter to the average gamer though? The video games you buy are a depreciating asset. If you are the sort who trades your games in to buy new ones or sells them online after you beat them, be sure you don't procrastinate selling your games.

Now developers and publishers take note too. If you make a game with a good review score it will sell at a higher price for longer. We only analyzed resale prices but it makes sense that the bigger the difference is between used prices and new prices, the more people are going to buy the used game. You will have to keep lowering prices to sell the game. Another good reason to STOP MAKING BAD GAMES.

Nerd Discussion Below. Warning! Here is some more info for math/stats people out there who want to know all the details about the regression. For the complete dataset (the top chart) the r-squared is 0.0539, so only about 5.4% of the price variation is predicted by the review score. The trend is statistically significant though with a p-value of 0.000025, way below the .01 needed for a 99% confidence level. Here are the other r-squared and p-value numbers:

Review Score vs Resale Price Video Game Regression
With this type of data we wouldn't expect one variable to predict a very large portion of the price changes so we think 5.4% is pretty good. In the future we would like to run an analysis with more variables in hopes of improving the r-squared. We are considering using these variables in future analysis:
  • Days since released - price drops usually slow down the longer a game has been available
  • Publisher - certain publishers like Atlus tend to publish games that keep their value
  • Serial game or not - games that come out every year like sports titles drop in price faster
  • Is it the last year of the console's life - games released in the last year of a console's support tend to become rare and don't drop in price
Hopefully with more variables we can increase the r-squared and be able to predict the changes in resale prices with more accuracy.

This is part of our video game collecting 101 series.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Rise and Fall of Spyro

What happened to Spyro games for Playstation between October 2007 and January 2008? The resale prices for every PS1 Spyro game increased by at least 100% during this time. At first I thought it was Christmas, but Christmas 2006 (the far left side of each chart) shows almost no price change at all from December 2006 to January 2007. So it isn't just a seasonal increase in demand for Spyro games. Spyro Enternal Night was released in October 2007. Is that the sole reason for a price spike of more than 200% in some cases? If you have any other ideas for what caused this huge price increase last year let us know by leaving a comment.

Spyro the Dragon PS1 Price Chart
Spyro Ripto's Rage PS1 Price Chart
Spyro Collector's Edition PS1 Price Chart
Spyro Year of the Dragon PS1 Price Chart

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer Movies Increase Video Game Prices

The summer movie season starts up in May and people rush out every week to see the newest big budget movies. After watching movies like Indiana Jones, Iron Man, and Speed Racer people rush out to buy the video games. The resale prices of old Indiana Jones, Iron Man, and Speed Racer games shoot up more than 170% in some cases.

Resale Prices of Indiana Jones Games


Every Indiana Jones game except for the Nintendo 64 version had price spikes after the movie release over Memorial Day weekend.
Indiana Jones Genesis Resale Price
Indiana Jones Playstation 2 Resale Price
Indiana Jones Super Nintendo Resale Price
Indiana Jones Xbox Resale Price
Indiana Jones Nintendo 64 Resale Price

Resale Prices of Iron Man Games




People got excited for Iron Man on PS1 before the movie came out. The price shot up in February when the trailers were being released and has stayed above historic prices ever since.


Resale Prices of Speed Racer Games


Even though the movie wasn't successful at the box office the games both had big price increases. Maybe the people who did see the movie wanted to quickly forget about it by playing the game instead.
Speed Racer Super Nintendo Resale Price
Speed Racer Playstation 1 Resale Price

If there were Sex and the City or Mama Mia video games, I bet their prices would jump up a lot too. Thankfully no developer ever made them.

Wii Game Prices | Xbox 360 Game Prices | PS3 Game Prices

Monday, June 2, 2008

Price Guide: 7-day Price

After feedback from our customers and considering the benefits, we've made a slight adjustment to the way that daily prices are calculated for our Video Game Price Guide files. Instead of reporting a price based on data for only one day, the price is now based on data from the seven most recent days. This should eliminate some price volatility and make the data files, which are still updated every night, more useful for retail users.

This change is not reflected in the prices shown on the website. That's because our product pages show the most recent price and the percent change since the day before. Using a seven day price would send confusing signals.

These changes to the file will be in effect as of tomorrow morning.

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