Monday, December 31, 2007

Faster, Better Prices

We've recently migrated our price collecting bots to a new server and made some programming optimizations. As a result, daily prices are available by 5 am (MST) each day. That's five hours earlier than before and should be before the typical work day starts for most of the U.S.

The new bots also implement some different algorithms to increase the number of prices we are able to collect. That means that more games should have at least "2 sources" for their prices.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thank You for 2007, Here Comes 2008

I am away on vacation for the rest of the year so there won't be any more major updates to the blog until the first of the year. I wanted to take the time to thank you all for a great 2007 and the start of this new blog about video game prices. Thank you for reading the articles, adding great comments, and providing fantastic article ideas. Let us know what you have liked so far in 2007 and what you haven't liked too. Hopefully 2008 will be even better with more historic price analysis, pricing trends, and charts of the movers and shakers in the video game world.

At the beginning of the new year you can look forward to our "Video Game Price Report 2007" with:

  • Ten Games with Biggest Price Increases in 2007
  • Ten Games with Biggest Price Decreases in 2007
  • Chart of Average Video Game Prices in 2007
  • Chart of 2007 Prices for Games Released in 2006
  • Summary of Biggest Stories Affecting Game Prices
  • Predictions for Prices in 2008

Enjoy your Holidays. We will be back with more articles in 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Super Mario Galaxy Isn't Enough For Me

This is what many gamers are saying after buying 1.1 million copies of Mario Galaxy in November. The price for Super Mario Sunshine for Gamecube increased more than 70% in November! Did the Mario love extend any further than Super Mario Sunshine. Let's find out.

The chart below shows Mario Sunshine's price during 2007.
Mario Sunshine Gamecube Price Chart 2007

The chart shows the price rising from $10.50 to roughly $17 in November. Our daily updates show that the price has continued to rise to $18 as of 12/19/07 though this isn't reflected in the chart yet.

Mario Sunshine is the only other Super Mario platforming game that can be played on the Wii without using the virtual console. It makes sense that the price would increase so much. During the holidays prices increase in general for video games but on top of this parents are probably thinking 'Tommy likes Super Mario Galaxy maybe I should get him another game like it.' Does this logic extend to other Mario games on the Wii?

The charts below show prices for other notable Mario games for Wii and Gamecube (both playable on the Wii).
Mario Strikers Wii Price Chart 2007
Mario Strikers Gamecube Price Chart
Mario Golf Gamecube Price Chart 2007
Unfortunately, we don't enough data to show an interesting chart for Super Paper Mario but you can check it out if you want to.

The charts show some interesting results. The only other Mario Wii game shows a very small price increase in December but a decrease in November. On the other hand the other two Gamecube Mario games showed price increases of more than 50% from October to December. I think the Wii price doesn't change as much because the game is still available at most retailers brand new, which keeps the price from increasing very much. But Gamecube games are hard to come by at most major retailers so many people have to resort to buying the games on eBay, Amazon, or other second hand locations. This forces those Gamecube game prices up while the Wii price stays the same.

These prices and other Mario game prices can be found at

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Call of Duty 4 Doesn't Make People Want to Play Originals

Call of Duty 4 was released for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo DS this past month and the official sales numbers came in showing that CoD4 for 360 was the best selling game of the month. It sold 1.57 million copies in November on the Xbox 360. With 1.57 million people buying the 4th iteration in the Call of Duty series did many of them go out and buy the first three games? And did it affect the prices for those games?

The charts below show the historic prices of Call of Duty games on Xbox during 2007.
Call of Duty Xbox Price Chart 2007
Call of Duty 2 Xbox Price Chart 2000
Call of Duty 3 Xbox Price Chart 2007

(Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 3 were released on Xbox 360 too but our site doesn't have enough price history to see any trend at this point).

None of the games show a large increase in price after Call of Duty 4's release in November. The original Call of Duty had an increase from about $3.00 to $5.00, but this is less than the average video game's price increase in November and December. The original Xbox Call of Duty games are on the backward compatibility list, so Xbox 360 owners can play them but there doesn't seem to be any increase in demand. This is in complete contrast with the original Halo games when Halo 3 was released. Those games spiked in price right before Halo 3 was released.

Video game price data provided by Wii Game Prices | Xbox 360 Game Prices | PS3 Game Prices

Friday, December 14, 2007

Will Wii Rainchecks Lower Prices Now?

Today Nintendo and Gamestop announced they would be selling rain checks on Wii Consoles on Dec. 20th and 21st. If you can't find a console now they will guarantee you get one in January. Will parents stop paying the high prices on eBay and Amazon for Wii systems now that they can guarantee delivery by January? Will this bring the prices down?

Prices on Wii consoles have already come down almost $100 from late November when they were selling for $590. But the prices haven't dropped since the rain check plan was announced. In fact prices on Wii consoles went up 2.1% yesterday (12/13/07) to $485.

I don't think this policy will change prices for Wii consoles very much and might not be very popular. I think most parents want to put something under the Christmas tree when they are giving presents. They don't want to put a piece of paper saying "You get a Wii in January sometime. Merry Christmas. From Santa".

I think Nintendo realizes that most people who buy for Christmas will find a substitute gift if they can't find a Wii this holiday season and might not try and buy another right away. They were looking for a gift, the gift has already been given so they don't need to buy a Wii anymore. Nintendo is just trying to stop this from happening by offering this rain check. A good business idea. But I don't think it will be that effective. People want the Wii for Christmas not a rain check and many people will be willing to pay extra online in order to have it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mario Party Is A Popular Christmas Present

Mario Party games are very popular games overall and it is one of the franchises that Nintendo brings out annually like clockwork (or like Madden football to use a gaming simile). Unlike Madden games though, Mario Party's are actually popular long after they come out and almost every Mario Party game actually increases in price right before Christmas. Below are historic price charts for most of the Mario Party games.
Mario Party Nintendo 64 Price Chart
Mario Party 4 Gamecube Price Chart
Mario Party 5 Gamecube Price Chart
Mario Party 6 Gamecube Price Chart
Mario Party 7 Gamecube Price Chart
Mario Party Advance Gameboy Advance Price Chart
As you can see from the price charts, the prices of the Mario Party games follow a very consistant pattern. They drop in price the beginning of the year. The prices then hold steady for about nine months, only to rise sharply from November to December. This does follow the same general trend as all video game prices except that Mario Party games don't decrease throughout the year like other video games. Because of this the price spike in December brings the price of the games almost back to 2006 levels.

The only major exception to this trend is Mario Party Advance. It spiked in the summer and now prices have just held steady during the rest of the year. This is surprising to me because I would have thought Gameboy Advance games would be likely to increase in price at Christmas time because the owners are generally kids receiving presents.

Come Christmas morning when all you gamers wake up to see what Santa left you under the tree, don't be surprised if you find a Mario Party game. Hopefully he bought all of his back in October or he won't have money to buy what you really wanted.

Nintendo 64 Prices

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hunters Love Video Games

Every Fall across the US people start getting excited for hunting season. Hunters start practicing their calls to attract the animals. The Cabela's stores across the country fill up with people buying camouflage outfits and new shotguns. And State Wildlife Divisions start issuing hunting permits. Through all of this preparation for the new hunting season, hunters still find time to buy a bunch of video games. The prices for all the hunting video games shoot (pun intended) through the roof starting in August.

Cabela's Video Game Price Charts for 2007

In each of these historic price charts, the price of the game has decreased most of the year and then come August the price starts increasing only to accelerate in December. There are many more examples of this including Cabela's Deer Hunt 2005 for Xbox, Cabela Outdoor Adventure for Gamecube, and all the Big Game Hunter games.

Wikipedia says that hunters spent over $20.5 billion in their industry in 2001 and hunted for an average of 18 days. 18 days must not fulfill the hunting urge for most of these people because they seem to buy quite a few hunting games with this $20+ billion.

The price increases might also be due to wives buying the games for Christmas presents in hopes that their husbands won't leave on more hunting trips (I know women hunt too). This would explain the even bigger price increases right before Christmas time.

Whatever the reasons for the price increases. Hunters start paying about twice as much for their electronic hunting fix in December as they do in August. But its still a lot cheaper than a hunting license.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Britney Spears and Video Games

As you know we are a fairly new site and new sites are always looking for ways to get more traffic. After reading Yahoo's 2007 Top Searches report and seeing Britney Spears at number one, it dawned on me: We need an article about Britney Spears that is also video game related. Lucky for us Britney Spears came out with a video game called "Britney Spears Dance Beat".

While people are so busy searching for Britney Spears information are they also thinking, "I wish I could play a video game about Britney spears too instead of just reading gossip and seeing unflattering images." With the help of Google Trends and data we can find out.

Britney Spears Dance Beat Price During 2007

Britney Spears Search Trend on Google

There were huge spikes in searches for Britney Spears in February and September related to her rehab visit and MTV embarrassment but there was no rise in the price for Britney Spears's video game.

Maybe its the horrible reviews the game received that stop people from buying it. A 4.1 average user review on Metacritic is not very good. I played it a bit myself once (I am kind of embarrassed to admit it) and it is a bad Dance Dance Revolution with lots of Britney Spears spread through the game.

Whatever the reason, people seem to be more enthralled with Britney in search engines and not quite as much on their Playstation 2.

PS. In case the rest of this article isn't enough to shoot us to number one on every search engine. Here is a random photo of Britney doing something funny. Yahoo number one here we come.
Britney Spears with Finger Mustache

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Browse by System

The most commonly requested feature so far has been people asking for a way to browse games by console. And now we've implemented it. The most popular systems (DS, PS2, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360) all have dedicated links in the left-hand navigation menu. To view the other systems, just click All Consoles in the menu and select from the resulting list.

On the All Consoles and system pages, you can click on the table headers to sort and filter. That should help you find the game you're interested in. As always, let us know how we've done.



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