Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Buy & Sell Prices for Loose, Complete, and New Condition Games

If you are a video game retailer with a paid account you see our recommended buy and sell prices for every game while you browse our site. With the addition of Complete CIB pricing, we updated our recommendations to show a buy and sell price for loose, complete, and new condition items.

The additional data makes it easy for you to know what to pay and charge for everything that comes into your store.

The data is displayed in a new layout as well which makes it easier to read and improves visibility on mobile devices.

If you want to see these prices, create an account and pay for a one-day pass for as little as $19.99. Monthly subscriptions are $49.99 and give you continuous access to the buy and sell prices while browsing the site.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Someone is Cornering the ClayFighter Sculptor's Cut Market

As you can see in the chart above, Clayfighter Sculptor's Cut for N64 has jumped in price in April. After writing about the $1,100 ClayFighter Sculptor's Cut instruction manual that sold last week I decided to look into the sales a bit more to see what might be causing the price increase.

It looks like someone is trying to corner the market for Sculptor's Cut by buying a bunch of copies.

On April 21st, someone with the user name m***m and 486 feedback, bought 8 copies of ClayFighter Sculptor's Cut. That was every single copy of the game available at the time.

Here are the 9 items and their prices:
$135.00 - see it
$174.99 - see it
$189.95 - see it
$129.95 - see it
$199.99 - see it
$199.99 - see it
$180.00 - see it
$179.99 - see it

m***m also bid on one ClayFighter auction but was outbid at $222. That price is 10% more than the next highest sales price ever seen for this game.

With this buying spree the price increased from $135 in March to $176 in April. The intentions of m***m are unknown, but their actions have definitely increased the price for other collectors.

Only time will tell if this price sticks or is just a temporary spike. All the Sculptor's Cuts listed on eBay right now have starting prices of $180. Will there be any buyers?

Friday, April 26, 2013

The $1,125 Instruction Manual | ClayFighter Sculptor's Cut for N64

Any game worth more than $1,100 would be very close to making our list of the most expensive video games of all time. But that much for just the instruction manual? That would be a record as far as I know.

An instruction manual for ClayFighter Sculptor's Cut recently sold for $1,125!

Why would someone pay so much for this particular instruction manual?

First of all the game is one of the more rare titles for Nintendo 64. ClayFighter Sculptor's Cut was a Blockbuster exclusive.

Anyone who rented games at Blockbuster remembers you usually received just the game in your rental box. The store would usually throw away the box and instructions. Or instructions that were included quickly got destroyed by customers. Instruction manuals for all Blockbuster exclusives are much more rare than manuals for regular games.

Interested to know how much the ClayFighter Sculptor's Cut box sells for? There is an auction for one on eBay right now with a current price of $720.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We've Updated the Rare PSP Game Article

We've updated the rare PSP article with descriptions for the top rarest & most expensive titles and why they sell for a premium.

Can you guess which publisher has four titles in the top 10?
What about the genre that appears most often in the rare PSP list?

Read the PSP article and see how well you did on the PSP pop quiz.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Zelda Oracle of Ages & Oracle of Seasons Review

Author: Logan Petty

Last week's Nintendo Direct had a plethora of interesting information for retro gamers. One of the biggest buzz was about the release of a 3DS sequel to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

With all this chatter about the new game, some of you may have overlooked the news about The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons coming to Virtual Console May 30.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a hard copy of Oracle of Ages at my local used game store for $13 (about $9 cheaper than ebay would have been). I am personally more interested in the actual games than the virtual ones, but this does open up possibilities for everyone who missed them to play them this summer.

In case you just missed out on these Game Boy Color classics, I am going to give you a brief rundown on what to expect and why they are worth playing.

The first reason they are worth playing; they are Zelda games. If that’s not quite enough to convince you, these games are unique within the Zelda franchise. They are actually meant to be played together, one after the other, with no priority on which one is played first. They use a password system that gives you passwords in one game to unlock items, upgrades, and other secrets in the other game.

Once you beat either game, you are given a password that, when entered while starting a new file on the other game, will alter dialogue and events in the game to make it into a sequel to the one you just beat.

In Oracle of Ages, Link approaches the triforce in its sacred resting place. When he does, the triforce sends him to a foreign land that needs the hero’s help. In Ages, that land is Labrynna and the oracle in danger is Nayru, the Oracle of Ages. In Seasons, Link is sent to the land of Holodrum to help Din, the Oracle of Seasons.

Whichever game you play first is up to you. Seasons’ dungeons are more combat-oriented while Age's dungeons are puzzle-oriented. The games play much like the other GameBoy Zelda game, Zelda DX. Link must go through eight dungeons while gathering essences needed to stop the villain. While the format of the two games together is unique, the game play is traditional and well designed.

If you are convinced now, the Virtual Console games will be out for America May 30. You can get them for much cheaper that way. If you are like me and would rather have the original versions of the games on physical cartridges, you can check around your local used game stores. Maybe you can find them for a good price.

If not, you can get them both for around $40 on eBay. Whichever way you decide to go, I hope you give these games a try.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Hyperstone Heist Review

Author: Logan Petty

If you are an old school scholar, you have probably played or at least heard of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time, but did you know it has a cousin? The turtles had a run on the Genesis at roughly the same time. The game was subtitled The Hyperstone Heist.

I came across this game on accident while going through the rows of used games at a nearby used book store. It was three dollars, and I am a huge fan of the turtles, having grown up with Turtles in Time, so I grabbed it up. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had stumbled across a hidden gem worth around $40 on Amazon and the cheapest eBay sellers offering it for $20.

TMNT Hyperstone Heist Screenshot
Values aside, the thing that interested me the most was its uncanny resemblance to my childhood companion. As I looked over the box, I noticed a level that looked incredibly familiar. My first thought was Hey, that’s "Alley Cat Blues". Is this a port of Turtles in Time? At first glance, it is easy to wrongly assume that it is.

It is actually a different game with a different story. Sure, the story is just pasted over the same slides that start "Turtles in Time", and yeah, the character sprites, soundtrack, and animations are similar, but there are changes in the game. The biggest difference in the game is the level layout.

Teenage Mutant Hyperstone Heist Review
The levels are longer, divided into different stages before you face a boss. Despite longer levels, there are only half as many levels in the game as in its predecessor. This is well balanced however, because one thing the Genesis has over the SNES is the ability to make the game run faster at the cost of the vibrancy present in the Super Nintendo game. Because of this, characters and enemies move faster and the enemies are much less forgiving. Even though the game is shorter, the increased difficulty makes up for it.

TMNT Hyperstone Heist Screenshot
I personally enjoyed the game despite my bias towards its older cousin. It was exciting for me to come across this game. It was like the day that you discovered there was a second Star Fox on the Super Nintendo. I was shocked that I had never heard of this game, yet I embraced it due to the legacy it was a part of. Though it did not feel as refined to me, that does not make it a bad game. I do not hold the view that it was just a Genesis knock-off, but as a separate game that throws back to its forbearers.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Will Earthbound on eShop Decrease Earthbound SNES Prices?

At today's Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced Earthbound would be coming to the eShop. This will be the first time Earthbound will be available outside of the Super Nintendo.

As you can see in the chart below. Resale prices for Earthbound have been increasing steadily for the last three years and sells for $200 in loose condition.

Will the virtual version of Earthbound decrease resale prices?

What happens to the price largely depends on who is buying the game and why they are buying it. Are they buying to play or buying to collect?

In 2009, Capcom released a download version of Marvel vs Capcom 2 on Xbox Live and PSN. Resale prices were cut in half within months and have never recovered.

It is evident that most people buying Marvel vs Capcom 2 were buying to play the game. They could download the game for a fraction of the current market price. The download wouldn't come with the disc, or box, or anything physical to own but if you just want to play the game that doesn't matter.

On the opposite end, a game that is being purchased buy collectors will not decrease in price even when it is readily available for download because people are willing to pay the premium for the physical cartridge.

Mega Man 5 for NES is a great example of this. It was released on June 2011 for Wii Virtual Console. Since then, loose cartridge prices for Mega Man 5 have gone up nearly 150%.

At the extremes, 100% of buyers could be purchasing to play the game or 100% could be buying to collect. In reality, the reason for a purchase falls somewhere in between. The extent of the price decrease or increase depends on where demand falls on that spectrum. Is Earthbound 80% gamers and 20% collectors, or 30% gamers and 70% collectors?

We will find out soon.

What do you think will happen to the price of Earthbound?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kickstarter for Leaderboards and High Scores for Nintendo Competition Games

Did you compete in one of Nintendo's video game tournaments from the early 90's and wish you could do it all again? Or, like me, did you miss out entirely and wish you could go back in time to compete? With a recently announced Kickstarter you might get this chance.

The project organized by Rick Bruns, a video game collector, and Byuu, the developer of an SNES emulator, will create a program that let's you compete internationally in Nintendo World Championships, Nintendo Campus Challenge 91 and 92, Nintendo PowerFest 94, Star Fox Super Weekend, and Donkey Kong Country Competition.

The program will emulate all of these games, provided you can get the ROM files somewhere, and record high scores and leaderboards.

If this sounds like the kind of project you would enjoy, go support the Kickstarter project today. They need to raise $5,000 to fund the development.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Complete (CIB) Game Prices Now on PriceCharting

Almost a year ago we asked our users what features they wanted to see on the site next and overwhelmingly the results showed users wanted to see Complete CIB prices.

We are now showing Complete prices on the site!

Below is a brief description of where CIB prices can be found and a few other minor changes that CIB prices required us to make.

Main Complete CIB Price
The first change is very obvious. Between 'Used Price' and 'New Price' we have added 'Complete Price' and the volume of Complete listings.

Prices by Source
The section with prices per source has been changed to show all prices in one table. The first column is the name of the site, then 'Used', 'Complete', and 'New' columns with the most recent price at each location.

The 'See It' button brings you to the product page on that site where you can buy the game.

Completed Auctions for CIB Games
You can see all the successfully completed CIB auctions by clicking the 'Completed Auctions (CIB) tab.

CIB games are less common than game only listings. Right now that means there are fewer auctions listed, but within the next couple days we will be reclassifying all past auctions as well. In the future, this feature will show you a lot more historic sales than eBay. eBay limits their historic data to the last 30 days. As you can see in the image above, we have CIB Earthbound sales going back to 2012.

Please note the red 'X' next to each listing. If you notice an auction with an incorrect price or classified incorrectly, please click that red 'X'. It will flag the listing for manual review so we can fix the problem. This helps us keep prices as accurate as possible for all our users.

Coming Soon: CIB Prices in Historic Charts

This feature will be available by the end of the month.

CIB on the historic price charts. By default it will not be displayed, but click the grayed out CIB on the chart and you will see historic prices for this condition.

Because we just started tabulating the prices, the historic data starts now. We are looking into ways to recalculate the prices in the past based upon sales we can now classify correctly, but this might not be feasible with all products.

We hope the addition of Complete CIB prices will help you in your collecting. Please let us know what you think of the new feature in the comments below.

What Took So Long?

You might be wondering why it took a year to roll out CIB pricing. The feature required us to rewrite most of the backend for PriceCharting and develop some language processing to be able to determine when an listing is Complete.

We look at every auction title and amazon listing description to determine if the original box and manual are included with the game. This is pretty easy for people to do but fairly difficult for a computer to do.

Some people list CIB by saying "Complete" in the auction title, but sometimes they say "not Complete".

Some listings will say "With box and manual" or "w/ Box & Instructions" and sometimes "without Box + Manual".

Our system needs to correctly handle all of these, and many more variations, or the prices we show you would be incorrect. This system took a while to develop and test to make sure it was done correctly.

In order to handle this language processing and handle multiple prices, most of our backend needed to be rewritten to make it more flexible and scalable. This took a long time but it means our site is better equipped for more features in the future.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

15 Rare Sports Video Games | The Most Expensive Sports Games Ever

Sports video games are notorious for dropping in value really quickly. That Madden game you bought last year is probably worth 10% of what you paid and after a few years might be worth $3 if your lucky.

There are some big exceptions to this general rule. Some rare sports games sell for thousands of dollars. Below is a list of the rarest and most expensive sports video games and what makes them so valuable.

Most Valuable Sports Video Games

Stadium Events for Nintendo NES

Rare Sports Games New Price: $25,000 | Used Price: $2,200 | See Current Prices
Stadium Events is a track and field game for the Nintendo NES. Stadium Events was the second game designed for the Family Fitness mat (Athletic World was the first). But in 1987 Nintendo bought the rights from Bandai and changed the name to World Class Track Meet.

Nintendo stopped shipping Stadium Events and recalled all copies that had shipped but not all the copies were destroyed and a few ended up in customer's hands. The European version was never recalled and is much cheaper.

Spiker! Super Pro Volleyball for Intellivision

Valuable Sports Video Games New Price: $N/A | Used Price: $1,599 | See Current Prices
Spiker Super Pro Volleyball is a volleball game for the Intellivision. You can play 2v2 or 6v6. The graphics were very advanced for the Intellivision era.

The Intellivision stopped production in 1984 and Spiker was released in 1989 and was the last game released for the system. The publisher, INTV, barely scraped the money together to publish the game at all and was unable to produce many copies.

NBA Elite 11 for Playstation 3

Rare Video Games Sports New Price: $2,250 | Used Price: $995 | See Current Prices
NBA Elite 11 is a NBA basketball game for Playstation 3. The game was to be published by EA Sports in 2011, but it was delayed and missed the start of the regular season. In late 2011 it was officially cancelled by EA.

Although it was never officially released, EA had shipped copies of the game to retailers and media for demo purposes. These copies show that the game is very glitchy and incomplete. Collector's aren't paying thousands of dollars to play a great basketball game, they are paying for the rarity.

Super Series Big League Baseball for Intellivision

Most Expensive Sports Games New Price: $N/A | Used Price: $305 | See Current Prices
Super Series Baseball is for Intellivision. It was way ahead of its time with play-by-play, multiple camera angles, and picture-in-picture for runner's on base. All of this for a game released in 1982.

The exact same game was also released in 1983 as 'World Series Major League Baseball' with an official MLB license. The original 'Super Series' version from 1982 is much more valuable and harder to find.

Mountain Madness: Super Pro Skiing for Intellvision

Most Valuable Sports Video Games New Price: $N/A | Used Price: $90 | See Current Prices
Mountain Madness: Super Pro Skiing was released for the Intellivision in 1988. It is an enhanced version of Skiing with 32 courses instead of just one. You could race any course as downhill or slalom and even design your own courses.

The game was released by INTV Corp, four years after Mattel shut-down the Intellivision division. By this point most Intellivision owners had stopped buying new games and almost all retail stores had stopped carrying them. Because of this the game was produced in very small quantities.

Super Copa for Super Nintendo

Rarest Sports Video Games New Price: $2,000 | Used Price: $90 | See Current Prices
Super Copa is a soccer game for the Super Nintendo. The exact same game was originally released as Tony Meola's Sidekicks Soccer in 1993. It sold poorly as Tony Meola but not bad enough to be considered rare.

The game was rebranded as Super Copa for release outside the USA. Some collector's think the game was never officially released in the USA but it was rated by the ESRB, which only happens for games slated to be released here. Whether it was released officially or not, the copies available are very expensive and very rare.

NCAA Basketball 10 for Xbox 360

Valuable NCAA Basketball Games New Price: $210 | Used Price: $80 | See Current Prices
NCAA Basketball 10 was released for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The game features Blake Griffin on the front cover and has broadcasting voices from ESPN and CBS. In February 2010, EA announced they would not release another NCAA Basketball game in the foreseeable future.

Every February and March prices spike for NCAA Basketball 10 as interest peaks with March Madness. It is the most updated NCAA Basketball game available. The Xbox 360 version is more expensive than the PS3 version.

James Buster Douglas Boxing for Sega Master System

Rare Sports Games New Price: $N/A | Used Price: $80 | See Current Prices
James Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing was released for Sega Master System in 1988. After Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson, Sega quickly signed him to a deal and released a boxing game with his name on it. The Genesis version is worth hardly anything.

Buster Douglas boxing is the second most expensive game for the Master System and very hard to find. The game was released in 1990, which was a year after the Genesis was released. By this point Sega was only providing token support and didn't produce many copies of the game.

NCAA College Basketball 2K3

Rare NCAA Basketball Games New Price: $20,000 | Used Price: $75 | See Current Prices
NCAA Basketball 2K3 was released for Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube but only the Gamecube version is rare. It is the only NCAA basketball game for the Gamecube.

In 2003, Sega decided to stop making sports games in their 2K line of games because of lackluster sales. The Gamecube games had sold the worst. Part way through production, Sega decided to stop the Gamecube version but continue making PS2 and Xbox. The few Gamecube games made were sold to stores but on a very limited basis.

International Superstar Soccer Deluxe for Super Nintendo

Expensive Sports Games New Price: $192 | Used Price: $74 | See Current Prices
International Superstar Soccer Deluxe was published on the Super Nintendo. The game was released in 1995 and is a sequel to a very similar game released a year earlier. The Deluxe version added features like 2 player co-op, extra commentary, and small graphical improvements.

Both ISS and ISS Deluxe were trying to capitalize on the success of the World Cup in the USA in 1994, but neither sold very well in the USA. The Deluxe version is rarer than the original and incredibly hard to find complete with the box and instructions.

Other Noteworthy Rare Sports Games

The list is ranked by the highest average used price and then highest average new price in the event of a tie.

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