Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Graded (VGA) Video Game Prices

graded video game prices

We've added the "Graded" price to every game page.

The Graded price is for a game that is brand new AND it has been graded by a game grading service like VGA.

Graded condition items can sell for a large premium to "New" condition.

You can view past "Graded" condition sales like you can with all our other conditions.

graded video game sales

We've gone through our past sales data to reclassify all "Graded" sales into the "Graded" condition instead of "New" like we classified them before.

Friday, November 17, 2017

5 Screw Nintendo NES Game Guide, List & History

5 Screw Nintendo Game
Some NES games have 5 screws on the back while most have only 3 screws. This article will explain the history behind this, list all the 5 screw variations, and compare 5 screw prices vs 3 screw prices.

5 Screw History

The 5 screw cartridges are sealed together using 5 screws. One in each corner and one in the middle (see the red circles in the photo above). The screws are standard, flathead screws.

By 1988 Nintendo decided to completely switch all cartridges to 3 screw versions instead. These have two screws in the bottom corners and one in the middle (see red circles above). They also have two notches at the top where the bottom half of the cartridge is inserted into the top half (see blue squares above).

At the same time, the screws were changed into proprietary versions that need special hex screwdriver bits to remove.

People speculate that Nintendo made this change to save money (two fewer screens spread out over millions and millions of cartridges adds up). Others think Nintendo made the change for security reasons, basically trying to make the cartridges harder to open and inspect. Tengen and other companies were making unlicensed games, so security screws might have been attempt to make unlicensed games a little harder.

Nintendo has never spoken publicly about the thought process behind the change so it is just speculation in the community.

The differences between 5 screw and 3 screw games are purely cosmetic. There is no game play difference.

5 Screw NES Game List

10-Yard Fight [5 Screw]
1942 [5 Screw]
3D WorldRunner [5 Screw]
Alpha Mission [5 Screw]
Arkanoid [5 Screw]
Athena [5 Screw]
Athletic World [5 Screw]
Balloon Fight [5 Screw]
Baseball [5 Screw]
Breakthru [5 Screw]
BurgerTime [5 Screw]
Castlevania [5 Screw]
Chubby Cherub [5 Screw] (only version)
Clu Clu Land [5 Screw] (only version)
Commando [5 Screw]
Deadly Towers [5 Screw]
Donkey Kong 3 [5 Screw]
Donkey Kong Jr Math [5 Screw]
Donkey Kong Jr [5 Screw]
Donkey Kong [5 Screw]
Double Dribble [5 Screw]
Duck Hunt [5 Screw]
Elevator Action [5 Screw]
Excitebike [5 Screw]
Ghosts 'n Goblins [5 Screw]
Golf [5 Screw]
Gotcha [5 Screw]
Gradius [5 Screw]
Gumshoe [5 Screw]
Gyromite [5 Screw]
Hogan's Alley [5 Screw]
Ice Climber [5 Screw]
Ikari Warriors [5 Screw]
Jaws [5 Screw]
Karate Champ [5 Screw]
Kid Icarus [5 Screw]
Kid Niki Radical Ninja [5 Screw]
Kung Fu [5 Screw]
Legend of Kage [5 Screw]
Legend of Zelda [5 Screw]
Lode Runner [5 Screw]
Lunar Pool [5 Screw]
MUSCLE [5 Screw] (only version)
Mach Rider [5 Screw]
Mario Bros [5 Screw]
Mega Man [5 Screw]
Metroid [5 Screw]
Mighty Bomb Jack [5 Screw]
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out [5 Screw]
Ninja Kid [5 Screw]
Pinball [5 Screw]
Popeye [5 Screw]
Pro Wrestling [5 Screw]
Rad Racer [5 Screw]
Raid on Bungeling Bay [5 Screw]
Ring King [5 Screw]
Rush'n Attack [5 Screw]
Rygar [5 Screw]
Section-Z [5 Screw]
Sky Kid [5 Screw]
Slalom [5 Screw]
Soccer [5 Screw]
Solomon's Key [5 Screw]
Spelunker [5 Screw]
Spy Hunter [5 Screw]
Sqoon [5 Screw] (only version)
Stack-Up [5 Screw] (only version)
Star Force [5 Screw]
Star Voyager [5 Screw]
Stinger [5 Screw] (only version)
Super Mario Bros [5 Screw]
Super Pitfall [5 Screw]
Tag Team Wrestling [5 Screw]
Tennis [5 Screw]
The Goonies II [5 Screw]
Tiger-Heli [5 Screw]
Top Gun [5 Screw]
Track and Field [5 Screw]
Trojan [5 Screw]
Urban Champion [5 Screw]
Volleyball [5 Screw]
Wild Gunman [5 Screw]
Winter Games [5 Screw]
Wizards and Warriors [5 Screw]
Wrecking Crew [5 Screw]
Zanac [5 Screw]

5 Screw Prices vs 3 Screw Prices

Some of the 5 screw versions are more rare than the 3 screw versions because 5 screw had a limited production run and the 3 screw versions could continue being made.

Other 5 screw games are more common because the game ended production soon after 1988 so not very many of the 3 screw version were made.

Unfortunately we don't know exact production numbers for each variation but we can compare the prices to see which ones collector's value more.

80% of 5 screw games are more expensive than their 3 screw counterparts and all the games that are less expensive are only slightly less expensive.

On average 5 screw games sell for 99% more than 3 screw ones, but the average is heavily skewed by a couple really big differences. The median premium is 14% for 5 screw games.

The versions with the biggest premiums are Gotcha and Alpha Mission both more than double in price with 5 screws.

The most rare 5 screw game is Mike Tyson's Punch Out. We don't have a market price for the game because we haven't seen on sell but one was recently listed for $2,000. Mike Tyson's Punch Out was released October 1987, very close to the complete discontinuation of 5 screw games. Very few 5 screw copies were released.

Why 5 Screws to Begin With?

Nintendo released the Nintendo NES in Japan in 1983 as the Famicom. The NES came out in the USA in 1985.

Famicom cartridges are shorter than NES cartridges and if you ever open up an NES cartridge you will notice lots of empty space.

This empty space is in there because some of the first Nintendo NES games (Gyromite and Excitebike for example) reused Famicom PCB (printed circuit boards) in order to save money on circuit boards they had already paid for and didn't use in Japan. The PCB's needed to be converted to fit the pin size and count on the NES console.

As you can see in the image below, the NES cartridges with 5 screws fit this design very well without much extra space. The middle screw fits perfectly into the middle screw slot on the Famicom PCB with plenty of room for all three pieces.

5 screw game with famicom adapter

After 1988 Nintendo decided they no longer needed the additional screws, but the shape of the cartridge couldn't be changed because the NES console required that shape.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Zombies, Ghouls, and Aliens Have Infested PriceCharting. Please Kill Them

Zombies, Ghouls, and Aliens have invaded PriceCharting.

Please help us kill them. We'll keep track of how many monsters you kill and award badges the more you kill.

Oh yeah, look out for the giant Boss. He's a real doozy to kill.

I bet everyone can kill enough monsters by Halloween to repel the invasion.....or God help us all.

PAL Super Nintendo Games Have Been Added

We've added all the PAL Super Nintendo games to PriceCharting.

We have loose prices for almost every single game and complete in box prices for most of them too.

Many of the rare's for PAL SNES are similar to NTSC. Games like Mega Man X3, Starwing Competition Cartridge, and R-Type III top the list of most valuable PAL SNES games.

Some PAL exclusives like Dragon Ball Z: La Legende Saien and Daze Before Christmas fetch more than $100.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Syphon Filter 3 911 Flag Version: A Flag Makes It 120x More Valuable

Syphon Filter 3 is worth about $3-4 disc only and $12-15 brand new.

If Syphon Filter 3 has an American Flag on it, it recently sold for $2,400 brand new. 120x more for the cover art.

Why the cover art variant so valuable and why does it exist in the first place?

Answer: 9/11

Sony was set to release Syphon Filter 3 on Sept 21, 2001. The original cover art included the US Flag and images of US Government buildings exploding. Sony had started shipping the game to retailers for the upcoming release.

After 9/11, Sony decided to delay the game and recall all shipments. Sony felt the flag cover art was inappropriate after terrorists actually targeted government buildings. Sony would change the cover art and release the game in November 2011 instead.

Most of the original shipments were returned to Sony and never made it out in the public, but some of them got out in the wild.

The 9/11 Flag variant is now extremely rare and there is an interesting story behind it. That means supply is low and demand is high (people like games with fun stories behind them), so the price for the 9/11 American Flag Syphon Filter 3 is worth 120 times as much as the regular version.

If you ever see Syphon Filter 3 in the wild, be sure to see which version it is....the flag could be worth thousands of dollars.

Thanks to an interview from Syphon Filter 3 lead designer for information on the backstory.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Filter Search Results by Region [NTSC] [PAL]

We recently added tracking for some PAL consoles, like PAL NES, PAL SNES, and PAL Master System.

Some users are only interested in NTSC games, while others might be interested in only PAL games.

You can now filter the search results to see only games for the region you prefer.

If you are logged into your account, your preference will be saved for all searches.

To change the filter, choose "NTSC" or "PAL" in the "Region" drop down box. That simple. The results will change to match your request and all future searches will use that same preference.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

PAL Nintendo NES Prices are Now Being Tracked

pal nintendo nes

We've added a PAL Nintendo NES price guide to the site.

We're monitoring eBay UK, eBay Ireland, and eBay Germany for PAL NES sales. Just like NTSC, every PAL sale gets recorded and helps update our prices.

PAL has a number of rare exclusives that never came out in NTSC regions. Games like Mr Gimmick ($800+), Rodland ($250), Hammerin Harry ($150), and Trolls in Crazyland ($160).

Some games have different names in PAL regions. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is called Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and Contra is called Probotector. Boom, you just learned something new today :)

If you're a retro gamer in Europe or Australia, these prices will be more accurate than using the regular NES prices we've been tracking for years. Some games like Empire Strikes back sell for a lot more in PAL region while games like PAL Stadium Events sell for much less.

If you see any games we are missing or other corrections, please let us know in the comments below.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nintendo World Championships 2017 Announced

Nintendo announced another Nintendo World Championships will take place in 2017. Anyone in US or Canada can compete (it isn't exactly a "world" championship) by registering at the official website, nwc.nintendo.com

Preliminary rounds will be held in 8 US cities, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, LA, Minneapolis, Dallas, Seattle, and Miami. And the finals will be held in NYC on October 7th 2017.

There are two age brackets, those older than 12 and those 12 and younger. And the qualifiers will be one specific level in Mario Kart 7, GBA Castle for older crowd and Luigi Mansion for younger. Lowest times in time trial advance to the finals but no word on how many advance from each city.

Nintendo hosted a Nintendo World Championships in 2015 and the original in 1990....and other similar events like PowerFest in 1994 and Nintendo Campus Challenge in 1991 and 1992.

All of the pre-2015 events have rare video games that came out of the competition. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Nintendo releases some NWC 2017 disc that the winners get. It would be fun to have a new, limited edition collectible from Nintendo World Championships.

Good luck to all those who compete.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How to Use UPC Scanner on PriceCharting to Price Games

Have you ever been at Best Buy or GameStop and seen a clearance sale and wondered "Is that really a good deal?" or "Can I get that game cheaper somewhere else?" You can quickly scan the game and find the price on PriceCharting with any mobile device. Here's how to do it:

1. Download a Free UPC Scanner App
Download a UPC scanner app on your phone. Any one will do BUT it needs offers custom url searches. I recommend Barcode Scanner Pro for Android.

upc scanner app

2. Edit Settings
Click the 'Settings' icon (little gear) and make two changes.

First, toggle on 'Open Webpages Automatically' option.

toggle auto open

Second, edit the 'Custom Search Url' to look like this:

custom search url for scanner

3. Scan A UPC
Find any video game UPC and scan it.

scan a video game upc code

Click 'Custom Search' button
custom search button

4. Success!
You will be redirected to PriceCharting page for that game.

pricecharting after upc search

The same concept works for other UPC scanner apps and even UPC scanners for computers.

Scanner built for computers can be made to automatically fill in the form on PriceCharting so you never have to leave the site when scanning.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Multi-purpose Arcade Combat Simulator (MACS) | Video, Manual, Gameplay

Multi-purpose Arcade Combat Simulator Summary

Multi-purpose Arcade Combat Simulator (MACS for short) is a military training video game developed for Super Nintendo. You shoot targets on the screen and the game assesses your abilities and gives you tips for improvement. MACS is like duck hunt with a very accurate, full weight replica of an M16 instead of a zapper gun.

The United States Armed Forces contracted to have MACS developed specifically for them. It was never released publicly. They used the game at military bases, national guard facilities, and other locations to train troops on proper marksmanship. There are reports of soldiers using it at basic training as late as 2002.

Multi-purpose Arcade Combat Simulator Gameplay

MACS is basically a series of nine tests of shooting ability. If you complete the objective in the test you can move onto the next one (but this can be changed in settings...more on that later). Each test gets progressively harder, moving from a supported position (gun balanced on something) to an unsupported position. From un-timed to timed. Single targets to multiple targets. Etc.

The initial stages give you feedback showing where you were aiming before you shot and where you should be aiming. It also tells you where you can improve. For instance, your breath control is off, you move the gun right as you pull the trigger, or you aren't holding the gun steady.

This feedback is actually really helpful and it has improved my aim a lot. I can see why the military used this game for basic training.

macs rating definitions screen
Rating Definitions

Game Setup
The manual gives very precise setup instructions. You are supposed to use a 13" TV and be 7 feet away from the screen. This standardizes the test for all users and makes sure the distances and sizes of objects match up relatively well with reality.

I've always used a 20" TV because that is what I have. The hardest targets are 300 meters away and they are tough to hit on a 20" TV. The game would be very tough with everything 35% smaller than I'm using.

Zero Shot
The hardest part of the game is the initial "zero" shot calibration. You need to hit a small target 3 times before you can progress to the actual levels. It is difficult because it gives you no indication of where you are shooting and no feedback on where you missed.

The game is supposed to teach you how to shoot, but you need to know how to shoot before you can start playing. You only have to do this once per console power-on so I assume the instructors would do this part once per day and soldiers would never see it.

Level 1: Intro to Supported Position
macs level 1 screen
Level 1 Screen

The first level is a supported position (gun balanced on something) and untimed.

There are different sized targets for different distances. Large target = 50 meters, a bit smaller = 100 meters .... all the way to 300 meter distance. You shoot at three different targets at each range. If you hit two of them, the targets move further away. If you miss, you try again.

macs target distances screen
Target Distance Screen

After each shot you are told "Miss" or "Hit". Then you see a white icon moving on the screen showing where you were aiming before you shot and a matching black icon where you should have been aiming. A box shows up giving you ratings on different aspects of your shot from Poor to Excellent for "steady position", "aiming", "breath control", "trigger squeeze", and "shot location".

macs snes sight tracking screenshot
Sight Tracking Screenshot

After all distances have been completed successfully you see a "shot group" screen for each distance showing exactly where your shot hit.
macs super nintendo shot group screenshot
Shotgroup Screenshot

Level 2: Intro to Unsupported Position
macs level 2 screen
Level 2 Screen

This is an unsupported position and untimed. It is the exact same as Level 1 but unsupported.

Level 3: Timed Targets in Supported Position
macs level 3 screen
Level 3 Screen

This is a supported position with timed targets. 24 targets will be presented in a random sequence (4 from each distance) and you need to hit 3 of 4 from each distance.

Level 4: Timed Targets in Unsupported Position
macs level 4 screen
Level 4 Screen

The exact same as Level 3, but unsupported position.

Level 5: Practice Record Fire I
macs level 5 screen
Level 5 Screen

This is where the levels start to feel more like a game than just training.

Level 5 is timed and includes 20 supported and 20 unsupported targets. Targets may show up in singles or doubles and they disappear when hit and a cross hair appears on the screen showing where you shot. For the first time, you can run out of ammo if you miss too often.

If two targets are presented at once, you need to shoot the closest target first or there is a penalty because it is a "tactical error" to shoot the furthest target first.

You get an overall performance grade at the end too. "Expert", "Sharpshooter", "Unqualified", etc.

Level 6: Practice Record Fire II
macs level 6 screen
Level 6 Screen

The exact same as level 5 but you only see a cross hair showing misses, not hits.

Level 7: Record Fire
macs level 7 screen
Level 7 Screen

Same as level 6 BUT there is less time to shoot. The time limit matches the US Army live-fire qualification course time limit.

Level 8: Rapid Record Fire
macs level 8 screen
Level 8 Screen

The same as level 7, but it is harder to progress to the next shot location.

Level 9: Combat Fire
macs level 9 screen
Level 9 Screen

MACS most fun level and the most realistic. The level is timed and you use supported and unsupported positions.

The targets come in 1's, 2's, and 3's and they come in attack/retreat waves. The targets all start far away and then come closer to you. Then they retreat and get further away. There are two waves of this with 40 targets each.

You realize how much the gun weights about half way through this level. You definitely feel arm fatigue and back pain the first few times you do this.

It is the only level that gets a bit of an adrenaline rush. Even though the targets are just crude blocks, it feels like the enemy is approaching and you need to fire faster before they get you. There can be three enemies at once and then you miss one and they come closer and your heart starts pumping. Then you miss more because you rush it and your heart pounds even more. Level 9 is definitely the most fun part of the game.

Level 9 is the only part of the game with high scores and a leader board. You can enter your initials and record your score until the SNES turns off. The cartridge does not have any internal memory to store the high scores.

macs high score screen
High Score Screen

Settings and Calibration
The second controller is used for game settings like level selection, wind speed, and starting the light gun calibration.

You hit "A" on the second controller at any time and it jumps to the settings page. You can choose the starting level and the ending level and you can change the wind speed and direction for added difficulty.

"Select" will open a light gun calibration screen. You put the MACS gun into a vice or other method to hold it steady and pointing at the target. Then you adjust the light gun so the shot lines up with your expected location. The screen shows you which adjustments to make for perfect alignment.

macs settings and level selector
Settings and Level Selector

macs light gun adjustment
Light Gun Adjustment Screen

MACS Collectibility and Value

MACS is very rare. The game was only used for military training of US troops and national guard. Even if every armed forces base had 4 or 5 of them, the number created would be in the hundreds. Many of these have probably been destroyed or are stored in some army storage facility (like the Ark of the Covenant).

The most recent sale for cartridge by itself was for $1,500 (March 20017). The full gun, cartridge, and manual set been sold publicly so the exact value is hard to know but probably worth at least several thousand dollars.

Multi-purpose Arcade Combat Simulator (MACS) Instruction Manual

MACS is one of those games that definitely needs a manual. Besides "pull the trigger" there aren't very many on screen prompts to get started.

The MACS manual is 45 pages of setup instructions, calibration steps, light gun adjustments, how to start the game, descriptions of each of the nine stages, and some troubleshooting tips too.

Read the Full Manual (PDF)

Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator SNES Manual

MACS Cartridge Photos

macs snes cartridge
MACS Cartridge Front Side

macs snes cartridge back cover
Multi-purpose Arcade Combat Simulator Cartridge Back Side

More MACS Screenshots

macs home screen
MACS Home Screen

macs snes assessment screenshot
Post Shot Assessment

Multi-purpose Arcade Combat Simulator Gun (M16/Jager AP 74) Photos

Multi-purpose Arcade Combat Simulator for Super Nintendo

MACS M16 Gun with Included Items

MACS Being Shot at TV

close-up of m16 MACS gun

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tracking Prices for Playstation 1 Greatest Hits Games

We've started tracking the prices for PS1 Greatest Hits versions separate from the standard, black label releases.

Search "greatest hits" and then filter by "Playstation" games to see a list of all the green label releases we are tracking. The list doesn't include every greatest hits release because we excluded a bunch of sports ones where neither the black label or green label is worth much.

This change does make an impact on the more valuable/rare games like Final Fantasy VII and Castlevania Symphony of Night. A Complete in Box black label might be $30 but the greatest hits version sells for $20.

We plan on adding other variations in the future like Playstation Long Box variants, Neo Geo MVS vs AES, etc. If you have ideas for other variants to track please let us know in the comments below.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Video Game Collection Tracker is Live

video game collection tracker

Do you know how much your game collection is worth?

Do you know exactly what games you need to complete your collection?

You can find out using PriceCharting's new game collection tracker

Easily add games to your collection.

Then see what your collection is worth. The value will update instantly every time we update our prices. And you can see how much the games for each console are worth too.

The tool seemlessly integrates with PriceCharting while search or browsing for game prices.

See an icon next to every game showing you if you own it or not. Clicking '+ collection' adds the game in seconds.

You can do the same on every individual game page too.

Additional Features of the Collection Tracker:

  • Add photos for any game you own
  • Record if the box and manual are included
  • Note the condition
  • Write any additional notes (where you bought it, when, extra info on the item, etc)
  • Share your collection with others
  • It's totally free

If you already track your collection somewhere else, you can quickly import it with our automatic collection import tool too. Just enter/copy & paste a list of the games you own and we will take care of the rest.

Please share the links to your collections in the comments below. I love seeing other game collections.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Buy PriceCharting Logo Merchandise

Do you like PriceCharting? Do you like t-shirts?

Now you can combine the two and wear the PriceCharting logo on t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and phone cases.

The shirt company doing this has tons of promo deals (15% off everything as I'm writing this).

We don't make a penny off of these sales. Just a fun service to offer people who like our site.

If you buy any stuff, please tag us in a photo and share it so I can see you drinking/wearing/washing your car with PriceCharting logo.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

PayPal Accepted on the PriceCharting Marketplace

You can now buy and sell with Paypal on the PriceCharting Marketplace. This was the most requested feature from our users.

paypal pricecharting integration
When checking out, you will see a page like the one above. It asks you to log into your existing PayPal account or checkout as a guest (credit card only).

If you have a Paypal account, you can start selling on the Marketplace too. Funds will be deposited directly to your Paypal account just like any other Paypal payment.

If you don't have a Paypal account, you can signup for one and start selling within minutes.

Try clicking 'Buy It' on any marketplace listing and give us your feedback in the comments below.

For existing sellers, we will continue to support Stripe until the end of March 2017. Then you will need to migrate over to Paypal or your listing will be closed.



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