It probably goes without saying that gaming is an expensive hobby. You gotta buy the systems, the games, the accessories…it adds up fast. This usually applies more to new games than to older ones, but that might not be completely true for much longer. See, it seems that retro games are getting more and more expensive with each passing year, and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.
I first found out about this on Ghetto Gamer, but I suppose it sort of makes sense. The author of the linked article asserts that a big reason for this is that the generation that grew up on the likes of Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, N64, Game Boy, PlayStation and the like has finally come of age and now has some extra bucks to spend on retro games. This means demand is going up for these limited items. I have to say, I can’t argue with that logic but still, is it enough to explain how Game Boy prices rose from $5 on average to $20? I’m not so sure.
I think part if it also has to do with speculation. Part of it is innocent, I’m sure; it’s just your average gamer (or former gamer) wanting to put some of their money into something they love (or once loved) in the hopes that maybe it’ll be worth more later (more as a bonus than anything else). Then there’s the not-so-innocent speculation: those that are buying up old games for the same reason scalpers buy up in-demand tech: flipping high-demand items for fast profit. Old games have gotten a lot of attention in the past couple of years thanks to some high-profile auctions, so now there’s likely more attention being paid to them with $$$ in mind.
This isn’t exactly world wide though. Here in Japan, retro games are still pretty cheap. The systems themselves can be expensive depending on how old they are, but software is still (for the moment) dirt cheap so long as you’re not trying to buy it in Tokyo’s Akihabara or Osaka’s Den-Den Town. For those outside of Japan though, I suppose there are 2 things to consider: is now a good time to buy that game you’ve been thinking about? Or, is now a good time to sell some of those games you’ve been looking to get rid of? I’m not sure.
What do you think? What else explains the rising prices? Are you going to try to get/sell your games any time soon?
Image from Flickr User: Daniel Zilioto