Even if you're a digital-only gamer and seek to reduce clutter in your household at every available opportunity, it's easy to see the appeal of retro game collecting. The intrinsic allure of physical items continues to drive sales on modern systems with a seemingly endless procession of collector's editions, but old-school consoles like the NES, SNES and Game Boy are blessed with eye-catching and chunky cartridges which just beg to be hoarded, fondled and treasured for years to come - even if there are much more convenient (and cheaper) ways to experience them in pure gaming terms.
However, retro game collecting is also an insanely expensive pastime, especially in the age of eBay. Some titles change hands for many times more than their original purchase price, and we've reached the point where a select few collectors don't even play the games they own - they simply put them on a shelf like some kind of trophy before moving onto the next conquest.
Wherever you sit on the retro gaming spectrum, it's highly likely that at some point during your gaming career, you've been faced with a daunting choice: sell or keep? Like all collectables, video games have value which can be unlocked to fund other purchases; and we've personally heard many stories of entire collections being put under the hammer to fund a change of lifestyle - sometimes out of necessity more than anything else.
A friend of the site recently introduced us to a person in this exact position; Kevin Bowers is a UK-based financial adviser by day, but he used to work in the games industry and has amassed quite an impressive selection of games - all of which are up for grabs.
Keen to understand what could make someone with such an enviable haul sell up in one go, we sat down for a chat.
Nintendo Life: Can you give us some background on your gaming history?
Kevin Bowers: My father used to own a Commodore 64 many years ago and that was really my first taste of computers and gaming. I absolutely loved Street Surfer; I never got far but I still remember the music that became faster as you gained speed! Then there was BombJack that I must have played to death. Unfortunately, the C64 died and I remember wanting a Donkey Kong Dual Screen Game & Watch, which I never managed to get my parents to buy.
Years later I remember asking for a NES, but after two years of pestering, my parents got both me and my brother a Master System 2 with Alex Kidd in Miracle World built in, and Spy vs Spy. That was my first proper games console. A few years later both my brother and I traded in our Master System and put the funds towards a SNES. My dad always said that playing games is a waste of time, but then he was hooked on Super Mario Kart and had to eat his words! I would come home sometimes to see that he'd beaten my ghost in time trial and I had to try and get the best time again! It was at this time I really got into games, and spent hours playing the likes of Illusion of Time, Zelda: Link to the Past, Super Punch-Out!!, Secret of Evermore and Secret of Mana. My next console was an original PlayStation, and when I turned 18 I decided to build my own computer.
I've had small jobs in gaming shops since I was 16, and I ended up as an assistant manager of a Gamestation/GAME store before coming out of the industry completely. I eventually wrote for various PlayStation magazines back in the day; that was a fun couple of years back when the PS2 was released. I remember hating on Final Fantasy X in my review, and still hate it today!
When did you start collecting?
Earliest I can remember actually collecting was when I got a job on the magazine Station 2, back in late '90s, just before the PlayStation 2 was released. I got quite addicted to eBay and back then there was no PayPal. If you won an auction you sent a cheque off, hoped it would arrive, waited for it to clear, then waited some more for the seller to send the items in the post. There was a good 10 to 14 day turnaround back then! After that, I picked things up from many shops I've worked in.
You have a lot of sealed promotional copies in your collection - where did you source these?
The promotional copies, like the Dreamcast games, were all from my time in Gamestation. We always bought stuff from customers no matter what it was and we had a little rule in the shop where if you bought it in, you had first refusal on it.
What would you say are the most interesting items in your collection?
Well, for me it's Super Mario World. I don't even remember where I got it and it wasn't until recently I realised how valuable it was in sealed condition. Other than that, I love the GameCube; it's the original Japanese hardware with a USA mod switch in the back so you can play both regions in one console. Super Monkey Ball and Luigi's Mansion were (and still are) amazing!
Why did you never open your copy of Super Mario World?
I have a large number of SNES cartridges that I picked up for pennies back in the day, and that included Super Mario World. So when I got the sealed one I had no reason to open it - and then forgot about it! SNES games - especially boxed ones - have risen sharply in value lately; it's insane how much some very average titles are worth.
Why are you choosing to sell everything now?
Two main reasons. It's all sat in storage in my parent's place and they're moaning about it all taking up so much room. I know I'll never really use them again and I'd rather someone appreciate them. Plus, I need to get a deposit to put towards a house. I'm sure I'm not the first person who has sold a treasured collection to fund a big change of lifestyle!
Would you say your life priorities have changed, or are you simply finding other ways to play these games?
Life priorities have 100 percent changed since I left the gaming industry. It just doesn't seem as important once you are out and not surrounded by games 24 hours a day. I still love gaming but find myself picking and choosing what I play a little more carefully these days. I have my gaming PC for any of the big games I want to play, and I have a Switch for everything else. Since I don't care about multiplayer games I'm just in it for great single-player experiences - almost the opposite of where the big games companies want to go nowadays with 'gaming as a service', something I have zero interest in. So while the cash will be welcome the way I play games has changed as well.
Could you ever see yourself regretting selling all of these items?
Yes, I always think 'what if'. But my thinking now is why keep something that has just sat in storage in the dark for almost 20 years? I'm just hoarding and not even appreciating them; plus I can emulate it all in future if I wanted to play it again.
If you fancy making Kev an offer on any of the stuff in these photos, drop him a line at [email protected].
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Fri 22nd June, 2018.
I’ve got a massive collection of games across all twelve Nintendo consoles and handhelds but I wouldn’t part with them for anything. They’re curated and organized. By definition that’s collecting, not hoarding.
I'm more or less the same started on a C64, then Master System 2 then SNES, except I played the games I bought. Also I hated that the SNES games came in cardboard so chucked the packaging and just kept the manual and cartridge. The Mega Drive and Master System games came in plastic boxes which was so much better.
Mine are in my Dad's loft, but i don't know what to do with them as I don't play them, but they are such a part of my life. Along with the around 200 C64 games on tapes. Also my wife said that they are not moving in to our house. So will have to do something with them soon as i think my Dad is looking to sell his house soon.
I've got my collection down to few essentials. Once they are legitimately available digitally then bye bye physical.
I totally understand why people collect, but time and space play a huge role in my choice.
I go through an eternal cycle of collect > sell > regret > collect. The truth is they just end up taking up far too much room at the rate I buy them and I don't often go back and play games again.
Interesting to know that although I started on an NES and not the C64 or Master System, I owned and played every SNES game this guy name dropped.
I've loved gaming since I was 4 and was exposed to Super Mario, Robowarrior, and Solar Jetman, but yes, Illusion of Gaia/time was the most epic and emotionally powerful game I played in my youth, not to mention it helped immensely with my reading comprehension.
Personally my two dozen NES, dozen genesis, and 40 SNES games were all sold during college. Just couldn't see holding onto them when money was tight and since I had a modded Xbox with the libraries of all 3 systems. Luckily I have modded NES and SNES classics now, but I try to shave my collections down of other systems and ask myself every year: do I ever want to play this again?
I still collect games that I love and currently have 10 physical Switch games and 29 digital.
Hope he gets a nice house with the fundage!
My games collection are not so many as him, but i store them tidily and organize them based on specific category.
And i will NEVER Sell my collections, even i feel bored with certain games due to lack of the hype, because all my games are Ohana.
Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.
Surprised this article got posted with the mere mention of emulation at the end there.
I can definitely understand where this guy is coming from. And it is definitely different when you are surrounded by gaming all day at work. I used to have 200 or so games from various platforms, some very well-maintained (Duck Tales sealed, Earthbound even with unused scratch n sniff), but I sold them all years back when I moved to another state and got a great opportunity at work. I wasn't playing them, I couldn't see them being lugged around anymore just to have, so I used it like an investment and sold the assets. I still play games a couple hours each day, and wake up early on the weekends to get time in before the demands of life come at me. I'm just far more picky about how much time I have, and how much I'll pay to entertain that time.
My old games (wouldn't call it a collection, but anyway) are at my mother's too. I never realised how many parents were storing large numbers of videogames !
I've had two video game collections in my life and I sold the first one which I regret massively. I had mint a mint NES, SNES, N64, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, games for all of them and more. I've rebuilt my collection somewhat but it's definitely not as impressive as it was. But to be fair, if I still had the stuff I originally sold as well as the stuff I have now it would not fit in my house.
I have had the same thoughts as this guy, boxes and boxes of games, consoles, and merchandise sitting in my loft doing nothing. I find it difficult to keep and even harder to sell!!
I often fear the day this will be on my plate. Hopefully a decision I will never have to make. Too many memories attached to those boxes and cartridges, but you never know what life has in store for your next...
Truth is no one wants to sell. I use to have all on display but are now are in big boxes stored up. I did sell a lot of games I know I wouldn’t play no more. It’s all about space really. When I got married and started a family I needed more space and the games and toys had to go in containers and boxes
I only truly started collecting games in january 2018. I went from 150 games to 415 games since then.
It even got me some rare games for free (castlevania symphony of the night for ps1 for example)
I really enjoy collecting games and going through lots of flea markets for it. Although I want to do what some other collectors like metal jesus do. Play every game in my collection for atleast an hour.
I would keep a few core items for posterity, to share with your future kids.
I stopped hoarding games years ago but my one regret is selling my Mega Drive II+CD II with 20 games in 1996 for £60! When I was 13 this was a lot of money, but I wish I’d have kept it to show my kids.
The Virtual Console did a decent job for me, and I could just download some ROMs but the experience of cartridges, wires pads and a CRT is still missing. It’s like listening to an MP3 when you used to have it on vinyl.
I’m kind of in the same position. Around 10 years ago I started a good job, was still single and had a lot of spare time and cash so used it collecting. Got even more into it when I met some people who became friends and got me appreciating retro. The allure of JRPG special editions also continues to haunt me.
But as time passed, I more and more realised I wasn’t able to play all of them. Life then changed as I got an even better job which also takes up more of my time and got into a relationship. Now with additional life plans in progress, I have begun selling tidbits off and I feel it is only going to increase.
Its time like this I regret another friend convincinv me to open that Hyperdimension Neptunia mk II Limited Edition. Was fully sealed and she convinced me to open it. Never played it, no plans to now.
So how much he will get for all these?
Great article many of us can relate too. Hope he gets a good price.
I understand why people decide to sell off their collection, and I’ll probably end up doing it myself down the line, but why sell everything? I’d atleast hang on to the core title of games I could see myself playing again.
I will buy the Nintendo games off him......Tibbs is my name, Terry Tibbs and I'll give you double the price
My cousin had tons of stuff but he sold it to survive and now he regrets it.
I got rid of most of my collection some years ago. Personnally, I'm more the type that actually buy stuff to play it, than just have it stored on a shelf, so while I took care of my stuff, I didn't have anything sealed and/or wrapped and never played.
At one point, I had an Atari 2600 (original Sunnyvale edition) along with tons of accessories and cartridges, A still in decent shape Vectrex with about 3 games, an Intellivision II + games, a Sega Master System with some games, a Sega Genesis Model 1, with lots of games, Power base converter, and Sega CD model 2 (some games as well). Also a NES, SNES, N64, Sega Dreamcast, and PS1, all with many games each.
Thing is, my setup was actually made that ALL of those consoles were hooked to an old tube TV (like the good old days!), ready to be played at the flick of a switchbox. Except the Vectrex, because its built-in screen, of course.
It also took a TON of space in my basement.
But at some point, we needed some space because we have a small house, and with kids growing up, we needed some room space. And as I was saying, I kept all of these ready to play, as I like retrogaming a lot. So just putting them in storage wasn't really something I'd be interested in. And my Atari 2600 was worth a good chunk of money too, so did my Vectrex, and my NES, coming in all of its original packaging (foams, plastics and all), so...
These days, many old classics can be bought for cheap and played on modern systems, so while it isn't a substitute for the whole collection I had back then, it gives me a fix when I have that retrogaming urge.
I only collect games I want to play. I don’t like having things if I’m not going to enjoy them.
@Anti-Matter This is so nice to look at.
@LegendOfPokemon That's kind of where I stand as well. On pretty much anything really. And this is no judgement on collectors of whatever it may be. I guess if I had infinite space or money, I might feel otherwise. But I don't think I would. It just feel like a waste to collect or purchase something you're not actually going to use.
@Alikan "Illusion of Gaia/time was the most epic and emotionally powerful game I played in my youth"
That's exactly the same for me !
@gurtifus I mean, the ending lines of the comet about how Will will burn Kara's image into his mind and how he'll find her in the next lifetime, no matter what with that epic musical theme. I still get teary eyed thinking about it....and then in the after credits scene he fulfills his promise!
In the history of gaming, I can't think of a better ending. Yes, I am an emotional sap. 😂
@Joffy OMG this is 100% me as well. It's nice to see there is somebody else trapped in this cycle. Luckily, I've tended to make money every time, so it hasn't been a total loss.... except for the few I sold that I probably won't be able to get back
I don't have the money or space to really keep up as much of a beautiful physical collection of games as I'd like, and the amount I WAS spending was beginning to disturb me. That money could be better spent on friends and family. I still like keeping up with some new releases, though, and gaming is still my primary hobby, so I decided to shift my focus from collecting to playing.
Digital is good for this reason. When you take away the allure of a physical object, you're more likely to focus on the software itself. Partially because you don't have a 'thing' to hoard or preserve, and partially because of the immediacy of its presence on your system.
Although i still go physical for a few games. In particular, ones I know won't be getting huge print runs. I have to be willing to play them right away, though.
Interesting that a sealed SMW is valuable/rare. I would have thought that to be one of the most common SNES era titles with a higher probability than most games of finding it sealed today. I guess everyone just had to play it, and I can’t remember if it came boxed and sealed as the pack in game for the system. I traded a few NES carts back in the day, but other than that, I have my original hardware and software from NES through Switch (less GC, had to skip that gen due to life circumstances), as well as my 2600 and Sega Genesis. I still buy games for them as they make themselves available to me in the real world, but I don’t buy games online. I guess that’s my way of limiting my expenditures.
This is something that has always been a struggle of mine. Unlike many people I see posting here, I actually quite frequently play my retro systems, so I don't have the guilt of hoarding I see some commenting on. However, I am married, I have an 18 month old son, and my daughter is due this week! So I definitely understand space constraints.
There was a time where I had all of my consoles out at once, connected to my TV through an RGB gScart switch and/or an HDMI switch. I've recently decided that I will now only have 1 retro console connected at a time to reduce clutter and allow me to neatly store/organize things for longer term storage. I use CD/DVD collapsible boxes to store all of my games, which in turn are stored inside of large, plastic, weather sealed Sterilite storage bins.
I then purchased a metric buttload of USA Gear PS4 System Travel cases for my larger systems like Neo Geo AES, SNES, etc... and USA Gear Nintendo Switch cases for smaller systems like PC Engine Core Grafx, Dreamcast, Analogue NT/Super NT, Wii, etc... In each of these cases, I have everything I need to hookup and play - The system itself (Sometimes multiple systems, like different revisions of NES/SNES), AV cables, power adapters, controllers, memory cards, and Flashcarts. Each case has a luggage tag on it labeling the type of system inside.
I won't lie, this method was very expensive. However, I can now store everything in large bins in the garage without worrying about something getting broken, and most importantly, I can very quickly and easily find and setup a console I want to play on a whim. I'll see if I can get some pics added with the exact models of storage bins/travel cases - because I lucked out and everything is a perfect fit.
EDIT: While I figure out the pics, below are the exact items I use. In addition to fitting the system travel cases perfectly, I also use various Sterilite gasket boxes to store empty boxes, game carts, accessories, etc...
USA Gear PS4 Case - For larger consoles
USA Gear Nintendo Switch Case - For smaller consoles
Sterilite 80 Qquart/76 Liter Gasket Box - This perfects fits 3 of the larger PS4 system Cases
Sterilite 54 Quart/51 Liter Gasket Box - This perfectly fits 4 of the smaller Nintendo Switch Cases
EDIT2 - Pics: Here's the pictures. Many more of these out in the garage =) First pic is of the USA Gear Switch cases in the Sterilite 51 liter box. That's my Analogue NT, Super NT, PC Engine Core Grafx and (missing) Dreamcast.
Next, is my Vectrex and Neo Geo AES in a USA Gear PS4 case in the Sterilite 76 liter box. 3 of those USA Gear cases fit perfect in the storage box.
Last pic, just a random closet that has yet to be evacuated to the garage. A couple more consoles near the bottom in USA Gear cases, and a few shelves of games in collapsible CD/DVD cases that can be picked up cheaply from Amazon.
@Anti-Matter You and @JaxonH have the most organized video game shrines I've ever seen!
I have random piles filling milk crates and cardboard boxes, most falling over each other
Nice read, I totally get where this guy’s coming from. I used to collect hundreds of physical games but sold them all off in the span of a few years. Now I’m all digital and don’t own a single cart or disc. No regrets!
@roadrunner343 - What a beautiful storage system you’ve concocted! I may have to steal a page out of your book. I also had all my systems out and hooked up to CRTs, but recently I had to flip my game room into a bedroom, and I won’t have the space to display them again until I flip my basement, which is probably a few years away. Good luck with the pending birth of your daughter.
@Ralizah That's an interesting take. I bet the industry never imagined moving to digital might make people buy less because there's no physical object to collect!
For me I'm moving somewhat digital because A) For the first time I actually can now that real internet exists here, B) The milk crates and cardboard boxes mentioned above really are overflowing too much.... C) Modern gen games don't benefit from physical copies too much: They're still unplayable without the patches, still get installed to the HDD, and more and more require being always online, so the physical copies die the same day the digital ones do, there's no long term preservation anymore, and D) Sales, and E) on PS/XB sharing games with two systems in the house means buying one copy (on sale) give me a copy for both machines like PS gaming in the mid-90's while physical needs 2. HOWEVER, I'm focusing on XB for digital as I really trust that platform to keep those investments in digital games valuable for some time given all the BC work they've emphasized, more like Steam (but not AS reliable), while I'm sticking with exclusives on PS (of which there are many) and trying to digitize those (I didn't have TOO many physical PS4 games compared to WiiU/3DS/Switch.) I think Detroit is my last "physical only" PS4 game (I even double dipped on P5 despite having the still sealed Take Your Heart edition.)
Switch on the other hand....so much is in physical, collectors editions, etc. The memory situation of SD cards vs carts and the lack of deep sales on digital means I'll likely stick nearly all physical for Switch except online games I may want to jump in at any time (Mario Tennis Aces, Smash 4.5, MK8D, PokkenDX, ARMS, Splatoon 2 is the extent of digital for me on Switch.) Plus the little carts are much easier to store and access than discs. I treat discs like they're uranium fuel rods.
On Switch "physical" still mostly seems to mean physical in the old sense (except 2k games, and not sure about Wolfenstein if it NEEDS the patch or if it's like Doom and most of the game is playable without it.)
@bimmy-lee Thanks! I recently vacated my home office/game room to make way for my daughter, which is what led me to rethink my storage system.
I just updated my original post with links and pictures. Hope someone finds it helpful. It's certainly not the cheapest route. I'd wager I've got about $400-$500 wrapped up in storage bins/travel cases. The peace of mind and convenience it provided, as well as extra space, was worth it to me. Also, if you're not retrofitting an entire collection at once, the cost isn't too terrible.
Someday, I will have a game room to display my collection in all it's glory like @JaxonH and @Anti-Matter, but until then, I'll settle for the neat, functional, wife-approved long-term storage system I've got now.
I have most systems from a NES upwards. Some of them I have not played in over twenty years. So I said to myself if I do not play it or I can not play street fighter on it it is going. My Atari jaguar and lynx are being sold this weekend at Bristol gaming market.
I have boxes full of NES, SNES, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy advance, GameCube and 3DS games in my garage that have not been touched in years but I wouldn't dream of selling them. My great grandchildren will play them in years to come when they want to take a break from their brain hookup virtual reality machines.
@darkswabber I didn’t realize Symphony of the Night was rare, but I just checked. Wow, it sure is. One of my favorite games ever. I bought it for like $15 new at EB Games when they were clearing out PS1 games to make room for more PS2.
I'm getting to that point myself. I dont have the free time to game and its like sitting on a pile of money. What is the point of having games if you don't play games?
@roadrunner343 - I have everything in Sterelite storage bins, but I really like your idea of casing the systems themselves. No matter how I pack them, it’s still inconvenient and sloppy with the systems stored in with the games. You can’t be too careful. A year or so ago, I posted here that I have my spare CRTs wrapped in plastic and stored in my totally dry crawl space (which is actually space on my home’s slab in the basement under the master bedroom), then my water heater blew, I couldn’t get my plumber out for a few days, and I spent an entire weekend vacuuming gallons of water as it slowly seeped out of the water heater and inched towards my TVs. I couldn’t drain the water heater because the drain was plugged with debris. It was kind of a nightmare, but I turned it into a drinking game and made the best of it.
Not all peoples did like that.
I collect Retro games (Gamecube, Wii, GBA, PS2, PS1) to compesate my mistakes by playing pirated games in the past.
Used to be i played with pirated games & modded machines, but not anymore. I had removed Completely all my pirated games & modded machines, start again from Zero and collecting Original Retro games to experience the True feeling of playing with Original things.
@imgrowinglegs where I live it goes for €200 CIB undamaged (the state in which is my copy)
I got it for free along with 4 consoles and 74 other (mostly rare) games and almost got a heart attack when I discovered what I got.
I would never pay that much money for a game (with a few exceptions) but this year I’ve got quite some luck with buying several lots at flea markets (also got a lot of 40 ps2 games for €15 which included def jem fight for NY and the godfather steelbook CIB.)
@bimmy-lee Yeah, I didn't feel quite right just chucking all my systems in there together. Especially since I plan on getting them out somewhat frequently, I didn't like the thought of pulling a box down from the top shelf in the garage (Above my head) and letting the systems slam around. Of course, this due to my current storage situation, and that may not be a problem for many people. Just because of where they are stored, it would be hard on the systems to put them away/get them out.
The larger PS4 cases are pretty spacious too, so they hold everything I need. I.E.,I have a Neo Geo AES, stick, and flash cart (It's huge) in one case, and an N64, 5 controllers, all different types of AV cables (RGB, RF, Composite), accessories in another - so it really helps keep things neat and easily accessible. I even use one to store my Arcade sticks. One case fits my 14" arcade stick in the system tray, my 9.5" hitbox in the bottom portion, and the various cables and accessories I need. Really great cases so far.
EDIT: My water heater went out last month =/ Luckily, the water run into a drain in the garage, so didn't ruin anything. Still an expensive, pain. Glad yours didn't cause too much damage either.
When you see it's time to move on fromt the old you will sell it. Or you need the money
Funnily enough I have just sold my entire collection. Nes, Gameboy, Ps1, Ps2, Wii, original Xbox. It was just getting too expensive to play originals and there was no way I was getting into collecting Snes as the prices can be silly. I still have my WiiU, 360, XboxOne, Ps3 and now my switch and also both Nintendo classic consoles so to be honest I have all I need. I wouldn't say I was a collector more of a person who wanted to play games I used to own when I was a kid but trying to own all the boxed Megaman games was a no no for me as there were other things I could get for that kind of money. I don't like digital to be honest as I've always liked owing the boxed games but it cones down to price but people and places like Ebay and Cex are treating games like it's something on the Antiques Roadshow, it's a cardboard box and plastic 😁
@roadrunner343 - That Neo Geo case would likely be my holy grail of gaming. I’ve wanted one since it released, and they’ve only gone up in value since then. What a cool system. We’d probably have much larger collections if real world stuff didn’t get in the way, like diapers and water heaters, but I wouldn’t change my situation for all the games in the world.
I sold my NES games last year as they had sat in my loft for 25 years, helping to go towards my Switch fund. Still got my N64 and CUBE collection but they USA versions so harder to sell on in UK.
I always regretted selling my SNES collection to fund my N64 purchase in 1997 but the SNES mini and Raspberry Pi has softened the blow.
@NEStalgia Physical on Switch is a lot like it was last gen, where the entire game was on the disc, but you also needed updates and whatnot to get it to run properly. Still, from a pure digital storage standpoint, it makes a lot of sense going primarily physical on Switch.
On the other hand, the Switch is a portable console, meaning it's also uniquely suited to digital games. It's nice to go somewhere and not have to worry about not being able to play a game because you left the cartridge back at the house (you COULD carry them around in a case, but I've lost at least one 3DS case that had a few games in it a few years ago, and I'm still irritated about that, so that's a no-go for me).
One little point on Switch that I REALLY like is that I can archive games, and the icon stays on my system. So even if I delete the actual game data to make room for something else, I still have what feels like a digital collection. It's a small thing, but it's really nice. And thanks to the lack of pre-order discounts (generally) and Day One swag, I can feel free to wait as long as possible to pick up a game and not feel like I'm missing out on anything, versus physical, where I feel like it's a waste to even pick up a game if I don't get the Day One edition with the post cards and 15% or so discount (20% on Amazon Prime, but my state has a high sales tax, so I don't actually get the full benefit of that).
I'm so, so close to just canceling all of my physical Switch pre-orders and just downloading the games when I get around to wanting to play them.
I always regret selling most of the games I bought over the course of my life, but I also don't regret it at the same time. I don't have a huge house and if I still owned all the games I've bought for the many, many consoles I've played in my lifetime, there would probably just be shelves of games all over the place. I never felt the collector bug--I just buy a game (or rent it), play it until I've had my fill, and then move on one way or another.
Kudos to the collectors, it is quite impressive.
@Ralizah @NEStalgia - Given the nature of Switch, this is the first generation I decided to go fully digital. It was really tough to do, as I find a row of game cases on a shelf to be immensely pleasing, but I’ve settled in to the decision at this point, and I’m happy with it. Having my entire library a finger tap away, and instantly changing between titles has been pretty sweet.
@Ralizah Technically, you're still supposed to be paying use tax on those items. Purchasing online isn't suppose to be a way around State sales tax, it's just what everyone does.
@foobarbaz I won't say you are wrong, there's a lot of people that feel as you do, but there is definitely a difference between emulation and original hardware. Especially if you have a CRT for retro stuff. I understand that's a niche audience within an already niche retro audience. I prefer to play on original hardware where possible, but I also still appreciate and make use of emulation - especially to play home console games on portable devices, like the GPD Win or my 3DS. I've even got a few re-releases on my Switch. So emulation is an awesome technology/alternative, but it's not the same, either.
I could be wrong, but I would hope my kids would enjoy my collection someday. I don't plan on keeping them hidden away forever - my plan is to have them out, and let my kids play with them growing up. My collection is definitely for use - it never made a whole lot of sense to me to collect things just for the sake of collecting things. We'll see - if nothing else, my collection is nice and tidy, so it shouldn't be too hard to sell off if that's what they wanted to do. Hopefully, I get to enjoy my own collection for the next 50 years or so.
I’ve amassed a nice wee collection since I got my first game, Mario’s Cement Factory. I couldn’t part with em but what will happen to them when you know...💀 Guess I’ll be past caring by then 😋
One week till the NES Mini is out 🎉✨
Ha my basement is like a whole library of old school retro games, some that I hadn't play for years and some I had not even beaten yet. Of course I ain't gonna sell them all away, I may eventually give them over to my next of kin or donate them to a dedicated collector if the gaming industry ever falls under.
@Ralizah Switch is well suited for digital, but its physical games are also much more portable than discs with the cases...so it's a tradeoff. And if you have a lot of digital you'd have a case of SD cards as well...)
Archive is neat, but it's not really different from the "Purchased" (PS4") or "Ready to install" (X1) tab in the games library to see that complete catalog I suppose
Yeah, that's true about preorder bonuses...another good reason to stick to physical on Switch, where Nintendo seldom discounts digital ever and rarely deep. 20% is 20%....you pay the tax no matter where you buy it....I think average is around 6% on tax so unless you're in CA with a whopping 7.5%, I think most places you're paying that 5-7% But the discount is still 20%....you're paying that digital, physical, or otherwise. Thanks for nothing, Walazon!
@bimmy-lee Previously I couldn't justify trading the right to own my game forever versus entrusting it to "whenever they choose to take it from me" for the same price. But I do admit, the convenience is wonderful...maybe not enough to sell your rights for, but for me it's become a tradeoff of also saving immense money, gaining convenience, and saving storage space in exchange for the inevitability it gets taken from me eventually. I still wish there was a way to install your cart to your system and keep it there like digital. Since each cart has a serial that Nintendo apparently can track, that actually would be possible.
In general, I've mostly just bought games that I want to play, but recently there's been a few sneaking in that I got just because they were rare or cheap. I think I should sell some, because there are some that I'll probably never play.
@NEStalgia Combined state and county sales tax where I live is 9.75%, unfortunately.
If you have a lot of digital content, you delete the games you're not playing anymore and make room for new games. You only have to buy multiple SD cards if you're hoarding downloads. Also gives you an incentive to not allow a backlog to start forming, as you'll want that space for newer games eventually.
More power to the collectors out there, but I've just never had that mindset. I just don't get it, and there's nothing wrong with it - just not how my mind works. I move on from one thing to the next, and 99% of the time when I finish a game, I know I'm not going to play it again so why bother keeping it?
I can understand. I don't think one can really appreciate SO MANY games. I have some games that I'm very fond of and I would never sell them, I'm not even using them anymore because it is too inconvenient and annoying to plug the older consoles to run them, but I would never sell them anyway, but for sure they are absolutely not so many. Right now I am using the package where the Switch was to keep them, and they exactly fill it so more or less you can get an idea.
@NEStalgia - Yes, that story yesterday about card certificates was interesting. Didn’t know much about it prior, but that would be a nice option for physical card owners. I thought a lot about the decision before I made it. It goes against the grain of my entire gaming history, but I decided Switch was my chance to give digital only a try. A lot factored into the decision, including the possibility of losing access to a game years down the road that I otherwise wouldn’t lose if I had a game card. Switch is dragging me into the 21st century. Maybe I’ll even try gaming online at some point with it.
I'll be honest here: I fail to see why some people hoard games that have been completely sealed for years upon years. Sure, they have value, but games are meant to be played, not enshrined in their same packaging for all eternity. I mean, do we have any guarantees that the cartridge or CD still works?
I admittedly don't sell my own games very often these days, but that's mainly due to the fact that I have to be picky with my time and money. I also rarely double-dip. I used to just sell games I didn't like or had no desire to finish, but it's getting to where I'm considering selling off parts of my collection that I like but likely won't play again. Those games are no longer benefiting me, so why not let someone else enjoy them?
Just done a quick google search. Unless I’m mistaken, it seems that copy of Yellow Box PAL Super Mario World sealed with red strip could be worth £8,000+ alone! A copy of it appeared to have sold on eBay back in 2013 at that price anyway. I might have misunderstood, but if not that’s insane!
I regret selling my SNES collection back in 2005. It wasn’t huge, but going from prices today it would probably be worth close to £10k. Think I sold it for around the £1k mark. If only I could go back in the DeLorean and tell myself this! I recall importing Earthbound from the US for about £80, which I thought was loads back then. Now it sells for about £500+, I should have stocked up!
I’m happy with my collection now though. I have a CRT, many everdrives and modded disc based systems, so I have access to pretty much any game I could want to play (just missing the Mega Drive and PC Engine). And I play and enjoy them, rather than look at them in a box or a shelf. Mind you, I still have quite a lot of games, you can never lose that collector’s urge completely.
@Ralizah Wow, I was unaware of county taxes even being a thing. Got to be either NY or CA. No other state is that [redacted] up. Sadly their kind are invading everywhere. Soon the whole country will have 50% taxes, but free gender changes for your dog (up to 2 changes per dog per year.)
Haha, well, download hoarding, I like to think of it more as a "local backup"....because I don't trust the ISP to always be up when I want it 8 years from now, and because if Sony/MS decide to kill downloads for a game, I've still got it. Plus half the point of a digital library is that it's a button click away taking no more space than a hard drive
And if you want all your games with you on Switch, so you buy digitally, that doesn't do much good if you've deleted them
On Switch it's also a matter of downloads take like 6 hours for small games with frequent disconnects even when WIRED. PS/XB, I can DL at 250mb/s (limited only by the USB3 bus speed!) Switch...it's like 8MB/s on a good day. On wired or wireless. Doesn't matter. It's maybe their eshop servers but even copy switch to switch over local wifi is about the same speed, so I think it's the SD write speed.
I probably have somewhere between 200 - 300 physical games across a dozen consoles. Obviously, I don't give equal attention to all of these.
I don't see myself selling them anytime soon, but I might when I get old. Might end up help funding my retirement.
@NEStalgia Tennessee, actually. Good ol' boy "flyover country." No income tax, though.
Well, I'll have all the games I care to play downloaded and with me. Either ones that I want to replay, ones that are never traditionally "beaten," or games that I'm currently in the process of beating. I don't care if I don't have immediate access to games I'm not going to play again for several years, ya know?
On that note, I really wish I had purchased MK8D digitally. I never play that game anymore because I don't want to have to change the cartridge for a couple of short races.
@bimmy-lee LOL, I'm kind of the inverse. Switch made me double down on physical (with exceptions of online games like Splatoon), meanwhile I bought an X1X to join the 21st century and go digital-only on it
Splatoon dragged me into online gaming on WiiU though....sigh
@Ralizah Ohhhhh, no income tax.....now that makes it a different ballgame I'd gladly trade a high state income tax for an extra 3% sales tax Income tax is based on gross, not expenditures! We get State + Local (+ real estate + school) taxes....PLUS the "average" sales tax they always want to increase. Or get rid of sales tax and keep the income tax. Pick one of the other. I did notice TN was high which didn't make sense for a non "elite" state, but that makes sense.
Yeah, I like having carts for RPGs and adventures, even Sushi Striker (it's really more RPG than puzzle game in most ways), but definitely. The "never beaten" games, I'm glad to get digital. Pre-ordered Aces digitally...with the my rewards bonus for preorder it was close to the Amazon discounted physical price in terms of cash to put toward either Smash 4.5 or Okami HD, which I'd do digital for the former and have no choice on the latter.
@NEStalgia Installing games from a cart would be my dream.
EDIT: My favorite part about that dream, is that so many people act like it's completely impossible and that we haven't been able to do the same thing since the 80's...
@Ralizah I aggree with you, despite being a retail wherever possible type of guy, I assume I would play multiplayer games more often if not for cart switching.
If the ability to backup/restore games from local media was handled properly, I'd have no real issues going digital only. At least then I could download my software, make a backup storage copy of it somewhere, and not have to worry about authentication/download servers going offline in the future. Until then, I'll stick to predominately retail, I suppose.
@roadrunner343 XBox One does allow you to keep multiple local backup storage copies, AND you can back up the system settings, though I don't know if it includes license authorizations. PS4 also lets you back up the whole system to an external drive. On your "Home XBox/Primary PS4" your licenses should be stored locally (refreshed with purchases) so technically if you have a PS4 full system backup, or an X1 with data backups and system config backups, I think you probably could restore your system onto any same model PS4 in the future, licenses in tact (you just would be locked to one hardware unit at a time.) Not so for Switch though.
Of course always online games this doesn't help. But physical wouldn't work either.
The real threat for digital is if your account gets hacked (or distributed to every villager in Micronesia by Sony Corp like last time), you lose your games.
@NEStalgia - Haha, well, I guess our individual decisions are indicative of the variety of options available in modern gaming. Something for everyone, just how you want it. It’s light years away from when I first got into it and would hope for a game or two a year on my birthday and Christmas. Which brings me full circle to the article. I think the reason I hold on to and continually re play games is due to my roots in the early days of home console gaming where my personal selection was limited and I played the same games for years whether I enjoyed them or not (curse you Ghosts ‘n Goblins, you miserable rage factory). I’ve probably deleted more eShop games from my WiiU than I ever owned on cart as a kid. As with everything, games have become disposable.
@bimmy-lee "years whether I enjoyed them or not (curse you Ghosts ‘n Goblins, you miserable rage factory" LOL, admit it though, you bought it again on Wii, WiiU, or 3DS, didn't you?
Sad but true that it has become disposable. Although....while AAA thirdparty is disposable, Nintendo games seem to still be loved forever (may the Melee is the best Smash meme never end), and MS embracing back compat of OG XBox games and the love and care they give to Halo and Gears remasters at fans request tells me even XB fans don't forget the games they loved before. Sony's the closest to pushing from one series to the next like a steamroller.....only occasionally remembering their PS1/PS2 classics. But unlike the AAA third party at least they do remember them.
@NEStalgia I'm a PC/Nintendo only sort of a guy. Somehow, I've rationalized digital only on PC. I don't want to get into it that XD That's great for XBone/PS4 owners though. Hopefully Nintendo will follow suit someday, and if we can install from physical media, even better.
EDIT: Meme? Of course Melee is the best Smash ever =P
@bimmy-lee We're getting old... I have more games, and play them less, than I ever have =/ Like you, I probably only got a few games a year. Maybe between 3-5. Most of my original system libraries were about 15-20 games by the end of their life cycle. It helped me truly value, and love the gaming experiences I had, though. It also made going over to a friends house and sharing/trading temporarily quite enjoyable as well.
My best friend was making fun of me the other day with an imaginary conversation "So, you play a lot of video games? ... Oh no, I don't play them. I just collect them"
@roadrunner343 Haha, I bailed on PC largely because of digital replacing discs a decade ago
Nintendo's the only one that actaully CAN allow turning physical into digital (not that they'll do it, but what MS proposed with XBone and met with backlash, Nintendo could do out of the box, without penalty of backlash.) Since carts are serialized and the hacking article the other day proved Nintendo DOES know when you are sleeping and know when you're awake, it could allow copying the cart to the console and registering with Nintendo it was copied to console (and unlock it accordingly.) Heck maybe that'll be part of N.O. We still don't have many details on it. MS/Sony can't do that. Discs don't have unique encoded serials, so it's just the old CD key on paper for them. I'm not expecting it but it's possible and fits the Switch's portable nature well.
Haha, I think a large physical game collection is for nerds what convertibles were to boomers with grays (I'm sure it's different on the west coast, but around here, I've never seen a convertible without a balding >50 in it )
@NEStalgia - You have me pegged as the kind of nostalgia mark who would potentially buy a game repeatedly that I didn’t even like, but I resisted with GnG. Probably only because I still have it on cart, fire it up once a year or so, and see the game over screen at roughly the same spot I’ve been seeing it since I first got it. I think you’re right about the enduring allure of some Nintendo franchises though. I’ve also owned a couple Sony consoles and one MS console. I enjoyed them just fine, but I never developed any sort of attachment to them like I did with Nintendo, and to a lesser extent, Sega.
@roadrunner343 - It’s comical. When we’re young, we have nothing to do and all day to do it. When we’re grown and actually have some money to invest in our interests, we have precious little time to enjoy the investments. I sure did love game swapping, and weekend long game sessions at friend’s homes as a kid. I was Punch Out guy amongst my group of friends, and I always tried for a no hit run every time we got together. I’d be sweating by Sandman and my hands would be trembling by the time I got to Iron Mike.
I buy a LOT of games. I spent a lot of money on them, but I also don't buy stuff that just comes out, so I will get 3-4 games for the price someone is paying on day 1, but still probably spend more than most. Yet I completely disagree with the opening of the article. I just don't see the appeal of collections, and especially displaying them. I think people get WAY too caught up in focusing on making sure they'll still have the ability to play their game in 30 years time, ignoring the fact they probably won't even want to play it again, or if they do, there will be better ways to play it.
I've come to see gaming, movies, music... they're all experiences. I don't need to own them to love them. I don't need to own them physically to experience them pretty much whenever I want.
And on a slightly related note... I have a friend who is really into collecting movies and TV shows on physical media. His wife is pregnant, and he keeps going on about how he's going to have his kid watch all the things he watched as a kid instead of today's 'modern trash'. I'm sure there are people out there that plan to do this with their game collection too. Don't do this. Can you imagine if your parents had never let you discover those games and tv shows you enjoyed as a kid, but instead made you do the same as they'd done when they were children?
"you're a digital-only gamer and seek to reduce clutter in your household at every available opportunity"
that why i do it.
ive sold games like little samson all the way to 2 copies of earthbound. sold a lot of factory sealed ones too. i dont regret it because the only physical games i keep are ones that you cant download on a system. i couldnt be happier.
There are have been times when I've been in money woes, I've sold my rarer SEGA and Sony games but the Nintendo collection I've never dared to sell even 1 game. Even though I started on SEGA, Nintendo just means so much to me.
As for a blow out sale, I never want to sell my collection but who knows what the future holds. I do need a place of my own and my partner in crime is a long distance relationship, but money (and thankfully freetime) has been good to me lately. For those that have trouble finding time to play all those games, I recommend scheduling your weekly gaming. I currently have this set up
Saturday- Wii U
Now I don't have a dedicated retro day yet, maybe the Wii day can be replaced once I finish the good first party titles, but this method a good chunk of your systems get a seeing too. Progress might be slow, but then it might help mixing in some shorter games or games close to completion with longer ones. When a brand new big release I look forward to comes out, the scheduling goes out the window till I either beaten the main story or get to a point where I can slow down. You don't always have to stick to it, its just a way I find most effective to give systems equal time to play with.
As for the future of my collection, my room recently got a space increase, so I plan on buying a couple of bookcases at some point so my collection can be displayed a lot better. Doesnt help I have giant DVD/Blu Ray collection too, haha. XD
@bimmy-lee as the old saying goes, why must youth be wasted on the young?
Since people are crazy attached to old Sony or Sony perceived franchisees like ff and crash, so it probably depends on if you entered gaming during Nintendo's reign or later on when Sony came out running. To me, Sega and Nintendo were the only games. Atari died (i was apparently premature, seems they just won't stay dead.... ) i didn't even notice Sony arriving and saw it as another b grade not real console from an electronics company like the Phillips machine . Wasnt untl ps2 got big i was like "wait, that's an actual console?" But to some younger folks ps was the original! Everything is classic!
Xb was kind of different in that it never tried to hook kids. It was an adult oriented platform aimed at introducing pc games to a new market, so it'll never have that childhood charm that sucks with you. But it's the spiritual successor of Sega, so in a way xb resonates for me more than Sony. Ms helped build the Dreamcast, and conversely (remnants of) Sega helped build the first xbox. It had some of the Sega vibe to it still just beneath the surface.
I think I keep my somewhat collection because I'm too lazy to try to sell them and get what they are worth.
You have a schedule to play your video games.
Sometimes, i play my video games depend on my mood, it could be handhelds or consoles. But, i play 3DS everyday.
"I just don't see the appeal of collections, and especially displaying them."
Different peoples, different mindset.
I bought my games that just Only i want to play / i have interest about, not all the games i want to buy (it will wasting money).
I like to display them neatly because i want to see my collection organized very well, like art installation. Even though i have ever finished the games, i still keep them because i can replay them whenever i want. I consider my games are part of family members, nobody got left behind or forgotten.
"I have a friend who is really into collecting movies and TV shows on physical media. His wife is pregnant, and he keeps going on about how he's going to have his kid watch all the things he watched as a kid instead of today's 'modern trash'. I'm sure there are people out there that plan to do this with their game collection too. Don't do this. Can you imagine if your parents had never let you discover those games and tv shows you enjoyed as a kid, but instead made you do the same as they'd done when they were children?"
If he collected games & movies that still appropriate for kids, then why not ?
If he knew the bad effect of "modern trash" shows, he could direct his kids to enjoy video games / movies that suitable for their age.
@Anti-Matter well, my free time might be more than others, namely due to the career (Content creator) I have. But yeah, as a guy with many systems, I've found it the most effective method.
In regards to 3DS, thats everyday too, but mostly because Pokemon Shuffle eats up my 3DS time. XD On the road to 100% the game, so once thats done I'll probably resume my other 3DS titles. The 5 min spells for heats is ideal as well.
@darkswabber Dude, getting stuff free is the best, right?
I got my Dreamcast, NES, and Intellivision consoles all for the low, low price of free.
We change that's all. Anyone who say's never is not living in accordance with that. It's simply impossible to guarantee the things that are important to us now definitely will be in the future.
I would say its more like most collectors just hoard and never play their games. Im guilty of this myself.
I actually had to put up 6 shelves in the corner above my computer desk to house all my games, 30 nes, around 20 mega drive, 4 mega cd, a couple of sms, about 8 psp, about 15 GB/GBC, 10 or so GBA, about 30 ds, about 30 3ds, and about 9 switch, and a handful each of ps1 and 2. Acquired a lot of these (except the older 90s systems) in the past 3 yrs and they cost a lot looking up at them.
Would post a pic but i cant figure out how to.
I own a snes and jp sfc, the system i most want to collect, but for even torn label carts they cost an absolute motza, around $100 each, i just cant collect snes so i use an everdrive or my snes mini modded and it tears me up inside lol
Im also not above buying foreign language eu games with non english manuals but games in english. For ibstance i recently bought a german solatorobo for $26 on DS, complete in box, just german manual and cover. The us or otherwise english version packaging goes for $100. I have also bough loose english carts and the jp boxed version super cheap to avoid being gouged for complete in box games i really want. At least the artwork is official this way, just in japanese. I canr do loose carts! Why must people toss the boxes out, WHY JEEBUS WHYYYYY!
@NEStalgia - Yes, for a lot of people, I’m sure the first console they owned formed the vast majority of their gaming ideals. It blows my mind that the GC/PS2/XBox generation is now entering its retro phase, but I’m sure there are a lot of early 20 somethings who view those devices as I view the NES. I held similar opinions on the PSX when it launched. Interesting to read about Sega’s involvement in the original XBox. I was unaware.
@bolt05 - Oh man, I immediately pitched all my cardboard cases as a kid. What did I need them for? So dumb. The earliest system where I still have the cases is my Sega/MD. I did hold on to most of my N64 cardboard cases though. I was old enough at that point to realize they made the game complete.
"Would post a pic but i cant figure out how to."
Upload your pics there, copy the pics link (has .jpg at the end) and paste here with format (img)link(/img). Replace the ( & ) with [ & ].
@Anti-Matter thanks so much, i tried this once last year but never got it working, will put a pic up when i get home later.
@bimmy-lee yeah a lot of people turfed out their nes boxes i guess. I still have all of mine 😁 game boy seems to be the worst and gba. I guess a lot of bixes fell apart over the last 25 yrs too. Some of mine are pretty shabby, zelda for instance, i even put some zelda sticjers on them as a kid but holds sentimental value anyway and i would never sell that.
@bolt05 - The Zelda stickers make it great then. Priceless to you. I bought a bunch of clear plastic cart storage cases from a rental store when I was a kid, and they still smell like cigs because the store owner chain smoked and played a Dig Dug II cabinet all day. I kind of like it though because I spent a ton of time in there playing arcade games and shooting pool.
Only hoarders sell there games not true gamers because they buy everything meaning shovelware that they never gonna play and waste so much money that later they need and want back the money also they don't truly play the games and keep them seal so at the end of the day they don't feel satisfied because they didn't even enjoy the experience of the games simple as that as for myself I only collected what I liked from the nes to 3ds (No Wii U though) and PS1 to PS3 I don't collect for newer consoles because of patches dlc season passes etc.not worthy for me but that's another story
Why would it matter if the cartridge or disc works or not if it's never going to be opened anyway?
I'd rather be buried with my figmas. Less embarrassing than owning a million games.
@Old-Red: Right, your comment leads to the catch-22. There is no way to know if one is really getting what they are paying for; nobody knows if the game still works, so IMO a dead, sealed game shouldn't fetch nearly as much as a working sealed copy. But yeah, there's no way to know, which is why I find it very risky.
I don’t have a huge game collection, but just like with books and movies, if there is even a small chance I might want to revisit a game in the future, I tend to hang on to it. I don’t think I think I would get a huge profit from most of them anyway, except my saturn bomberman. Even though I could use the money, I just can’t bring myself to let it go. I know I probably wouldn’t buy it again, even if I regretted selling it.
@Old-Red: That would be an interesting experiment to carry out on gamers.
@geordie yeah I bought bloodstained: curse of the moon and said goodbye to Castlevania. Also feels good to have all that stuff where kids can't lose it though you are SOL if your 3ds dies and Nintendo shuts down that store after a few years. I dont think sd cards transfer across systems. Not sure if you have to register both but I tried it on another person's 3ds and nothing loaded.
“I have my gaming PC for any of the big games I want to play, and I have a Switch for everything else. Since I don't care about multiplayer games I'm just in it for great single-player experiences - almost the opposite of where the big games companies want to go nowadays with 'gaming as a service', something I have zero interest in.”
Ah, a man of my own heart.
Thanks Nlife commenters, genuinely enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts and stories on this one.
I've still got my n64 console and games and everything since - not a huge collection and rare that i get them out of the loft to play, but don't think I'd get much for them, and quite bear to part with them. I do have us final fantasy 6 (3) snes cart that might be worth a bit if the box wasn't a mess. That one probably means the most in terms of memories - my dad was on a work trip to the states and i asked him to bring me back ff legend 3 for the gameboy, as you couldn't get any ff games in the uk. He misuderstood and spent ages tracking down a second-hand copy of ff3 on the snes. Was gutted at first but then i borrowed a ntsc to pal convertor and was blown away by it. I'd never realised a video game could have such epic music, beautiful graphics, and above all a gripping story with characters that i cared about. I digress!
If anyone ends up selling their personal collection, https://rcadetrade.com is a good way to make sure it goes to other gamers.
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