With a boom on the horizon, are old video games the new vinyl?

After 30 years on the market Nintendo’s Game Boy is again hot property, fetching booming prices among nostalgic gamers and speculative investors. And it’s not just cartridges for Nintendo’s old handheld that are selling out; retro games in general seem set for a vinyl revival-style boom.The Game Boy was released in 1989 and sold about…

After 30 years available on the market Nintendo’s Game Boy is again sizzling property, fetching booming prices among nostalgic players and speculative merchants. And it’s no longer honest cartridges for Nintendo’s conventional handheld which can be selling out; retro video games in long-established seem residing for a vinyl revival-sort enhance.

The Game Boy used to be launched in 1989 and sold about 120 million objects to formative years and adults across the world. And while the venerable brick-shaped software program has long since been out of date in technological terms, it and its video games are extra favorite right this moment time than they’ve been in a in point of fact long time.

eBay has greater than 230,000 listings for conventional video games in Australia by myself, working the gamut from lower than a greenback for random early 2000s titles to greater than $20,000 for sealed and graded classics. And Game Boy is a factual instance of what’s occurring in most cases; the rising repute and getting older viewers for video games is spurring curiosity in retro titles for play and nostalgic collections, while a contemporary marketplace for speculative merchants is riding prices for particular cartridges sky high.

Sal Temssah, who runs a retro game store, says investors are increasingly joining nostalgic fans in snapping up classics.

Sal Temssah, who runs a retro game store, says merchants are extra and extra becoming a member of nostalgic followers in snapping up classics.Credit ranking: Chris Hopkins

An investor who sold a boxed copy of Pokemon Crystal for about a hundred bucks just a few years within the past would possibly well perchance well presumably honest have the opportunity to offload it for $1500 right this moment time, as an instance, while even moderately smartly-liked nonetheless favorite Game Boy video games esteem these within the Metroid or Legend of Zelda series in most cases bound for $200 or extra.

In 2020 a sealed copy of Pokemon Purple used to be sold by Heritage Auctions for $115,000, despite the game step by step selling loose (with out its box) for lower than $200 and whole for spherical $1000. It’s a identical memoir for other game systems too; Heritage sold a sealed Wide Mario Bros 3 for $210,000 and a sealed Wide Mario 64 for an wonderful $2.2 million, despite both these video games being smartly-liked. You can gain a loose Mario 64 on ebay for $40 or much less.

Sal Temssah, 29, who owns and operates retail store The Game Experts within the Melbourne suburb of Reservoir, says that in his 10 years of gathering, prices possess repeatedly long gone progressively up. However the market has liked rapidly within the remaining few years, and he expects increased dialogue of conventional-college video games on-line mixed with investor curiosity would possibly well perchance well presumably honest rapidly lead to a greater leap in prices.

The Analogue Pocket, a new device that plays original Game Boy cartridges.

The Analogue Pocket, a contemporary software program that plays long-established Game Boy cartridges.Credit ranking: Tim Biggs

“Folks are shopping for up truly mint stuff. Retro video games in long-established haven’t experienced the abolish of massive hype that Pokemon playing cards did in 2020, nonetheless as the market gets extra and extra exposure I assume we doubtless will gain one thing esteem that,” he stated.

“Genuinely all it takes is for a Youtuber to gain onto it. That’s actually what took command with Pokemon.”


Among the many most costly collectible video games he for the time being has in stock, Temssah aspects to a whole Kirby 64 at $2500, and Lethal Fury 3 for the exceptionally uncommon Neo Geo AES system at $1800. An AES used to be currently sold within the store for $1200.

“Most titles are mute realistic, nonetheless there’s repeatedly going to be that uncommon elusive stuff. And it’s factual to perceive stuff esteem that having price, and folks appreciating it,” he says, including that high-profile sales perfect grew the market and saved it wholesome, as considered with the most up-to-date Pokemon card craze.

The marketplace for parents shopping for conventional video games honest to play them continues to grow as smartly, in most cases driven by nostalgia. Look at published by the Interactive Games and Leisure Association signifies greater than two-thirds of Australians now play video games, with 78 per cent of these being adults.

Temssah says each generation has their favorite systems and video games, with the Nintendo Gamecube — launched in 2002 — now extra favorite at The Game Experts than 1996’s Nintendo 64 for the predominant time. His youngest possibilities even assign in mind the Wii — launched in 2012 — to be retro.

And while there are a whole lot of avenues to play these video games — thru official re-releases esteem digital collections or mini-consoles, or thru legally gray software program emulation — for parents taking a leer to recapture their childhood or part their memories with their own formative years, you are going to have the opportunity to’t beat the staunch thing.

“Having that merchandise out of your childhood, having the ability to fire it up, are looking ahead to at it. And honest bear in mind all of the chuffed instances that came with it, that truly is a predominant riding factor for parents,” Temssah says.

So, are conventional video video games the following vinyl?

If they are, they’re for the time being where vinyl used to be pre-2007, where the market is virtually wholly conventional stock and besides you would prefer a in point of fact conventional machine or very pricey contemporary machine to play them. American firm Analogue launched a “reference quality” contemporary Game Boy system remaining month that plays the conventional cartridges in a high constancy sport of the long-established visuals. On the different hand it prices greater than $400 delivered and is abet-ordered thru to 2023.

‘Genuinely all it takes is for a Youtuber to gain onto it. That’s actually what took command with Pokemon.’

Sal Temassah, proprietor of The Game Experts

And while curiosity in contemporary merchandise linked to conventional video games is on the upward thrust — from video scalers that make conventional systems are looking ahead to factual on contemporary TVs, to devices that imply you are going to have the opportunity to replace getting older disc drives with favorite storage — it looks no longer doubtless you’ll ever have the opportunity to stroll into JB Hello-Fi and grab a contemporary pressing of an conventional game, esteem you are going to have the opportunity to with vinyl.

No longer perfect are some conventional codecs esteem cartridges prohibitively pricey to plot, nonetheless a protracted time of company acquisitions, rights deals and firm closures imply many conventional video games are unable to be legally re-launched. If there weren’t adequate of them in the initiating produced to meet most up-to-date quiz, their designate will doubtless perfect prolong.

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