How much are SNES games worth today

That's how much Atari, Nintendo and Gameboy are worth today

Whether Atari, C64, Nintendo, Gameboy or Sega: A few years ago nobody suspected new levels for the pixelated games from the computer stone age. But now rare originals, rare models and unusual editions have become expensive collector's items. The retro games collector and Youtuber Lars Schade explains what is valuable today.

At an Ebay auction in January 2015, 19 bids were received from 14 bidders. After that, the seller was $ 35,100 richer. The former, anonymous employee of the games and console manufacturer Nintendo had offered a brand-new copy of the console game "Stadium Events" from the manufacturer Bandai for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), including a "Family Fitness Pad", which was presented in 1987 - and thus a lot Made money. Because of the module from the game manufacturer Bandai, including a mat with twelve pressure sensors, only fewer than 200 copies have been sold. Because in the same year Nintendo bought the rights to the game and shortly afterwards recalled the Bandai cartridges from stores.

Game treasures lay in the basement for decades

The Ebay bidder had officially bought the game from Nintendo’s leftover inventory for just a few dollars in 1990, put it in the basement and forgotten it for 25 years. He only remembered it when an American woman was able to auction a still sealed copy of "Stadium Events" that she had bought at a flea market on Ebay in 2012 for a whopping $ 22,800. But if you start looking in the basement, the American version in NTSC image format is particularly popular with collectors. The European PAL version is available for a few hundred up to around 6000 euros.

Even original covers are in demand

In the meantime, "retro games" have become a steadily growing niche in the scene where collectors spend - and earn - a lot of money. "Even some empty boxes, original covers and instructions are now being traded for around 100 euros, and that's not the end of it," says the 43-year-old Lars Schade from Dortmund, who has been collecting retro games for eight years and who goes by the nickname "MrVenom1974" operates its own YouTube channel on the topic. For several years he has been observing the rising prices on retro games collectors' fairs and on the Internet. Originally packaged, early editions of Nintendo's adventure series "Zelda" are currently in great demand, he says. The opening "Game & Watch" console with two screens, which was sold for the first time in 1989, is particularly interesting for collectors. It is currently being offered in various Ebay shops for up to 1500 euros.

Collectors' fairs offer initial orientation

"You're right with legends like Zelda. For some games from the series in their original packaging, a few hundred euros are now being put on the table at collectors' fairs," says Schade, who owns around 150 retro games. "The right games for Nintendo systems are very stable in price," he says, "so researching the basement can be worthwhile. But millions of series have been sold, many cost very little money. But rare editions are now correct expensive." He recommends getting information from the many retro shops on Ebay, from used game providers on the Internet or from one of the many collectors' fairs that open all over Germany.

Rule of thumb for valuable games

The packaging and instructions are very important, preferably shrink-wrapped. "We didn't treat the games well in the past: tore open the pack, put it in the box and off we went," remembers Schade. As a result, games that are as good as new or even in their original packaging are particularly popular: "That increases the price drastically." According to Schade, games are currently valuable according to a simple rule: "The first and last in a series are expensive."

Beware of counterfeits

Early, limited and rare games with the cult figure Super Mario have also blossomed into collectibles. "The prices are constantly increasing, 800 euros are more the rule than the exception. The NES modules in particular cost a lot of money." A British seller is currently offering the game "Super Mario All-Stars" in its original packaging for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) for the equivalent of around 2100 euros. But if you want to buy collectibles, you should be careful, warns Collector Schade. "Clever counterfeits are now being offered for almost every really rare piece such as 'Stadium Events'. It depends on buying from a reputable supplier with a good reputation."

Old Commodore 64s are also offered for a lot of money

Even with old consoles, prices are rising worldwide. "This trend began about three or four years ago. Nobody was interested in it before," reports Schade. Now, a Game Boy from 1989 in top condition achieves around 1000 euros, the Game Boy Advance is worth around 500 to 800 euros with new packaging. Even the good, old bread bin, the Commodore 64, is offered in a rare edition by a dealer for a lot of money: A dealer is currently offering the golden anniversary model with a serial number from 1986, which is limited to around 400 copies, on the occasion of the one millionth copy sold 64,000 euros. It remains to be seen whether it will find a buyer. But the offer shows where the price trend is going.

Pitfalls with technology

But with retro hardware there are pitfalls and pitfalls, Schade knows from experience: "The power supply units are often defective. Floppy disks, cartridges and their readers should be treated with caution. The older they are, the lower the error rate." About half of the old, flexible 5-1 / 4-inch floppy disks are no longer legible. If the console and games work, the next problem follows: "I bought an old tube TV so that I could even connect the boxes," says Schade. Resourceful hobbyists have long since provided adapters with which the console game can also be viewed on the flat screen via HDMI. But for him there is a difference: "Some old games look really great on the tube TV, but the picture on the flat screen is horrible." But scene providers have long since responded to the demand: "You can now get a 5-1 / 4-inch drive again as a module with a USB connection, external 3.5-inch drives are no problem at all." Therefore, it is not difficult to find a workshop for a defective retro console with a little research: "Every spare part you need is easy to get today. For rare devices, it is also worthwhile to hire an experienced hobbyist. Some have all the tricks on it every part in stock. "