A sealed copy of Super Mario 64 managed to sell for a record-breaking $1.56 million dollars

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Super Mario 64 might be over 25 years old, but the game is still setting records to this day. A sealed copy of the game has just sold for $1.56 million dollars--the most ever for a video game. The reason behind the demand and staggering price of this version of Super Mario 64 was due to its near-immaculate condition. Sealed, and officially rated a 9.8 by grading company Wata Games, meaning it's almost as pristine as the day it left the factory, Heritage Auctions claims that this is the highest-graded copy of Super Mario 64 in the world.

Super Mario 64 - Wata 9.8 A++ Sealed, N64 Nintendo 1996 USA. Well -- we're a bit speechless on this one. What can we even say that would do this copy the justice it deserves? The cultural significance of this title and its importance to the history of video games is paramount, and the condition of this copy is just so breathtaking that we're really at a loss here. If you have had your heart set on obtaining the highest graded copy of the single best-selling video game on the Nintendo 64 -- the first 3D adventure of Nintendo's mascot, Mario -- we only have one piece of advice: this is not an opportunity to waste.


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duwen

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heya, what good is a sealed US copy without a sealed PAL copy to go with it, dont worry buyer ill do you a solid and sell you it for a nice flat 1 mil^_^
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No thanks. I'll take this version of the original release of the title for a fraction of the price over the reduced framerate and bordered PAL version any day...

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Memerz1

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There's something off about that entire thing. I'd never buy a copy of Mario 64 for 1 and a half million, even if it's sealed.
 

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Capitalist dedicate their time on how to expose the human Psychology or stupidity for their advantage
but we need stupid consumers to grow our economy.just be careful where you position yourselves in the food chain.
 

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Well, that depends... if the person that bought it (or rather, the consortium of individuals that conspired to bid it up that high) are sitting on some boxes of unopened stock that they picked up for peanuts years ago, they may have increased the perceived value of that stock several thousand fold.

The reverse happened with Stadium Events for NES a few years back. A notoriously expensive title that certain gatekeepers in the collecting community traded between themselves to keep the price artificially high got fucked over by a decent collector (believe his name is Tim Atwood if my memory serves) that had been sitting on shipping cartons of brand new stock and decided to sell some.
No, that's stupid. It's a waste of money.
 

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Well, a fool and his money are soon parted.

I mean i can understand shelling out a few hundred, like maybe 1-300, but spending 1.56 million is just a waste of money, and there is no way on earth the buyer is going to be able to recoup that.
Granted i once spent 50 bucks on a copy of JAP Pokemon Yellow complete in box.
 
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FAST6191

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and there is no way on earth the buyer is going to be able to recoup that.
While not a volatility I care to indulge in (the arse has fallen out of far too many art markets in the past), and I would not bet on the buyer being able to realise the same money next week (two years from now is a different matter, ten years even more so), I would similarly not take your bet there -- no new versions of this are being made (and even under the best will in the world there is unlikely to be too many other surviving copies of this grade), fakes is harder than many other things, it is far from the first thing to establish this market in super rare high quality (or just super rare) games or disposable art in general, people generally like games such that I don't see them falling out of fashion as a general concept (and N64 stuff is probably fairly safe) any time soon.
 

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While not a volatility I care to indulge in (the arse has fallen out of far too many art markets in the past), and I would not bet on the buyer being able to realise the same money next week (two years from now is a different matter, ten years even more so), I would similarly not take your bet there -- no new versions of this are being made (and even under the best will in the world there is unlikely to be too many other surviving copies of this grade), fakes is harder than many other things, it is far from the first thing to establish this market in super rare high quality (or just super rare) games or disposable art in general, people generally like games such that I don't see them falling out of fashion as a general concept (and N64 stuff is probably fairly safe) any time soon.

Ok, fair point. I just wasn't thinking long term.
 

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Taking something that's worth a few hundred and manipulating the market to make similar items you can sell worth over 1.5mil is stupid?
Welcome to capitalism ...and enjoy poverty.
I'm just saying it's not worth that much money. It's just not. Insane that some dimwit would even consider that purchase.
 

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I'm just saying it's not worth that much money. It's just not. Insane that some dimwit would even consider that purchase.
The glib response is several people seem to think it, and things like it, are worth that kind of money; rare and exemplar games having been seen in the various hundreds of thousands of dollars for some years now ( https://kmaupdates.com/world-record-for-most-expensive-video-game-auction-is-now-870000/ ). It is also not entirely out of line with some other rare books, comics, art or similar trinkets.

Prices also seem to be going one way in general, and with that this becomes something of an investment as well. For my money the volatility for the return is way too low compared to any other number of assets (sinking that kind of money into some nice crypto, index funds, gold... all likely to do far more for far less risk) but hey.

Now even if I were not a flash cart and emulation enthusiast I would still say the whole point of cartridges was generally that all the carts play the same*, which is probably also where you are finding yourself along with many others in this thread.

*I say that but on this N64 subject my Mario Kart 64 is one of those with the thing that makes the skyscraper balloon battle happen at crazy speed.
 

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Although I generally find Pat Contri to be obnoxious, with an attitude that comes across as kind of 'gatekeepery' while simultaneously being anti-gatekeeper, this excerpt from their recent podcast sheds a lot of insight into what's going on with the current WATA/Heritage Auctions/sealed+graded collectors... definitely worth a watch to see a perspective on how fucked this subsection of game collecting is becoming...
 

ldeveraux

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The glib response is several people seem to think it, and things like it, are worth that kind of money; rare and exemplar games having been seen in the various hundreds of thousands of dollars for some years now ( https://kmaupdates.com/world-record-for-most-expensive-video-game-auction-is-now-870000/ ). It is also not entirely out of line with some other rare books, comics, art or similar trinkets.

Prices also seem to be going one way in general, and with that this becomes something of an investment as well. For my money the volatility for the return is way too low compared to any other number of assets (sinking that kind of money into some nice crypto, index funds, gold... all likely to do far more for far less risk) but hey.

Now even if I were not a flash cart and emulation enthusiast I would still say the whole point of cartridges was generally that all the carts play the same*, which is probably also where you are finding yourself along with many others in this thread.

*I say that but on this N64 subject my Mario Kart 64 is one of those with the thing that makes the skyscraper balloon battle happen at crazy speed.
No way. A video game is not worth a million and a half dollars. Think outside the box on this one, not as fan, or a gamer.
 

FAST6191

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No way. A video game is not worth a million and a half dollars. Think outside the box on this one, not as fan, or a gamer.
What sort of outside the box thinking is needed here? I was looking at it much like one might look at fancy wine, comic books, trading cards, film prints, books, various types of art and drawing a line directly to it. Functionally I don't see a difference with this one -- generally rare items of cultural or aesthetic significance that will likely remain so, in this case with a serious quality bias.
Is some auction company and item grading outfit trying to corner a market and probably inflating things? Most likely, seems quite lucrative if so (buyer fees, seller fees, grading fees all being high or percentages) and even more so if they become "the" place to go for it all; there is no physical concept called grading, no tax one, probably no insurance one unless you get a contract noting it, no legal one... just a number some private company/individual makes up to describe various characteristics of items they find relevant, you can make your own right now if you wanted (indeed I would not be surprised if many of us have a rather informal one for games on our list, I certainly have my pain points for 360 games I have been trying to get for my little collection of them and turned one down the other day whilst buying some 6 of the things from the same seller), and that they hope others will follow or respect which typically has a serious establishment/first mover bias. The video a couple of posts up now notes this is all quite fast, whether this means bubble, fraud or previously unrealised value (there is no particular reason things have to follow the same course as trading cards and go back and forth for years) I do not know.
I did also link some videos previously on how the art market and fancy goods markets work which is another aspect of this
https://gbatemp.net/threads/a-seale...56-million-dollars.591219/page-4#post-9524195
 
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ldeveraux

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What sort of outside the box thinking is needed here? I was looking at it much like one might look at fancy wine, comic books, trading cards, film prints, books, various types of art and drawing a line directly to it. Functionally I don't see a difference with this one -- generally rare items of cultural or aesthetic significance that will likely remain so, in this case with a serious quality bias.
Is some auction company and item grading outfit trying to corner a market and probably inflating things? Most likely, seems quite lucrative if so (buyer fees, seller fees, grading fees all being high or percentages) and even more so if they become "the" place to go for it all; there is no physical concept called grading, no tax one, probably no insurance one unless you get a contract noting it, no legal one... just a number some private company/individual makes up to describe various characteristics of items they find relevant, you can make your own right now if you wanted (indeed I would not be surprised if many of us have a rather informal one for games on our list, I certainly have my pain points for 360 games I have been trying to get for my little collection of them and turned one down the other day whilst buying some 6 of the things from the same seller), and that they hope others will follow or respect which typically has a serious establishment/first mover bias. The video a couple of posts up now notes this is all quite fast, whether this means bubble, fraud or previously unrealised value (there is no particular reason things have to follow the same course as trading cards and go back and forth for years) I do not know.
I did also link some videos previously on how the art market and fancy goods markets work which is another aspect of this
https://gbatemp.net/threads/a-seale...56-million-dollars.591219/page-4#post-9524195
I honestly can't be bothered to read all that. If you're at all trying to justify a 1.5M price tag for a sealed N64 game, screw that.
 

Veho

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Without going over what others have already said, Ars Technica did a writeup on this, did sime research, asked around, and tl;dr:
1: Collector's items are strange and fickle things and the market is volatile;
2: Prices are usually driven up by completionist collectors bidding for the one game missing from their collection;
3: This sometimes leads to obscure games selling for very large prices because they are the only surviving copy (and the rest are in a landfill somewhere);
And 4: None of this explains the 1.5 million dollars, and there whole thing is just plain weird.


https://arstechnica.com/features/20...you-are-about-that-1-56m-super-mario-64-sale/
 

FAST6191

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I honestly can't be bothered to read all that. If you're at all trying to justify a 1.5M price tag for a sealed N64 game, screw that.
Looking at your replies to this thread this is getting quite repetitive. I will go one more though, though I would have thought the few paragraphs earlier would have sufficed.

Rare things, which extends to exemplary copies of readily consumed or damaged items, can be worth a lot of money, both as objects in their own right and as means of investment. With this sort of news it seems computer games have firmly joined the ranks of such goods.
I don't get the appeal myself, and the risk-reward is way too bad even if I were someone with a few million spare to be investing, but it is a thing seen in many other fields -- wine, watches, jewellery, books, recordings, comics, playing cards, films, paintings, collectables and the list goes on and on*.
There is no reason computer games can't join those ranks either as they have all the same traits -- market in which they are enjoyed (basically everybody plays games, it is a soon to be trillions of dollars market despite only being millions a few decades ago), not making any more of them, small number of surviving copies of quality (especially not some kind of imagined super quality that we seem to be dealing with here) with demand far exceeding the supply... all together that means you see people parting with serious cash for things. It is fast for it to happen and not without a few questions but there is no reason for it not to happen if everything else is acceptable.

*I recently watched a video wherein a generally considered to be almost useless hand plane being apparently worth north of $1000 USD for one such example some might not expect

Though I could go the other way. You have said it is not worth that. Why do you think that?
 

ldeveraux

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Looking at your replies to this thread this is getting quite repetitive. I will go one more though, though I would have thought the few paragraphs earlier would have sufficed.

Rare things, which extends to exemplary copies of readily consumed or damaged items, can be worth a lot of money, both as objects in their own right and as means of investment. With this sort of news it seems computer games have firmly joined the ranks of such goods.
I don't get the appeal myself, and the risk-reward is way too bad even if I were someone with a few million spare to be investing, but it is a thing seen in many other fields -- wine, watches, jewellery, books, recordings, comics, playing cards, films, paintings, collectables and the list goes on and on*.
There is no reason computer games can't join those ranks either as they have all the same traits -- market in which they are enjoyed (basically everybody plays games, it is a soon to be trillions of dollars market despite only being millions a few decades ago), not making any more of them, small number of surviving copies of quality (especially not some kind of imagined super quality that we seem to be dealing with here) with demand far exceeding the supply... all together that means you see people parting with serious cash for things. It is fast for it to happen and not without a few questions but there is no reason for it not to happen if everything else is acceptable.

*I recently watched a video wherein a generally considered to be almost useless hand plane being apparently worth north of $1000 USD for one such example some might not expect

Though I could go the other way. You have said it is not worth that. Why do you think that?
Nope!
 
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