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What systems are practical to collect for in 2021?

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As far as DLC & servers go - no reason you can't simulate a server on an R-Pi or similar. Tap into the server communications packets, and duplicate that activity, the console will never know. All possible if desired enough. It's probably a good idea to start doing this now while the servers are operational. Much less reverse engineering.

 

Game collecting like anything else is a sliding window. It opens, a trickle of breeze flows in, then more and more, now you have a blast (and a bubble in the market), then it gradually closes. Stuff still leaks through the cracks and seals from time to time. It's a huge range, but it IS positively definitively moving. I figure a 10 year old in 1978 would regain interest in the VCS when they reach their 30's. They may remain interested till nearly 50 or so.

 

The journey is fraught with many detractors however. Cost, availability, reliability, electronics repair knowledge, living space, spousal unit compatibility, and more. One big hidden gotcha is accumulation of other semi-related junk. Other systems. Fluffy paraphernalia. Loss of focus on the original childhood system. Trying to be a completist and gotta-get-em-all mindset. All that serves to burn through energy and time which should be moderated and applied.

 

Trying to be a completist for anything but the small systems is dangerous. It essentially bogs down a collector with minutiae. Chasing after minor label variants. Or the exact same game re-marketed and re-released under a different name/company. And what about all the accessories and items related to the console? It's. Just. Too. Much.

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9 minutes ago, Keatah said:

The journey is fraught with many detractors however. Cost, availability, reliability, electronics repair knowledge, living space, spousal unit compatibility, and more. One big hidden gotcha is accumulation of other semi-related junk. Other systems. Fluffy paraphernalia. Loss of focus on the original childhood system. Trying to be a completist and gotta-get-em-all mindset. All that serves to burn through energy and time which should be moderated and applied.

 

Trying to be a completist for anything but the small systems is dangerous. It essentially bogs down a collector with minutiae. Chasing after minor label variants. Or the exact same game re-marketed and re-released under a different name/company. And what about all the accessories and items related to the console? It's. Just. Too. Much.

I totally agree!  I had a massive console and physical game collection in the late 90's and early 00's (Neo Geo, Saturn and PCE/TG16 stuff), life happened and it went away.  With the cost move upward the way it did I had no intention of getting back into collecting.  Then the MegaSD and SSD³ came out and I could play the games again for ~300$.  That was all it took, well that and figuring out how to play them on a modern flat screen.

So now I play all my systems on Everdrive and ODEs.  That is what I was talking about in that very smart people will figure out amazing device to create a way to play the games.

 

I do have a handful of original games that meant something to me, but I do not feel the need to be a completist - it is too expensive and well a lot of that stuff is just just junk.

 

Funny thing with you comment - I did decide to complete a collection of Famicom Disk System games and well about 16k$ later it is done, a cautionary tale.

Edited by c0op3r
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@c0op3r, yeah I think that physical media is dying, and I don’t expect much demand in collectibility of anything post ROM carts.

 

Starting with the PlayStation, the information on how to burn your own copies of games became widely available. I see the same thing with DVD, BlueRay, etc. Most people don’t want to own physical copies, but would rather stream the content. I myself have ripped most of my DVDs to  network file server, so I can stream the movies to any of my smart TVs, it is just more convenient.

 

The move to physical games (or software keys) that are broken day one, and must download an update to actually be playable is a sad, but inevitable change. Software companies want to cut down on piracy, and increase sales of DLC, because the price of games really hasn’t increased much (if anything) when normalized for inflation. This pretty much means and end to used game sales.

 

The other sad thing is that most companies have bad software preservation processes. It will likely be near impossible to play a specific version of an online only game 20-30 years in the future. (Minecraft 1.0, PUBG before zombies, Everquest). Maybe if the source code is leaked, the hackers will be able to keep it alive.

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18 minutes ago, CapitanClassic said:

Software companies want to cut down on piracy, and increase sales of DLC, because the price of games really hasn’t increased much (if anything) when normalized for inflation. This pretty much means and end to used game sales.

This oft-repeated excuse skips a couple of important details: the game prices might be similar but a) they're often sold directly (at least for consoles and some PC companies) via digital download, thus having much bigger profit margin than in the days of real stores, and b) the size of the market, and therefore sales/profits, is multitudes bigger.

 

The real reasons for the current status quo are as old as the hills: greed and control, and the fact that customers don't care that much and can't be bothered to oppose it.

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@youxia, is it really that different?


https://gamerant.com/video-game-prices-breakdown-514/amp/

$60-$27 = $33, $15 goes to BnM store, $7 for returns, $4 for shipping and manufacturing costs.

 

Steam

$60-$15 = $45, steams 25% cut. Not sure what other costs are associated with a steam sale (Credit card transactions, or does Steam cover that?)

 

The cost of developing a AAA game has ballooned dramatically. BitD, a VCS game could be made by maybe 3 people, a programmer, and artist, and a music/sound guy. When the NES was popular, you would see credits with 20+ names. These days it takes hundreds of software developers to make a game. Those costs have to come from somewhere.

Edited by CapitanClassic
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Maybe game budgets need to be re-evaluated because in the end, they created the problem feeding into consumer greed, a vicious circle of bites at each other.  You still can make a very big good game with an 8-16bit era sized development team that people can't get enough of, meaning some 20-200M budget for out of control assets and millions to some lame hollywood actor isn't necessary.  Maybe the definition of the AAA game needs to revised or done away with if that's used to justify insane prices and extra packages to round out a game to cover expenses as it's not a smart or likely long term sustainable concept.  People are already bristling at $70 games with all the multiple DLC packs at like $10-15 a pop.

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12 minutes ago, jgkspsx said:

To be fair, a fair number of 16 bit RPGs cost north of $100 in 1990s money.

Seiken Densetsu 3 retailed for 11400 yen + tax. Shin Megami Tensei was also 9800 yen + tax. I don't know what the sales tax was at the time. Both can now be found for less than 2000 yen CIB.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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Highest I recall was $79.99 at a Target where I saw the sign attached to the lovely Square tax fee for Chrono Trigger, before that they did FF3 (6) for $70.  That's why I only got FF3 when Playco went bankrupt and cleared stuff out so it was like 40 something, and CT I never got new because that was nearly the price of two games, but got it complete a couple years later second hand.  I refused almost exclusively to ever pay over $50 for a game, Street Fighter II was a rare exception and it bugged me, but I got tired of losing quarters in the arcades when someone would drop one on the glass to try and hog the thing (which paid off in the long run, people stopped bothering me after training on lv7(max) on most characters at home for a couple weeks or so.) :D

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I think @jgkspsx is using the wrong terminology, or reversing what he means. Normally, when you speak of inflation adjusted dollars, you specify the base dollars you are speaking in, you would say, “16 bit RPGs cost north of $100 in 2020 real (or inflation adjusted) dollars.” (SF2-Turbo was $75 in 1992, or $146 in 2021 dollars) Or you could say, “games these days are only $30 in 1990 money.”

 

As @Tanooki points out, most games, even RPGs didn’t usually cost $100 in 1990 dollars. (Although, I think I might have a copy of Might & Magic (GEN) for $99)

https://www.usinflationcalculator.com

 

 

Edited by CapitanClassic
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I guess I misremembered. Phantasy Star IV sold for $99 too. For some reason I thought that some 16 bit RPGs sold for $120. At any rate, it's a lot of money in today dollars!

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26 minutes ago, jgkspsx said:

I guess I misremembered. Phantasy Star IV sold for $99 too. For some reason I thought that some 16 bit RPGs sold for $120. At any rate, it's a lot of money in today dollars!

The closest I can think of is Seiken Densetsu 3. I did some research and found the sales tax (3%). That gives a price of 11,742 after tax on September 30, 1995. According to this thing https://www.macrotrends.net/2550/dollar-yen-exchange-rate-historical-chart

the exchange rate on the 25th of September 1995 was 99.1, so if we assume that it was unchanged in the next 5 days, which it most likely was not but it's the only thing I can find right now, basically you're looking at around $118~$119 USD, exchange rate and sales tax included, if I did the math correctly, which I most likely did not, so hopefully someone cares enough to fix it for me lol

 

Oh, and here's the back of the box, where it clearly says 11400 yen, tax not included.

51128_back.thumb.jpg.13fb61065704e40b35d986e572deb41a.jpg

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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Sega @jgkspsx was notable for being a bit more scummy on prices on rare occasion so you may not be wrong, it could have been a store trolling too.  I remember when they got in hot water with fans and even the moody press which usually reserved their inuendo and patent lies largely for Nintendo when they pulled some shots fired over the $100 SVP chip backed Virtua Racing considering the FX games and the sort for Nintendo were in $50 carts.  PStar4 was like nearly $100 I remember, but i don't think it hit that high point which made it most sticky for VR when it arrived.

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My dad said when we rented PSIV, after I told him the MSRP,  “Enjoy this rental because you will never own this game.”

 

(He was wrong… eventually.)

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On 10/11/2021 at 12:44 PM, NeonSpaceBeagle said:

Did you end up buying this? So there's another competitor in the NYC retro scene. ;)  However, I have a racing game for it I'd let go if you want.

 

I'm with you on the whole shelf candy/iconic games nonsense. Old games really aren't all that cool as an adult beyond a niche group or those who have nostalgia for it. I've been trying to slim down to the bare essentials, which means only games I or my family would want to play. I used to want a library so that I could entertain anyone's nostalgia, but who has the room for that in New York? Now more than ever though I value the de-cluttered living space. Maybe a little decor to make it homey, but I can't imagine have wall-to-wall shelves full of games, most of which I will never play. It's forgivable in a special den if that's really your thing, I suppose, so long as the clutter is kept to a minimum.

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Just as we get lucky every few years with a new snes cart that has one of the unripped online download games, we'll look back in 20 or 30 years at people's ps3 and other systems with Download only games you can't find anywhere else. Will some games be lost for all eternity? Certainly, but I think we'll still do a good job of preserving games generally. The investment lie has destroyed collecting legitimately for me as people choose to buy games they have no intention of playing but I'm in no rush to sell on or dump my current collection.

 

I think even ten years ago I genuinely believed I might get a full saturn collection, among other systems. I will probably still attempt PAL collections of 1st, 2nd and smaller 3rd gen consoles, but I know there is a sensible limit now that I won't be able to ever breach. 

 

Perhaps when disk rot becomes a real thing I'll get the chance to buy those games too. 

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Famicom cartridges, especially with funky colors. They’re small, cute, and cheap. You can make a rainbow wall of them if you plan it out, and there are some nice metallic finish games too. 
 

I don’t really collect games but I got a bunch of these games, just for the aesthetics. 
 

Also, there are so many of them you might as well forget about amassing a complete set, which is liberating. Something like Vectrex or Intellivision  has a small enough library you might be tempted to buy just for completeness’s sake, which is dangerous. 

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1 hour ago, Flojomojo said:

Something like Vectrex or Intellivision  has a small enough library you might be tempted to buy just for completeness’s sake, which is dangerous. 

*looks at 32X collection, missing only Spiderman, Sangokushi IV, and Darxide*

 

… sigh.

 

At least with the Vectrex there are only a handful of total duds. Really only Spinball/Flipper Pinball, for my money, even if the football and soccer games aren’t the best. Although add in Mr Boston and Minestorm II and you have a real problem.

 

Honestly, with a nearly complete 32X collection and a complete Jaguar collection, there are only a handful of games that are not worth playing for my taste. (And one for each system is Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure; hands down the worst two versions.) I enjoy even games everyone hates like Brutal: Above the Claw and Club Drive because they represent interesting evolutionary dead ends and they do interesting and unique things.

 

Speaking of full sets nobody envies or even respects, a complete game.com cartridge collection isn’t too hard, though I would not own Wheel of Fortune 2 if not for the fact that I just happened to end up with it back in the day, I have no idea how. (Game.com boxes are a different story, though.)

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15 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

Also, there are so many of them you might as well forget about amassing a complete set, which is liberating. Something like Vectrex or Intellivision  has a small enough library you might be tempted to buy just for completeness’s sake, which is dangerous.

How is that dangerous? Unless you mean acquiring all the carts for cheap with the exception of a few high-dollar ones that are impossible to find?

 

Anyhow there's the possibility of redefining what being a completionist actually means. Is it getting all the official games from the official printed catalog? Is it getting every title you had as a kid - and now revisiting that console and building it back after a loss/selloff? These definitions make it much more practical and will limit the amount of accumulation and physical space consumption. The amount of time and funds and effort are also reigned in too.

 

Being a homebrew completionist also needs boundaries - as new titles are constantly coming out for most all consoles. Perhaps its best to only collect from a certain 2 or 3 developers. Because otherwise you end up with loads of 1-offs that are shallow filler material.

 

Another option is to collect by region. This cuts down big time the amount of duplicate titles. No need for a PAL and NTSC version of something. No need for multiple languages - which are essentially repackagings and relabelings of existing games.

Edited by Keatah
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On 10/16/2021 at 5:38 PM, Rhomaios said:

Did you end up buying this? So there's another competitor in the NYC retro scene. ;)  However, I have a racing game for it I'd let go if you want.

 

I'm with you on the whole shelf candy/iconic games nonsense. Old games really aren't all that cool as an adult beyond a niche group or those who have nostalgia for it. I've been trying to slim down to the bare essentials, which means only games I or my family would want to play. I used to want a library so that I could entertain anyone's nostalgia, but who has the room for that in New York? Now more than ever though I value the de-cluttered living space. Maybe a little decor to make it homey, but I can't imagine have wall-to-wall shelves full of games, most of which I will never play. It's forgivable in a special den if that's really your thing, I suppose, so long as the clutter is kept to a minimum.

I did not.  I'm at the point now where I am thinking about getting rid of my turbografx 16 stuff.  I fell down that rabbit hole hard :/  There aren't enough racers on the system for me to keep it.  I pretty much only collecting racing games for most of the consoles now.  I have Wipeout, Wipeout 2097, Outrun, and CyberSpeedway for Sega Saturn that I ordered off Etsy for only 60 bux total being delivered today super excited! (granted they are reproductions..)

Edited by NeonSpaceBeagle

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2 hours ago, NeonSpaceBeagle said:

There aren't enough racers on the system for me to keep it.

Aw man, but the racing games are extremely interesting and exclusive. Victory Road is an endurance challenge like you’ve rarely seen elsewhere. Final Lap Twin is a great racing game AND RPG. Outrun is a great port, arguably the best home port until the 32bit era. Power Drift is fun and looks nice. Road Spirits is a fun Outrun clone, has great music, and looks great. Racing Damashii is a good highly technical motorcycle racer. Motoroader is kinda janky but a pretty different take on Micro Machines. The Japanese F1 games are solid and dirt cheap. I don’t know if you count Chase HQ but its sequel SCI is really fun and clone Knight Rider is ridiculously unfair but hey, chibi Hasselhoff. 
 

Racing isn’t the system’s strongest suit but there is plenty of great stuff there and most of them are dirt cheap! Literally some of the system’s cheapest games!

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Oooooh, never heard of or seen Road Spirits.. I only have the everdrive for the hucard games though.   I just googled it and it looks right up my alley.  I should have splurged for the terraonion cd emulator thingie instead of just the regular everdrive.  

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If all you want to play is racing games, I think you made the right call - Road Spirits is the only CD racing game I know.

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Reading through this thread,  I'm reminded of the first time I ran into a "collector".   Although it's possible I was at a game store in Colorado,  I'm thinking it was locally at a store that just happened to also sell games;  Their main thrust being (used) books and music.  I clearly remember meeting this (half annoying/half endearing) guy who said (casually, yet like a small brag) that he had a complete collection of Atari 2600 games and a complete collection of ColecoVision games.   He also said he was "getting there" for another system (Intellivision perhaps?).   Now,  up to that point I'd only ever thought of buying games I liked and would play;  I'd never heard of a "Complete" collection of anything.  This was pre-internet (I'm thinking very early 90's but not sure).  And my thought after he left the store was;   Where'd he get a list of games to know his collection was complete?

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