The games console has sold over 2.1m copies since November 29, with Microsoft keeping rather quiet, stating only that there have been “over 3 billion zombies killed in ‘Dead Rising 3’”.
But here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we tend to shy away from technological advancements, preferring to bury our heads in the fascinating items from the past. As the world clamours to own one of these consoles, we’re only now looking at the earliest computers.
It’s not that we’re completely behind the times, but rather that collectibles are our business, and early computers and technology are becoming just that – collectible.
Now we all know that Apple-1s and the very first computers to be released can fetch a pretty penny, but we’re talking video games here. Take a look at some of the button-bashing classics that will cost you more than just a few gold coins:
One of the best known computer games in the world, Tetris is nothing short of iconic for the generation that grew up playing it. Even if you’ve never had a go, you can probably hum the hypnotic theme song or describe the falling blocks.
But did you know that, before being released by Nintendo, the game was actually developed by Russian company Tengen and was billed as “The Soviet Mind Game”?
However, once released, Nintendo argued that it had the distribution rights to the game, and ordered all of the existing copies to be destroyed. Today, just three copies are known to exist, with one example appearing on eBay valued at $40,000.
Final Fantasy II
One of the first games to be released exclusively for the PS4 is Final Fantasy XV, much to the delight of the series’ dedicated fanbase, yet an English copy of the second game in the long running series will still cost you far more.
The game was originally released in Japan on Nintendo NES in 1988, and plans were in motion for an English version of the game to be released in 1991. However, the game was scrapped due to Nintendo deciding to put its efforts into the English version of Final Fantasy IV, which had already been released on SNES by the time they got round to it.
Since then, only one pre-production sample cartridge has surfaced, valued at $50,000.
Stadium Events was released in 1988 for use with the Family Fun Fitness Mat, an early precursor to the dance mats of the late 90s. A run of the mill athletics game, it hardly sounds like the kind that collectors would pay thousands for today.
However, due to Nintendo buying the rights to the Family Fun Fitness Mat and rebranding it the PowerPad, before destroying all copies of any game that could be used with it, Stadium Events is incredibly rare.
Apparently, only 2,000 copies were produced (remember, video games weren’t quite as popular back then) and only around 200 were sold.
In 2010, a sealed copy of the game reportedly sold for $41,300 – the record for any video game sold at auction. Another example is said to have gone for as much as $800,200, though I – and many other sources – find that hard to believe.
Looking at those collectibles, it’s obvious that Nintendo is the collector’s choice, yet the gaming giant seems to have dropped out of the current sales race: the PS4 and Xbox One have both outsold the Wii U’s lifetime total in the UK in just a few weeks (the Wii U was released more than a year ago).