In this guide (which is a multi-part series of articles), we’ll discover what makes buying and collecting Nintendo consoles and games so exciting for people of all ages.
The complete list of articles in this guide is towards the bottom of this page.
We’ll be covering all Retro and current Nintendo games and consoles. We’re even going to cover the Nintendo Switch and the mini NES / SNES Classic Editions too! Plus, we’ll also look at the latest console just released in early 2017 called the Switch.
If it’s a system made by Nintendo, it’s covered in this guide. Starting with the Original Nintendo NES for home consoles and the original GameBoy for Nintendo handhelds.
I’m also going to show you how to avoid being scammed and where to safely buy used games. After reading this guide, you’ll be in the know for avoiding common buying mistakes that all new collectors make. Mistakes can lead to frustration, loss of time, and losing money.
Before we start, I’d like to share with you how I (Scotty B) got into collecting Nintendo Games.
How did Scotty get into Nintendo?
I first discovered my love for the original Nintendo NES back in 1986; I was about eight years old. Since then I’ve had a fascination with The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, and Metroid. Oh, how I loved playing Metroid and doing the Screw Attack with Samus.
Over the years more home consoles would be released from Nintendo, such as the Super Nintendo (SNES), N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, and the Switch. I recently just bought a Switch, and all I can say is WOW!
Let’s not forget about the portable systems too. My favorite GameBoy game of all time was playing that Tetris puzzle game; the Tetris theme song is still stuck in my head.
I spent most of the 1990’s playing the SNES (Super Nintendo) and GameBoy. But in 1996, I got my driver’s license and started driving. I was a Junior in high school too.
Back then, I thought the coolest thing in the world was driving around in my car. It was a 1991 Hyundai Scoupe LS, with two powered JL Audio 10-inch Subs in the trunk. It was freaking loud, to say the least, almost like a concert hall.
So I put my video gaming career on hold. It would not ignite again until around 2003 when I bought my first Game Cube, and then in 2006 when I got the Wii.
I mainly got the Game Cube and Wii to play Mario Kart and the latest Zelda Games. I could not wait for Zelda Skyward Sword to come out in 2011.
In the summer of 2012, something magical happened, I started thinking about 8-bit games again. So I bought a brand new factory sealed Nintendo NES on an eBay auction.
I was competing with at least 5 other bidders, and it felt good to win it. My fascination with retro video game collecting was slowly creeping back after I received that NES.
Later that year I also bought a “Super Nintendo SNES Mini Target Exclusive Bundle with Zelda: A Link To The Past,” a Charcoal Grey N64, Sega Genesis, Game Gear, and a GameBoy SP.
My latest purchase in 2017 was a new Nintendo Switch with the latest Zelda: Breath of the Wild game. It’s going to take me forever to beat it, but it will be worth it.
In the next section, we’re going to discuss how Nintendo got so popular in the U.S.
What made Nintendo so popular in the U.S.?
In 1983 there was a crash in the video game home console market. Existing consoles such as the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Odyssey 2, and the Fairchild II had failed the marketplace.
They failed mostly due to poor quality games that lacked the gaming experience people wanted. This led to the famous “Atari Video Game Burial” in a dump located in New Mexico. You can read about here:
Most North American game consoles were discontinued in 1984. The Commodore 64 was lucky to stay around, however.
In the near future, I plan on creating a buyer and collector’s guide for Atari and some of the other consoles for this era. Believe it or not, there’s a small collector’s market out there for these first and second-generation systems. The most popular console is the Atari 2600.
After the crash of 1983, it was 1984 and most U.S. electronics companies did not want to think or hear about video game products. During that period, things were much different in Japan.
That’s when Nintendo was having great success in the Japanese market with its 8-bit gaming system the Famicom. It would later find its success in 1985 when they renamed it the “Nintendo Entertainment System” and marketed it as a fun toy and not a video game system in the United States.
Retailers loved it because it was perceived as more of a toy and not a video game console. This was a brilliant sales and marketing move for Nintendo considering that retailers still felt burned from the video game crash just a couple of years before.
When Nintendo released the NES in 1985, it hit the ground running. Most of this was because of the hit game Super Mario Bros. and the Light Zapper game Duck Hunt. There was also a robot accessory called R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) that never really had much success.
This huge success with Super Mario Bros and the NES revived the video game industry in the U.S. market. This encouraged the release of new consoles like the Sega Master System and Sega Genesis to compete for market share.
This trend continued growing the home console market throughout the 80’s and 90’s. It helped create highly profitable game series such as Super Mario Bros, Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Final Fantasy.
However, some video game titles in the late 80’s and 90’s flopped with low sales and popularity. Some of these games included Little Sampson, Stadium Events, Duck Tales 2, and Bubble Bobble 2.
Why should I care about these unpopular games with low sales volume?
These video game flops would later be considered rare because they were not bought by many people. Plus, cartridges were too expensive to mass produce in the 80’s and 90’s compared to current day video games distributed in CD and DVD media formats.
These high production costs prevented a boatload of cartridges from being manufactured. And that is what makes games expensive and rare, even if the gameplay sucks!
More Video Game Articles Below
Thanks for taking the time to read this guide. I had a lot of fun writing it and doing all of the necessary research on the various Nintendo systems.
I also enjoyed sharing my experience as a video game collector with you.
In the near future, I hope to produce some other collector guides for Sega, Atari, and PC gaming.
Until then, enjoy reading my blog and have fun playing Nintendo!