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Stores Neglecting Old Videogame Packaging?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the cart-only-a-go-go dept.

The Almighty Buck 138

Thanks to GamerDad for its editorial discussing the poor condition of older console games sold by videogame stores. The writer notes: "Getting N64 games in any kind of reasonable [boxed] condition seems to be next to impossible... even more shocking is the state of their SNES and Genesis stock." He continues: "With SNES games, I can sort of understand that the deterioration of cardboard would leave you with just the cartridge and the manual eventually, but apparently the stores are now just throwing out the manual if the box is torn/useless. Even Genesis cartridges, sold in those hard shell boxes, are rarely found in their original packaging anymore. It's the systematic destruction of our gaming history." The piece concludes: "Is it really so hard to maintain a policy of keeping the product in similar condition to how it's traded in or maybe even stop accepting bare games altogether to give your customers more reason to take care of their games to retain value?" What's the solution, if any, to this problem?

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Who needs the package? (5, Insightful)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355671)

The first thing I do when I get a game is throw out the cardboard packaging. Especially with computer games that have a single CD and MAYBE a registration card in them. I used to keep the boxes but when I moved I found I had 30 big software boxes that I had never touched again. Do you want my mint condition Willy Beamish case?

Re:Who needs the package? (2, Funny)

Snowspinner (627098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356028)

Do I have two accounts?

I could have sworn I was the only person who'd ever played Willy Beamish, little yet who still had the case.

Re:Who needs the package? (2, Interesting)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357239)

I don't know why the author of the piece is complaining about packaging. I mean really, who the hell cares? Now if they were selling empty packaging, fair play. "Gaming history"? Don't be so melodramatic...

As for what I do, I keep all the boxes games come in, but I flatten them. That way I can still check out the box (since box art is as fun for me today as album art used to be), but it takes up virtually no space.

Only box I have right now that isn't flattened is Neverwinter Nights and it's expansions. Those boxes are just too purty to destroy:)

Re:Who needs the package? (1)

skotte (262100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357508)

Oh, i see his point. The packaging is its own kind of history. Maybe it's the art-nut in me, but the package is just as interesting as the game, in some respects.

Let's be honest. Do you really play pac-man fFor the dynamic plot and rendering? duh, course not. You play it fFor the nostalgia value. It's a good game. It's nice to look at and play and on and on.

I wish i still had the boxes of all my 2600 games. Or maybe the original art, or something. Some of those were beautiful! [atariage.com] Sure, many were horrid and boring. that's always been true of packaging. But often, we're talking about High art.

The article also mentions the manuals. In some cases, the manual has highly valuable information, in some cases not. Certainly anything with a map, or level guide should be preserved! (i can never remember what levels are good to play in space invaders, fFor example.)

Re:Who needs the package? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8357778)

Oi mr fF! Haven't seen you around for quite a while!

Shocking! (4, Insightful)

palutke (58340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355673)

They have a hard time finding older (5+ years old) used videogames with intact original packaging with the documentation present!

As opposed to all the other old used products on the shelves with well-preserved packaging . . .

Who cares? (4, Insightful)

antin (185674) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355688)

Quite frankly I doubt anybody really cares. Sure it is nice to get games in good condition and in a box and all, but the games the article is talking about are unlikely to be sold brand new (most are no longer being produce), and if you are buying a second hand game then you often expect things like this.

It isn't like the stores are getting games in good condition and delibrately beating them up; they get the game in the condition it is traded in, and if people aren't willing to buy it in that condition it isn't like they are being forced to.

I certainly don't like the suggestion of stores not accepting bare games in order to teach those people a lesson - if someone is desperately looking for an old copy of a game, do you think they would prefer the choice of mint condition or not at all? I think once they get desperate enough they will buy the game sans box and manual, and be pleased with their purchase...

Re:Who cares? (2, Informative)

rholliday (754515) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355902)

I agree. The point of a game should be to play it. If you can play it, then all is well. There's only so much you can expect out of people for game and/or system maintenance. Too many little siblings, pets, clumsy rommates, and freak accidents to expect trade-ins to be in Mint/Near-Mint condition.

Re:Who cares? (4, Informative)

BigJimSlade (139096) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355947)

It's not like you'll have to worry about stores instituting such a policy anyway... simple economics says that if there is a market for those bare games (there is), they will support that market. As much as I hate seeing the games without their original packaging (except perhaps the SNES, with possibly the worst game packaging of any system) there's not much you can do about it. Perhaps the stores could offer an additional credit or two for games with their box and/or manual.

Having gotten my own house not too long ago, I've realized how much space that stuff takes up. I've actually gotten rid of quite a bit of boxes, or at least broken them down and put them in storage. I'm glad there are places online like MobyGames [mobygames.com] and The Video Game Museum [vgmuseum.com] to document the packaging of these games. And if you're an Amiga fan, don't forget to check out the CAPS project [caps-project.org] , which is not only providing *exact* replicas of original disks, but also high quality scans of the packaging.

Re:Who cares? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356586)

N64 had a pretty bad one as well.

Lets just wish for DVD cases for everything.

My life will be complete.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Dave2 Wickham (600202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356899)

Hmm... Pretty much is DVD cases for all games (where I live at least); PC games, GC games, Xbox games, PS2 games, all use DVD cases...

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358536)

Here in the U.S., the huge majority of PC games have yet to make the evolution towards DVD packaging. Even games that don't have printed instruction manuals or anything else other than a single game disc in a paper sleeve or jewel case (if you're lucky) will still come in a huge cardboard box - and often you can hear the lonely disc shifting around in that big waste of space. On the other hand, I have some British PC games that came in DVD cases, and they are very convenient.

Re:Who cares? (4, Informative)

gmezero (4448) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358001)

It isn't like the stores are getting games in good condition and delibrately beating them up; they get the game in the condition it is traded in, and if people aren't willing to buy it in that condition it isn't like they are being forced to.

I beg to differ. A little over a year ago I was on really hard times and I decided to trade all my duplicate GameBoy games with manuals and boxes down at the local GameStop in order to get some new games as presents for my kids. Imagine my horror as the guy behind the counter systematically pulled the games out of their boxes and threw the boxes in the trash and the manuals into a small shoe box where they keep manuals for people who are looking for them. (...and I've since discovered that most stores doen't even do this.)

If I could have afforded to, I would have taken everything back and tried to come up with money for my kids gaming presents some other way. As it is, it will be a cold day in hell before I sell anything else to one of these stores.

In 30 years... (4, Insightful)

Ianoo (711633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355692)

It will be interesting to see how sought after any well-preserved games will be in their original packaging. I can easily imagine they'll be our grandchildren's baseball cards.

Re:In 30 years... (2, Interesting)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356864)

It will be interesting to see how sought after any well-preserved games will be in their original packaging. I can easily imagine they'll be our grandchildren's baseball cards.

Hardly. You want some of my mint condition 8 track tapes? Baseball cards and comic books are collectibles because it doesn't require any additional pieces to be useful. Video games would require some kind of player which I guarentee will be obsolete and unavailable in 30 years or so rare it isn't worth buying anyway. Besides, you just need the ROM image to emulate it.. who needs the original packaging?

Re:In 30 years... (1)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358181)

Video games would require some kind of player which I guarentee will be obsolete and unavailable in 30 years or so rare it isn't worth buying anyway.

If this is the case, then wouldn't the originial packaging be the most valuable portion of the game, since, by definition, it doesn't require an "obsolete" console. Don't you think we will be able to read the standard optical CD/DVD media of today on future emulation systems anyway?

He's complaing about used games? (4, Funny)

Bruha (412869) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355711)

Hello! it's used!

If I was his editor I'd slap him on the back of the head for wasting his time. I've rarely even at gamestop seen new games in their boxes except todays games that come in DVD cases.

I'll do him a favor though. I wont sell my copy of KOTOR that the cat scratched up the box. Maybe then he can rest in peace.

Re:He's complaing about used games? (2, Informative)

fruitbane (454488) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355826)

Gamestop tosses boxes. I just traded in Metroid: Zero Mission and the first thing they did was toss the mint packaging, manual, registration cards, etc... I know a couple guys who work in the store and they think it's sad, but it's policy.

Re:He's complaing about used games? (1)

kfx (603703) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356859)

Must just be local policy. I buy used games from gamestop and EB all the time, and if you trade in the box and manual, they always keep them.

I only buy games that have all the packaging unless I'm really desperate for them, and the guys at gamestop are happy to oblige me. They'll even pair up a used box/manual with whichever used disc is in the best condition--not necessarily the one it was traded in with.

Re:He's complaing about used games? (1)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358451)

Actually, at the Gamestop down the street from me (Memorial and Dairy Ashford, in Houston), they're selling some NES games (Tetris, Tecmo Bowl, Super Mario Bros.) with their mint packages and everything at the normal price.

If you're anal retentive enough... (5, Insightful)

slaker (53818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355719)

If you're going to save the packaging for every game, and no one else does, eventually that complete product will be worth money over and above the value of the game itself. The simple fact is that I don't really appreciate the retail package of a game, once I own that game, and I'd rather use the space for other things, just like every other normal person. The packaging was meant to be disposable. They made it out of paper for chrissakes. If you're different, then so be it. In 50 years when universities are offering "video game packages of the 20th century: a monological examination" as a class, you'll have saved cultural obscura and done your job as a pop-cultural historian. The world will thank you.

How about PC Games? (3, Interesting)

Decaffeinated Jedi (648571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355751)

If you think it's tough to find older console games in decent shape, just try finding classic PC games more than five or six years old. At best, you might stumble across a beaten up box in the "previously played" section at GameStop or Electronics Boutique, but that's usually only for games that are still on the shelves at Best Buy. If you're talking about anything pre-2000, odds are that it's in a plastic baggy with no documentation -- if they have it at all.

Along similar lines, it's not all that hard to track down a copy of Duck Hunt for the NES at the average gaming store. Just try to find a computer game from that era, though. Or even fifteen years later.

As is the case with so many collectibles these days, I'm afraid that eBay is our only hope.

Re:How about PC Games? (2, Informative)

pbaumgar (595159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358468)

I've aquired many pre-2000 PC games on eBay in their original boxes. I have quite a collection of all the old Sierra games ie. King's Quest, Space Quest, etc. That are all in excellent condition. You'd be amazed what you can find on eBay and the condition of say a 1984 King's Quest 1 box....

Will that be Paper or Plastic? (4, Interesting)

Recoil_42 (665710) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355814)

I mostly agree with gamerdad on the article; the state of most preowned games out there is disgusting --- at EB.

Smaller stores tend to have much better preowneds, for instance. I think the culprit is that most 'casual' gamers don't take care of their games (because they ARE casual gamers -- gaming isnt their 'passion'.. similar to people who don't take care of their cars VS people who love their cars), and only know of EB as a place to buy and sell them (again, because they ARE casual gamers, and don't know too much about anything about them), and therefore are also more likely to trade them in (yet again, because they ARE casual gamers, and therefore don't care to keep them).

end result -- people who dont care about theit games trading many of them into the most popular places.

Also, just my feelings on the subject...

I feel that while it IS "nice" to keep them, i have no real problem with it when i lose a cardboard box. its only when i lose a plastic case (pc cd jewel case, XBOX dvd case) that i have a problem, because then the game doesn't feel complete. Manuals are my biggest pet peeve, partially because games of old used to have huge ones, and that used to be worth like 50% of the cost, and i guess that feeling hasn't worn off.

Re:Will that be Paper or Plastic? (1)

Umgawa71 (739459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357784)

In this big list of comments, I'm seeing two sorts of groups emerging, those being the people who agree with GamerDad that our history is being destroyed, and the people who just don't care. And I think that we're not really getting to exactly why the used-games market doesn't care for packaging or manuals:

They're not selling to collectors. Or, rather, collectors aren't their primary market. The primary market is made up of people who just want to pick up a game either for sentimental reasons or because they missed it when it was new. I mean, let's call these games what they are: USED. If they were up to GamerDad's necessities, they'd be referred to as 'Vintage'.

As long as the game plays, that's all the majority of buyers really care about. I mean, think about it: It's EB, not an antique shop, so it makes sense that collectors would probably have to go somewhere else to find something that's suitable to their needs.

Re:Will that be Paper or Plastic? (1)

Recoil_42 (665710) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357812)

wewt.. excellent summation of my points... /me is the worst person ever at explaining thoughts...

Get them off the internet? (4, Insightful)

meanfriend (704312) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355817)

I imagine that a copies of Chrono Trigger or Ocarina of Time "Mint In Box" will be quite collectible and go for astronomical values on Ebay in 10 years time.

But many people with a sense of nostalgia will just want to play the old games, and some documentation would be nice. I recently had an urge to play Ultima IV again (which was released as freeware some years back). Luckily a little googling uncovered numerous Ultima documentation projects that archive complete documentation for all the Ultima games. Some had scans of the originals, others had them transcribed into doc or ascii.

Another case is when I go and rent the odd game and the docs always seem to be missing. Again, its google to the rescue. I'm a little more hesitant about this though, as unauthorized online copies of instructions for new games may promote piracy (or at least make it more convienent). But for a game that's way past it's peak sales window, getting instructions on the internet can be a godsend.

One final option is www.gamefaqs.com which have walkthroughs and FAQs for just about every game imaginable. They dont make the full documentation available, but the FAQs will often have basic gameplay instructions to at least get you started.

Re:Get them off the internet? (1)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357515)

An unboxed, used copy of Chrono Trigger was marked at $75 at a local game shop. And I watched somebody snap that up pretty quick. After the person left, I asked the dood at the counter how long they had that game on the shelf, and he had only had it for a couple of days.

The solution is simple. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8355834)

Scan the boxes and manuals, and upload them to the internet. There are already collections floating around. Sure it is illegal, but many things that shouldn't be are. This is one of them.

Re:The solution is simple. (4, Informative)

KeeperS (728100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356788)

Yes, this isn't a problem for many NES and SNES games. Vimm's Lair [vimm.net] has a large amount of scanned game manuals, although mostly only for the more popular games.

Not worth the effort (3, Interesting)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355900)

The problem is that, in most places, older systems aren't worth the trouble. The prices at EB are fixed so high that most people won't want to buy them, even though most are traded in without the box or instructions. Tetris for Nintendo (NES) is going for $39.99 CDN preowned, cart-only. No one's going to buy that, but that's what it's priced at.

The N64 games at my local EB are all the ones that no one wants - that's why they got traded in. No one buys them, they just use EB as a clearinghouse to get rid of the crap they wish they'd never bought.

No one cares about N64 games because there's no money in them.

The condition they're in really depends on who owned them before. I've seen a lot of games in mint condition (I saw a copy of Syphon Filter that looked like it had never been played), but I've seen a lot of games where people just don't care about what condition their games are in. Looking through the local EB's collection, most of the games without original cases are wrestling games. Shock.

The fact of the matter is, these are pre-owned games. They are used. They were played by someone else. No, they're not in excellent condition. That's why they're cheaper. Get over it.

--Dan

Re:Not worth the effort (1)

fwitness (195565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359381)

Perfectly on point. Especially the your point on EB price fixing. Every time I walk into one of those stores I can't help but be astounded that the price for a new game (ps2/cube etc) will be around $50. However, the same game "preowned" without box, manual, or any other documentation sells for $4 less.

Is that what all that extra business is worth, $4? Tell that to the people who wrote the manuals, and designed the posters and other material packaged with the game. Perhaps this is why most manuals these days are 4 pages long. 1 page of controller mapping, 2 pages of 'this may cause siezures, carpal tunnel, death' and one page for 'notes'.

Arrgh. I can't even respond intelligently to this. The situation bothers me too cerebrally.

Boxed Boxes (2, Insightful)

Servo5678 (468237) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355906)

I still have all of my console game boxes: NES, GB, SNES, N64, even Virtual Boy. They're stored safely in the closet, unpacked and dusted from time to time. They're in great shape and some even still have the original marketing material that came packed with each game. I save them because they are a part of the game. A lot of time went into creating the cover art, the back-of-the-box text, and so forth. They just don't make box art like those anymore; everything's rendered and 3D and polished these days. Give me the classic 2D images of Mario with a turnip in his hand or the gold box with the Zelda logo on it any day.

It all depends on the store. (4, Insightful)

BlakLanner (743891) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355915)

The condition of preowned games also depends on the store you go to. The EB that I work at is full of gamers. If something comes in with the box/instructions, we keep it that way, regardless of policy. Unfortunately, not many people kept their old stuff in good condition until they traded it in. I doubt that 10-15 years ago, anyone thought that games like Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger would be so widely sought after like they are now. Also ask the person there if they have anything stored on the back shelves. I know we keep alot of our mint condition older stock out of the bins for the sole purpose of them not getting damaged while they are out there.

Peoples is Crazy (4, Insightful)

Snowmit (704081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355929)

It boggles my mind that the author's first theory on the lack of good mint old boxes is that the cardboard has fallen apart and that his second is that stores must be throwing them away. It seems to me to be FAR more likely that what's happening is that people like me DON'T KEEP OUR PACKAGING. I have a lot of games and a pretty small appartment. When I pack to move, my first thought isn't "oh man, I'd better work out how to fit all of this cardboard into the moving van".

I'm especially surprised, given that this article is coming from GamerDad. I mean if he's a dad, that means he has children, right? So maybe he's seen how children treat their toys? When I was a kid, I was pulling heads off of G.I. Joes. Do you think I was treating the packaging in a respectful manner?

From my point of view (I like games, not boxes) the only real problem that he raises in the entire article is that sometimes the games are missing the manual. Here are some solutions:

1) Don't worry about it, most games have ingame tutorials and most manuals were pretty useless. You can learn how to play by experimenting with the game.

2) Check out sites like GameFAQs [gamefaqs.com] . Many of the best written FAQs have instructions on how to play the game in the introductions.

3) Pay extra for games with manual (and box if you really want it). Then stores can pay kids selling games extra for their used games with manual (and box) and there will be incentive for them to take care of the product.

Re:Peoples is Crazy (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356135)

Don't worry about it, most games have ingame tutorials and most manuals were pretty useless. You can learn how to play by experimenting with the game.

*cough*newbie*cough*

Most older games don't have tutorials. Try picking up a game of Final Fantasy I. No in game instructions, no in game tutorial, no "how-to". (Hell the game was so hard you could get killed before reaching the first boss if you chose a bad party or didn't stock up.) "Experimenting" with a game is a recent thing. If you went to an arcade in the past and (god forbid especially for fighting games) they didn't have printouts explaining how to play the game, you were pretty much throwing money away. Sure you have MAME and whatnot, but when your a 13 year old kid playing on allowance money, YOU WANT YOUR MONEY'S WORTH.

2) Check out sites like GameFAQs. Many of the best written FAQs have instructions on how to play the game in the introductions.

Again, in the past this was certainly not true. While modern connection speeds may make searching GameFAQs seem easier than flipping through a strategy guide, believe it or not there was a time when most gamers didn't know about the existance of GameFAQs (gasp).

3) Pay extra for games with manual (and box if you really want it). Then stores can pay kids selling games extra for their used games with manual (and box) and there will be incentive for them to take care of the product.

Some stores like EBGames already do that. They give you an extra .25 to $5 money for the box and manual. BIG FRIKING DEAL. Considering the most you'll ever make off a trade-in is $30, either way, you get ripped off. And so does the guy who comes in and buys it at $45.

SOME of us like to preserve our childhood. Hell some people like to collect bottlecaps and stamps, what wrong with collecting old video game boxes?

Re:Peoples is Crazy (1)

Snowmit (704081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357726)

*cough*newbie*cough* Most older games don't have tutorials. Try picking up a game of Final Fantasy I. No in game instructions, no in game tutorial, no "how-to". (Hell the game was so hard you could get killed before reaching the first boss if you chose a bad party or didn't stock up.) "Experimenting" with a game is a recent thing.

OK, first off he is talking about Super Nintendo and N64 games. Most of those *did* leave all kinds of room for experimentation to learn the games. Second off, you can play Final Fantasy (on NES) with no manual. I know this because I played it on an NES with no manual. See also: Metroid, Mario Bros. etc.

In fact, as long as we're waving the size of our gamers dicks around, I can tell you that you can play most Atari 2600 games without a manual because there is an Atari 2600 with a box full of cartridges and no manuals on my floor.

Again, in the past this was certainly not true. While modern connection speeds may make searching GameFAQs seem easier than flipping through a strategy guide, believe it or not there was a time when most gamers didn't know about the existance of GameFAQs (gasp).

We aren't talking about the past. We're talking about right now. Right now, he's complaining that he can't find the manuals for the secondhand games he buys for his kid to play. I suggest that he should go to GameFAQs and look for the information he is missing there.

SOME of us like to preserve our childhood. Hell some people like to collect bottlecaps and stamps, what wrong with collecting old video game boxes?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to collect videogame boxes. There is something wrong with writing an article about how you are sad when you learn that it is HARD to collect old videogame boxes, then accusing the store owners of intentionally destroying the boxes and then suggesting that the solution to this "problem" is that stores should only accept secondhand videogames that are mint in the box.

Sad, but not unexpected... (2, Insightful)

BW_Nuprin (633386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355933)

Seems to me that most people never think about the work that goes into EVERY aspect of game production. I've box three TV boxes filled with old NES, SNES, N64, etc game boxes. Not the games, just the manuals and boxes. Even the Nintendo Power subscription cards... minus one or two when I actually subscribed as a kid. With the exception of the original MegaMan, a lot of good work goes into most game's box art. It is absolutely a part of the product.

History? Please! (5, Interesting)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355935)

With SNES games, I can sort of understand that the deterioration of cardboard would leave you with just the cartridge and the manual eventually, but apparently the stores are now just throwing out the manual if the box is torn/useless. Even Genesis cartridges, sold in those hard shell boxes, are rarely found in their original packaging anymore. It's the systematic destruction of our gaming history."

SNES, Genesis, and N64 (mentioned earlier) have about as much to do with "gaming history" as Chevy Chevettes have to do with automotive history. The oldest among them, the Sega Genesis, came out in 1989 with a Motorola 68000 CPU. The SNES came out in 1991 while the N64 came out in 1996!

If you want real video gaming history worth saving, then look to the Magnavox Odyssey, released in 1972 as the first home video game. Then there is the Fairchild Channel F, which was released in 1976 and the first video game system to use cartridges. In 1977, the wildly successful Atari 2600 was released, Atari's first cartridge-based video game console. And let's not forget the Vectrex of 1982, the first and only home video game using vector graphics which it displayed on its own monitor.

Video gaming history isn't about a bunch of johnny-come-lately Japanese executives who sought to get rich with slickly packaged, mass market products. It's about pioneers like Ralph Baer, who, in 1967 prototyped what would become the Magnavox Odyssey. It's about visionaries wile Nolan Bushnell who founded Atari and conceived Pong in 1976.

Right on! (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356166)

I was going to make nearly the same post. Shame this isn't modded up.

What was the first system to use CDROM's?

Re:Right on! (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356348)

> What was the first system to use CDROMs?

NEC's PC Engine (aka TurboGrafx 16), i believe.

Re:Right on! (1)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357412)

The first console in the US to use CD-ROMs was the TurboGrafx-16 (PC Engine in Japan), but some people would argue that the Commodore CDTV was the first CD-ROM based game system.

Re:History? Please! (3, Insightful)

sindarin2001 (583716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356292)

This article isn't about CONSOLE history, but rather VIDEO GAME history. Classics like Zelda, Mario, Sonic, Final Fantasy...these games ARE about video gaming history. Yeah, the systems were mass produced for the home, but that doesn't make them worse. The NES, SNES, Genesis, they aren't all that old, but that doesn't mean they still aren't integral parts to video gaming history. I'd love to see where we would be today without these systems. Not to mention that in 30 years, these systems WILL be a huge part of video gaming history. I'll reiterate, just because they are fairly recent, that doesn't make them anyless important to history.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356766)

Zelda what? Sonic huh? F,i,n,a,l Fantasy?

Classic?? Ha! Street Fighter is awesome too huh?

I think you're OK with the Mario comment as long as you're talking about battling a giant ape to get to Pauline. Otherwise you're just lame.

Bah... you're too young to know what video games are.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358639)

....And you're either too old to understand anything other than to what you have already become accustomed, or you are a young person pretending to be so.

You remind me of people I used to play arcade games with in the Stargate Defender days. None of them plays games any more, they just talk about how they used to play Defender after school. That does not make them truer gamers than children and adults playing today's games. It makes them ex-gamers with no relevant insights that can't be had by growing senile.

I am not the original poster above.

Grow up, old-timer.

Re:History? Please! (1)

sammaffei (565627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356316)

Beg to differ...

Nolan concieved Pong in '72. Maybe you are referring to home Pong. But, that was 1975.

Maybe you just have a problem with facts (and Japanese gaming concerns).

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356466)

WTF are you smoking?

Try this [geekcomix.com]
Or this [pong-story.com]

All of those newer systems like NES, SNES, etc. are not gaming "history", they're just fancy Fairchild/A2600 systems.

I suppose you think Street Fighter is a classic historical video game, eh? Young'uns... so lame.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358700)

Street Fighter has its place in video game history. That is a fact. Even Mortal Kombat, a game that I despise greatly, has its place in video game history.

Go back to fiddling with the knobs on your black and white TV if you like, gramps. We are talking about video games, a TECHNOLOGICAL field of interest. Technology and ideas don't stagnate along with the people that wither away around them, they move forward as suits their USERS. That newer systems come mostly from Japan just shows that the Japanese have a vested interest in expanding the appreciation of this media form, which is more than can be said about your AC posts about the issue (which are quite clear to identify as yours, BTW).

Your insults are not welcome. They can be likened to what Bushnell et al. probably encountered from people who would rather not have seen the birth of computer sciece being applied to video games in the first place, you hypocrite.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359365)

Someone needs their diaper changed.

Re:History? Please! (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356596)

Maybe you are referring to home Pong. But, that was 1975.

I was referring to the home version of Pong, which was released by Atari in 1976. The story was about home video consoles and games, so I tried to limit my comments to those. Sorry for not writing more clearly.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356321)

Actually you're only mostly right. Pong was originally conceived as "Tennis for Two" at the Brookhaven National Labs in 1959. The second oldest video game was created at MIT by a computer club made up of both students and faculty, it was a space game, similar in concept to asteroids meets combat.

And the first console system was not the Magnavox Odyssey, it was the Fairchild.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356429)

And the first console system was not the Magnavox Odyssey, it was the Fairchild.

The Fairchild was released in 1976 while the Odyssey was released in 1972.

Think much?

Re:History? Please! (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356853)

History is not just old stuff. History is everything that has happened up to the present. So yes, GTA III is just as much "history" as the original Pong.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8357045)

Um, sorry but you're wrong.

Yes, there is newer stuff that is/will be part of history but most of what you see isn't.

Wolfenstein 3D is an example of a newer historical game. The first true 3D-style FPS. It changed everything. And when Doom came out, my goodness, we had never seen anything like that before.

GTA III isn't anything special. It's just yet another FPS. It may be fun to play, but it ain't historical.

Re:History? Please! (1)

KeeperS (728100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357102)

The fact that you think GTA III is an FPS indicates to me that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8357120)

The fact that you think it's not a FPS indicates to me that you are too young to fully grasp the concepts we are discussing.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358719)

To wit, crusty: There is a distinction between first-person games and third-person games. Learn it, then come back and we can talk.

Re:History? Please! (1)

KeeperS (728100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356907)

Um, what? Just because it's Japanese, suddenly it's not gaming history?

Is it just not old enough to be history? In case you didn't notice, the SNES and Genesis are a good two console generations in the past. The SNES was released (in the US) in 1991, and the Genesis is even older. If those consoles aren't game history, then what are they? They're certainly not the present of games!

I guess we should just ignore the last 200 or so years of US History, too. After all, all the important stuff happened in the 1770's, right? Everyone should just study the founding fathers and then skip right to the present; nothing important happened in between, after all.

Maybe you're just trolling, but I have the sinking suspicion that you're actually serious, which scares me.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356975)

How old are you? Seriously.

Those systems are just newer clones of the Fairchild/A2600 system. They ain't history my friend, just the same old, same old.

It's like saying KoF is a historical video game. Well, it might be OK, but fighting games were pioneered by much earlier "historical" works.

You might have grown up in the arcade with Street Fighter, but at that point you had already missed all the true historical works.

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358767)

The more posts of yours that I read, the more I understand how in-tune with gamers you really are. Sly devil.

You know exactly what lies to say and in what tone to speak them to make real gamers want to throttle your neck. And by claiming to possess a firmer grasp of understanding than the rest of us, you simply beg for correction, an itch which most slashdotters are all too happy to scratch.

Fuck you, luddite troll.

Re:History? Please! (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357098)

Um, what? Just because it's Japanese, suddenly it's not gaming history?

That's not something that I said or implied.

Is it just not old enough to be history? In case you didn't notice, the SNES and Genesis are a good two console generations in the past. The SNES was released (in the US) in 1991, and the Genesis is even older. If those consoles aren't game history, then what are they?

They are just outdated gaming consoles. For something to have historical significance, it needs to be more than just out-of-production. It needs to have broken new ground. It needs to have been a pioneering or revolutionary effort. The N64, SNES, and Genesis don't fit the definition of historical.

I guess we should just ignore the last 200 or so years of US History, too. After all, all the important stuff happened in the 1770's, right? Everyone should just study the founding fathers and then skip right to the present; nothing important happened in between, after all.

You need to get a sense of what's important. Of course you teach kids about the Wright brothers, but you don't wax poetic about the development of the Cessna 140a. You have lessons about the invention of the Polio vaccine, but you don't spend class time teaching about the development of Preparation H. You teach kids about the Ford Model A and Model T and how they changed our society, but you don't have lessons about the Dodge Omni and the Chevy Cavalier.

Maybe you're just trolling, but I have the sinking suspicion that you're actually serious, which scares me.

What scares me is that you actually can't recognize the difference between historical technology and technology which is just outdated.

P.S. The very fact that you would mark me as a "Foe" simply because you disagree with something I wrote speaks volumes about you.

Re:History? Please! (1)

KeeperS (728100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357193)

That's not something that I said or implied.

Perhaps I just misunderstood. When you said "Video gaming history isn't about a bunch of johnny-come-lately Japanese executives who sought to get rich with slickly packaged, mass market products." I mentally emphasized the Japanese instead of the rest of it. After all, there's plenty of American companies mass marketing games, but you specifically mentioned Japanese. Yes, the Sega and Nintendo are Japanese companies, but I don't see how that's relevant.

They are just outdated gaming consoles. For something to have historical significance, it needs to be more than just out-of-production. It needs to have broken new ground. It needs to have been a pioneering or revolutionary effort. The N64, SNES, and Genesis don't fit the definition of historical.

The problem is that gaming is more evolutionary than revolutionary. I actually agree with you that major jumps have more historical significance, but that doesn't mean that the fluid increases are completely insignificant historically.

You need to get a sense of what's important. Of course you teach kids about the Wright brothers, but you don't wax poetic about the development of the Cessna 140a. You have lessons about the invention of the Polio vaccine, but you don't spend class time teaching about the development of Preparation H. You teach kids about the Ford Model A and Model T and how they changed our society, but you don't have lessons about the Dodge Omni and the Chevy Cavalier.

Yes, some things are more important than others. I definitely agree with you on that. My issue is that you assume that the SNES is the Preparation H and not the Polio vaccine. It doesn't have to be an either or issue; it's more likely something in between. Surely, in the 7 or so years of the SNES era, there was some sort of historical event or game. In my mind, something like the Atari Lynx or TG16 is more comparable to the Chevy Cavalier. As far as I know, they had very little impact on how games are played today.

What scares me is that you actually can't recognize the difference between historical technology and technology which is just outdated.

P.S. The very fact that you would mark me as a "Foe" simply because you disagree with something I wrote speaks volumes about you.

What really set me off was that your original post seemed to be saying that only the original gaming machines were history and that everything else is unimportant in the grand scheme of things. The Japanese comment didn't help either. Now that it's apparent your intent was otherwise, I can see that I might have been a bit rash.

Re:History? Please! (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357251)

I mentally emphasized the Japanese instead of the rest of it. After all, there's plenty of American companies mass marketing games, but you specifically mentioned Japanese. Yes, the Sega and Nintendo are Japanese companies, but I don't see how that's relevant.

I was referring to the cultural difference between the original visionary inventors and the anything-for-profit mentality of many Japanese firms.

My issue is that you assume that the SNES is the Preparation H and not the Polio vaccine. It doesn't have to be an either or issue; it's more likely something in between.

It probably is somewhere in-between. But I just don't view SNES as something that rises to the level of importance that justifies treasuring game manuals and boxes. No, it should not be ignored or written off, but neither should it be enshrined.

Now that it's apparent your intent was otherwise, I can see that I might have been a bit rash.

And that just got you on my "friends" list -- regardless of our differences of opinion.

Re:History? Please! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356950)

Jesus God you're a faggot.

Re:History? Please! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356954)

LOL, baby need a diaper change?

You're too young, go take out the trash for your mommy.

Re:History? Please! (4, Insightful)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356959)

Save your self-righteous rants for somewhere else.

When does something become history? In 5 years, will the SNES be part of history? How about 10? Surely at least in another 20 years, you'd have to classify the Genesis and SNES as 'history.'

Now, my point: what the hell is wrong with starting to preserve it *now*, before it's gone? There are some very, very good games on all of those systems. It'd be a shame to lose bits and pieces of them forever.

Similarly, as someone else pointed out earlier in the thread, baseball cards were just little pieces of cardboard too. I certainly don't expect the packaging from video games to appreciate in value as much as a Joe Namath card, maybe there's still some reason to hang onto this stuff while it's still *possible* to hang onto it.

You're probably too old to appreciate all of videogame history, anyway. I consider myself lucky to have gotten into video gaming when I did -- old enough to appreciate the real classics, young enough that I'm not afraid of new things. (sorry, cheap shot)

--Jeremy

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356991)

When does something become history? In 5 years, will the SNES be part of history? How about 10? Surely at least in another 20 years, you'd have to classify the Genesis and SNES as 'history.'

They will never be part of history other than "they sold lots and made money". The systems themselves and the games that ran on them were nothing special, just clones of earlier work. And quite boring I might add.

Re:History? Please! (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357214)

Save your self-righteous rants for somewhere else.

Why? Because you don't like the competition?

When does something become history? In 5 years, will the SNES be part of history? How about 10? Surely at least in another 20 years, you'd have to classify the Genesis and SNES as 'history.'

Something doesn't become "history" just by being old. For something to have historical significance, it has to break new ground, change society, or otherwise have a profound impact on the world in which we live. Pong fits that description. SNES does not. You don't seem to understand the difference between "history" and "nostalgia."

You're probably too old to appreciate all of videogame history, anyway. I consider myself lucky to have gotten into video gaming when I did -- old enough to appreciate the real classics, young enough that I'm not afraid of new things. (sorry, cheap shot)

I used to spend my lunch hours in the early 80's playing video games in arcades. And last night I spent my evening playing the Unreal Tournament 2004 demo. It is because of my age that I can recognize the difference between something that's truly historical versus something that's simply out-of-production. I know why the MITS Altair 8800 personal computer is an important part of history while the Canon CAT is not. I know why Wolfenstien 3D and Doom are classic video games while Anachronox never will be. You don't need to apologize for recognizing that I'm older than you -- just for being so prejudiced as to think that anyone over 30 is "afraid of new things."

Re:History? Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358837)

Something becomes part of history just by being. I could resort to all sorts of humanistic reasons to prove that this can be applied universally, but that isn't necessary. A simple understanding that historical importance is relative to the historian should suffice.

Also understand that you cannot correctly and absolutely state that what is significant to one person is worthless. That would be nonsensical and futile. If Mr. Gamerdad thinks game boxes from the early to mid-90s are important, so be it for him. If they aren't to you (and for that matter used game retailers and customers), so be that as well. But don't mis-define history for us, please.

Re:History? Please! (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359213)

Something becomes part of history just by being.

No, it becomes part of the past. I'm sure some guy named Bob put lug nuts on a Ford Escort once, but that doesn't mean that he's part of automotive history.

If Mr. Gamerdad thinks game boxes from the early to mid-90s are important, so be it for him. If they aren't to you (and for that matter used game retailers and customers), so be that as well.

That's fine, but Gamerdad is proclaiming it "shocking" that game retailers and customers don't share his beliefs about the importance of the boxes and documentation.

But don't mis-define history for us, please.

It's not me who is misdefining "history." Gamerdad wrote "It's the systematic destruction of our gaming history." No, it's just people throwing out old boxes and manuals.

History is relative (1)

wheresdrew (735202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357952)

A person's perception of gaming history has a lot to do with when they started playing, and what games they grew up with. for some people, that'l the NES. For others it's the N64, or the 2600, or the Odyssey. Heck, for some people it's the Playstation!. It's all relative to the age of the gamer.

If the NES was considered "historical" why was there just a museum exhibition dedicated to it? Level-X [asahi.com] just ended its showing at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. I was lucky enough to get to check it out last month when I was there. Tons of history - and lots of boxes!

"Altogether, 1,200 titles were produced for the system. Remarkably, a sample of each one can be found at ``Level X,'' together with 50 or so different consoles and the accessories made for them."

They had pristine boxes for each and every one of those games, and perfect condition consoles, too. Maybe it's not thought of as such anymore, but boxes and manuals used to be art. Sure, the 8-bit character on the screen didn't look like much (remember NES Link?), but the box/manual art was great, so it was easy to imagine him as something more heroic. These days manuals are barely one step above photocopies - black and white inside and nothing much worth looking at. I remember full-color manuals being so nice that it was cool to look through them and read about the game while you waited for your turn to play.

When's the last time anybody did that with a current-gen game?

Funcoland / Gamestop (2, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355966)

If someone told Funcoland which is now Gamestop they could sell Zelda for 20x the value with a mint box, they still wouldn't do it.

These stores pay rent per square feet. There aren't enough people paying collector's price to cover the rent loses. I don't think even in 10-20 years.

You're free to maintain history (2, Insightful)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355987)

You're free to maintain a history of video gaming, with full boxes and perfect manuals and stuff. But I think you'll agree that it's not in the game store's economic interests to turn their already cramped space into a museum..

My Five Cents (1)

Snowspinner (627098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356051)

I don't care much about packaging - I have a small apartment, and packaging both makes the games bigger and makes it slower to get them out.

What I do wish they'd focus on is selling NES and SNES games with the little plastic bits to keep dust out of them. Half of the difficulty I have in maintaining my NES/SNES collection stems from the fact that keeping dust out of the games is a perpetually losing battle.

Collectables! (2, Funny)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356201)

Buy 'em for a dime apiece, stick each one in its own Zip-loc bag, then put 'em away for 20 years. At the end of that time, you ought to be able to sell them for a whole quarter!

Translation so slashdrones will understand it. (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359123)

Step 1: Buy 'em for a dime apiece, stick each one in its own Zip-loc bag, then put 'em away for 20 years.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!

It happens to new games too (1)

happyhippy (526970) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356225)

GAME (UK games store, not sure the US has them) takes everytheing out of the casing and 'wrap' them up with a sticker holding the CD within the manual. The number of times I got a game where the CD is already marked on the data side because the asshats stickied the CD to the manual.

My stuff is in mint condition (2, Insightful)

$calar (590356) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356257)

I've kept all of the boxes the games came in in another box, a "box of boxes" per se. Maybe I'm an abnormal person, but I tend to take care of my stuff and I could repackage my games and give them to you in a state equivalent to the day I bought it (minus the shrink wrap of course). I guess if people just took better care of their stuff this problem wouldn't exist.

I run a used games shop... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356266)

I run a used games shop, we do about 25grand a month. NES and SNES games are rarely seen in a box, and when they are, we leave them that way. Genesis games, and don't ask me why, don't sell in the clamshell...I have pondered this fact for days at a time, it makes no sense. The moment I take them out of the clamshell, they sell. I just don't get it, I've always thought of the Genesis cases as actually being useful but I guess most people just don't care for them.

Atari rarely has the box, Intellivision often does have the box (go figure)...NES games don't as I said above, but they also rarely have the original plastic slip cases they came in either.

It's a mystery to be sure.

Re:I run a used games shop... (1)

wheresdrew (735202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357868)

This is why I stopped trading stuff in to chain stores. (This, and the fact that you don't get ripped off by independant shops.) The local game shop I go to gives you more credit/cash if you've got the box/manual/whathaveyou than if you don't. That's how it should be.

Don't reward these people! (4, Interesting)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356407)

This is somewhat tongue in cheek, so don't flame me off hand. But it's still interesting.

Ever think about what is REALLY killing the entertainment industries? Is it organized counterfitting? Or casual copying? Or file sharing?

Why doesn't anybody ever think of the used market as the real downfall of the entertainment industry? This is about used video games, most of which you can't get in stores anyway...but strech this out to music or movies. How many used music/movie stores are around where you live? How much business do they do? Chances are they do just as much, or maybe even more business than a normal record store.

Why is nobody talking about this? Why doesn't the RIAA do advertisements about how used sales take food out of the mouths of artists (which is MORE true than for P2P file sharing). Sure, it's legal. But the question is, is it ethical? How ethical is it to make money off of somebody elses's work..without them even getting a whiff of it?

Furthermore, this is more competition for the entertainment dollar. Spreading things even thinner.

Now, myself I'm torn on this issue. On one hand, I have a lot of pre-owned DVDs from my local movie store (buy 2 get 2 free builds your collection pretty fast). But at the same time, it really HAS to be affecting their real numbers. More-so than anything else really.

Again. Why isn't anybody talking about this?

Re:Don't reward these people! (1)

Samhaine (726003) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356824)

Because it's legal. It's hard to bring folks up in a lathering froth against something that a) saves people money and b) is perfectly legal.

Re:Don't reward these people! (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356931)

Again. Why isn't anybody talking about this?

Talk to R.E.M. or Garth Brooks.

Why doesn't the RIAA do advertisements about how used sales take food out of the mouths of artists (which is MORE true than for P2P file sharing).

Don't give them any ideas. They might buy a Congress and revoke the right of first sale. After seeing what Sonny Bono did, I wouldn't put it past the U.S. legislature.

Get a grip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356516)

This isn't a problem at all. If collectors want a box and manual they're going to visit E-bay for them. Hell if anything this is driving up the value of their "investments" so they should be happy. You people sure didn't seem to mind throwing away those boxes and manuals 10 years ago.

Typo? (1)

cow_licker (172474) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356652)

I think this should read

What's the solution, if any, to this "problem"?

Hello? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356769)

The stores are there to make money. They make more by doing things the way they do. They don't get much from oddballs like you. Hello? Even heard of economy???

Suggestion to GamerDad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356793)

Spend some more time with your kids, and don't worry about things like this.

I'll never forget (2, Funny)

u-238 (515248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356881)

the condition of that pilot wings 64 box i got from some ebay mass reseller.

the crinckles and dents were impressed upon the very depths of my soul, as if someone had taken all my childhood memories and wiped their ass with them.

SNES OK, but PSX? (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356898)

Most of the time, cartrige games are traded in as just the cartrige, so I don't blame the store for not having cartrige boxes. What I hate though, my local Gamestops have been doing, is throwing away Playstation boxes and manuals. Yes, the jewel cases that probably 8 times out of 10 were traded in near perfect condition. They don't have enough space for them, so they put the CDs in little sleeves in a cardboard box and just chuck the case and manual. Now that is a shame.

REHASH (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8356906)

dont worry nintendo is so bankrupt of new deas, all those old games will eventually come back to the gba or cube.

what about new games? (1)

spir0 (319821) | more than 10 years ago | (#8356955)

hell, I'd be happy if I could get NEW games in new condition. especially game boy games. those stupid little boxes are always getting crushed...

Nothing's going to change... (2, Interesting)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357028)

GameStop retail stores recently stopped selling most of the older generation games. I went into a GameStop today, and they had no NES, SNES, Genesis, or Dreamcast games*. None at all.

I've heard reports of these older used games making up 5-10% of a store's sales. This may seem small...but think about how little the stores give when you trade in these games. The relative profit on a $3 Genesis game is far higher than for a $20 Game Boy Advance game.

Why, then, are they getting rid of these games? One of the biggest reasons is space. These cartridge games take up a fair amount of room that newer CD-based games just don't. If they don't have enough room for the actual games, where the heck would they put the boxes? It's far easier for the stores to just toss the packaging. Depressing, but that's the way it is...

This one still puzzles me - the Dreamcast isn't that old, and I know there's still demand for DC games. Oh well...

Re:Nothing's going to change... (1)

nicksthings (678040) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358050)

I can't talk for company wide, but these older games definitely did not make up anywhere NEAR 5-10% of sales. According to my last sales mix, it was far lower than that. There is still a demand for these games, but not enough to make it profitable. The company can use the resources it spends on those games and consoles and use them more wisely.

Re:Nothing's going to change... (1)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358902)

The 5-10% was a number given to me by a GameStop employee. It's possible that the number was just for that one store; it's also possible that I was lied to. That wouldn't be the first time that's happened. :)

I wish I could find published data somewhere that would support that figure; alas, I don't think that information exists, or is accessible to me if it does...

Blockbuster (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357196)

When I worked at blockbuster, our store had a handful of N64 and Gameboy games remaining. No other old systems either. They just wanted space for GameCube, PS2, and Xbox. Can't really blame them though. But the condition their old games were in was abominable. The manager sounded kind of relieved when people would shoplift them, because it got the eyesore off the shelves.

Personally, if the game rocks, and the packaging is something special, I'll save it. I've got a couple games who's boxes I've saved. Plus, if you have the storage space to spare (I keep them in my back closet) it's a good way to keep everything together, especially for someone like myself who's organizational skills are all based off of the "pile system" (i'm sure you're familiar with it).

They don't pay you enough. (1)

borg1238 (692335) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357309)

If you go into any EB or GameStop to sell them a mint used game, complete with box and instructions, they'll probably give you the same price as someone who only has a cart which looks like it's been through a war zone.

I'm guessing if anyone cares enough about games to keep the manual and box, they know better then to go to one of these stores, and instead sell/trade them over the internet.

Policy Doesn't Allow It (1)

Mellzah (649115) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357356)

I worked at a Gamestop for a year. Policy states that anything other than this generation that gets traded in with a box, the box and manual get tossed. The plastic sleeves that people stored their NES and SNES games in to protect them? We don't even take them in. Employees usually take them home, but sometimes they go in the rubbish bin. Even for current generation GBA games, the boxes and manuals get tossed. The employees at our store had a system so that if a game came in with a box, we'd store the box seperately and write 'box' on the sticky label we affixed to the game. Our manager was understanding (she was a collector as well) and allowed us to breach policy. When she quit and our store went impact, a new manager came in, and everything went in the trash.
If you're looking for older games in good condition with boxes and manuals, your best bet is not in a chain store. Especially once this generation is over--in order to make room for used bins of PS2, GC, and XBOX games, NES, SNES, and Genesis will be phased out of stores.

Also, try to make friends with an employee at a game store--they'll hold boxes and manuals for you if you're nicer to them than the average customer.

Why we don't keep the packaging (2, Interesting)

nicksthings (678040) | more than 10 years ago | (#8357489)

I can't speak for all stores and much of this has already been touched upon by everyone else, but I can't seem to shut up so...

In the case of older games (which includes N64 titles - maybe you've lost track of time, but the system launched well over 5 years ago), they don't get traded in with the boxes and the instructions to begin with. In fact, the cart themselves often times look like the owner stored them in a ditch in their backyard - literally. Dirt caked, labels peeled, etc. It's ridiculous the condition of the games I see float through my store, both old and new generation titles.

Another issue is space, as some have already pointed out. As it is, there's hardly any room to keep loose cartridges on the sales floor, much less boxes two to three times their size. A lot of people don't realize this, but most stores don't have some vast amount of storage space off the sales floor to hold all of this stuff. For instance, used Game Boy Advance games often DO arrive in their original packaging, manuals and all. Unfortunately, in my store in particular, there is simply no room to store these things. I can't deny that it sucks for the customer, particularly collectors. But it's not in my store's best interest to keep every box and manual that gets traded in or sold to us.

On the rare occasion that a mint condition NES/SNES/GENESIS game does come through, we do indeed keep the box and manual, but this is rare. For instance, a mint copy of Super Metroid rolled into town and it was a reason to celebrate indeed.

Finally, as far as him touching on the rumor of some places not taking back games/consoles/accessories for Dreamcast and older games...my store in particular stopped taking those games back as of today, actually. Other stores will carry them, but I'd expect to see them phased out in the near future. So it looks like Ebay and smaller, more specialized shops for that kind of thing.

Um . . . . Duh? (3, Informative)

superultra (670002) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358179)

"Is it really so hard to maintain a policy of keeping the product in similar condition to how it's traded in or maybe even stop accepting bare games altogether to give your customers more reason to take care of their games to retain value?"

Having worked at an EB for three years, I'll go ahead and state the obvious. Generally, the people who take care of games keep them. Those who don't tend to trade them in relatively early in the lifespan of the game. What happens is something of a trickle-down effect; as games drop in price, those who couldn't afford to buy them in the first place (kids, or families who don't put as much financial priority on video games) end up buying them. Lather, rinse, repeat.

With regards to game stores taking care of them, I can only speak for the store I work at. I've already mentioned that the people who take care of these games don't trade them in or already have. That means the conditions of the games these stores get is usually fairly subpar. I remember a few times when we would get an older system and games in immaculate condition. Dave isn't finding those because the game collectors, who would visit our store at least once or twice a week, bought those first. What's more is that if there are two copies of Starfox 64 on the shelf, and one is in top condition and the other is not, which is more likely to go first since they're under the same SKU?

Frankly, there's a lot of extremely obvious reasons why these games are not in the best of shape, some of which I'd provided. Why Dave didn't think this through before he wrote his article is beyond me. Maybe he thinks, quite mistakingly, that Steve Morgan of EB or some member of the gaming store echlon will read his article and suddenly agree with him. But if you're making the same amount of profit whether they are in good condition or poor condition (and these stores do), then why change the behavior? Moreover, the people who take care of games usually know they can get a heck of a lot more than $0.50 from EB for a mint condition game.

Your best bet, Dave, is to buy off of eBay and inevitably pay more for a game that is in mint condition. Surprise: you pay for what you get for. What's probably discouraging for Dave, though, is that if he hasn't thought of the obvious reasons why this has occured, he's probably not thought ahead to what's going to happen when the disc generation hits the same age that cartridges are now. Keepem while you gotem.

Not everybody is a geek you know (1)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358222)

Duh. Only nerds care about the packaging/manuals of their videogames. I happen to have kept all the boxes and manuals of my old games, but for the average people this is just stupid, as they don't give a living fuck about the box, and even less about the manual.
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