Musings – Video Games, CCG Market, Comics, TV and Movies.

The Transformers War for Cybertron Siege I releases June 28th. Expect to see singles for the game soon afterwards on CategoryOneGames. In the meantime, singles from Season 1 and 2 have recently been restocked and a selection of San Diego Promos are in stock under the Season 1 set name. Look for our video showing us open the packaging from a recent collection we received.

OverPower has seen a huge inventory and pricing update. We added a lot of cards we did not have in stock as well as packs for some of the sets. The buylist for the game has been updated to show the items we currently need, including boxes, packs, starters and sets.

VS System is the next game that will see a huge update. At this time, our inventory has been sorted and we just need to adjust the inventory levels we have on the website.

WWE Raw Deal and 7th Sea are the two games that will see major inventory and pricing updates. Look for that here in the next month or two.  
I’ve got around 4 older games that are ready to be added to the website that currently isn’t on it. The reason they haven’t been added is that I’m trying to clean up every game currently on the site. This includes images where there aren’t any, naming updates, sealed product, etc. This takes time while still having orders to fill and buylists to go through. The games we have already finished are Star Trek 1E and 2E, Lord of the Rings, Middle Earth, Star Wars Destiny, Transformers TCG and Ani Mayhem. Overpower is close while VS System is right after it. Doomtown should be there, I just need to check on it again. Star Wars TCG just needs a few images and Final Fantasy needs a pricing update. If you see anything out of place with these games on the site, please let me know.

Gamestop’s stock crashed this week which came as no big surprise to anyone watching the gaming industry the past few months. My guess is the stock will increase as E3 announcements happen June 9th-13th but it’s a band aid on the real issue. Gamestop has many issues in front of them, the biggest being that the new systems for Xbox and Playstation 5 are coming out the end of 2020, meaning that people will not be buying systems for 2019’s holiday season. Developers will start shifting their big releases to the next generation of consoles and games like the remake of Final Fantasy 7 becomes a PS5 games instead of PS4. I see Nintendo getting a boost from this as gamers wanting something will ask for a Switch for Christmas. Having owned a Switch for just a few months now, I’m happy to say I enjoy the system much more than any other current generation console. From the current games on it, to the retro games like the recently released Castlevania collection. I’ve bought more games for myself and my kids on the Switch in just a few months than the Xbox One that I’ve owned since release.

The other aspect of the gaming market is the retro collectors. Gamestop is not the only store that is hurting. Utah is losing Mario’s, a retro store that has been in business for over sixteen years. I’m not privy to all the details as to their closing but I’d imagine other retro stores are starting to feel some pain. There was a huge boom in the retro gaming market 4-5 years ago and that market is starting to return to normal. There were new stores that entered the market with that boom, how will they survive? Will retro game stores have to add other products to survive or will established Magic and Warhammer stores start adding sections for video games?

Pat the NES Punk commented on the retro market recently on his podcast/YouTube channel and his comments followed a lot of what I’ve seen. CategoryOneGames has been to all the big conventions in Utah the past 5-6 years selling retro video games and after Gaming Con Salt Lake 2018, I saw that the tides were turning and sold my full video game stock to a local store that has two locations.

Part of the problem is that the companies like Hyperkin, Innex and GammerzTek were not moving quick enough with the current buying market of N64, GC, Saturn or Dreamcast clone consoles. If I were able to sell N64 consoles at these different events I had a booth at, I would have outsold NES systems 3 to 1. I just read an article this week that the first N64 clone console had been developed with 4 controller ports and will be shown off by Hyperkin at E3. Hyperkin is about 2-3 years behind on this but at least we are getting it. It’s much better than their Retron 77, an HD Atari 2600 clone that very few retailers or customers were asking for. The games shown in the video look really good and made me realize that I need to buy these N64 staples before they jump in price. You can basically buy a total of around ten N64 games and be set on the system.

N64, GameCube, Saturn, Dreamcast and Sega CD games are all in high demand and most shops can’t keep them in stock.  The common games for each of these systems still sit but any other game moves quickly. Saturn, Dreamcast and even Sega CD games have continued to push up in value. With the systems having less games made than their Sony or Nintendo counterparts and are much rarer to find. Even common games like the Incredible Hulk for the Saturn sell for the $30+ range and will sell quickly. The amazing thing about each of these Sega systems is that the games can be copied onto a CD and played but they continue to hold their value with collectors trying to get full collections. A game like Snatcher for the Sega CD still sells in the $400 range.  

GameCube has a $150 HDMI adapter that makes it a much better looking system while we wait for a cheaper N64 HD option instead of having to pay around $500 to buy a modded system. I bought one of these modded N64 systems and while it makes a game like Mario 64 look better, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig. The N64 generation is still very blocky and chunky looking. GameCube games took a big step up graphically and still look good on a modern HDMI TV in 720. I still want to play these N64 games again after seeing the preview video for the Retron N64. Expect to see jumps in a game like Goldeneye which currently sells around 20-30 in most locations to around 30-40 once an N64 in HD is released.

I always questioned why PS1 games never really jumped in value. They play on PS2 consoles and the PS2 Slim is a great system that rarely breaks, unlike the original fat version that only lasted around two years in my household. There are plenty of good games but I have a feeling that it suffers from the same issue as the N64, the games just don’t look as good. The blocky/chunky looking figures are hard to enjoy when the graphics of today are so amazing. The jump from PS1 and N64 to PS2 and GameCube are huge. What does the PlayStation Classic tell us? Part of it’s failure is the game selection and the other part is that I can download the games I want from it and they are a bit upscaled and look better. The PC version of Final Fantasy 7 looks much better than the original PS1 version. Another problem are the CD jewel cases that never stood out, the disks scratched easily and were often tossed out with CD collections. Near the end of my PS1’s life, I had to turn the system upside down to get it to read the disks.

The NES/SNES has really taken a hit over the past few years. Buyers only want the classics and that’s it. The high-end games that aren’t fun to play don’t move and have dropped in value. With the release of the NES and SNES classics, the ability to buy these games on the Switch and how cheap it is to buy a Pie, don’t expect prices to recover. Most collectors already have what they want for these two systems.   

Like most people that have seen the show, I’m enjoying Chernobyl on HBO. While Game of Thrones had a Star Wars Episode 9 final season, Chernobyl and VEEP are what keep me subscribed to HBO Go. I hope that HBO is able to make a Three Mile Island or Fukushima show next.

The comics market has been all abuzz with Rob Liefeld’s Major X for Marvel Comics. I’ve read the first three issues and have really enjoyed it. I’ll get more into why the book is working so well and other comic book musings next Friday.



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