Thursday, April 3, 2014

Observations on the used video game market

I like video games. I'm generally looking for used games whenever I visit a store that carries them. Unfortunately, I will spend too much time playing them when there are other things to do, so I try to limit the number that I do buy. I guess it's a good thing that the number of used game shops in my immediate area has been going down, and that a lot of the used games are still too pricey to justify buying. In general, I won't get anything over 1,000 yen ($10) unless it's something that I really do consider worth the money. At the same time, as I've mentioned before, I prefer RPGs. I don't like tactical strategies, or regular arcade games like Kirby or Mario Brothers. Outside of Dig Dug: Digging Strike, most of the games I've bought here have been RPGs.

This has been chafing me a bit. Bic Camera's selection of used games for the Nintendo Gameboy DS isn't very good. So, I've been thinking about getting a different console. I don't have a TV, and I like playing when I'm outside, plus I can't justify getting a smartphone. So my choices are limited to handhelds - the PSP and Nintendo 3DS. Just to get a feel for what is available, I went through the entire used $10 bin at Bic, game by game. The DS has the smallest selection of used handheld games, followed by the 3DS, with the PSP having the most. But, of those games, the DS had the most RPGs that I'd have any interest in. So, it kind of looks like I should stay with the DS and just be patient. (However, I've been told that you can turn the 3D effect off and play 3DS games as regular 2D, so I may have to rethink this...)

Looking at the bigger consoles, though, the Wii and XBox have even more $10 games that Bic is trying to unload, either implying that there are more people buying those games then exchanging them for new games, or that the Wii and XBox have weaker second-hand markets than the PS3. But, the console with the largest number of $10 used games is the Playstation 2. I'm surprised. I would have expected the PS2 to have been taken completely off the market by now. A lot of the games I've played in the past have been on the PS2, and I'm tempted to get one again and find a small cheap monitor, just because I can...

But, for right now I'll stick with the Gameboy DS, and bide my time. No matter how much it chafes.

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