A sealed-in-plastic, fourth-printing-run copy of Super Mario Bros. for NES has sold at Heritage Auctions for $660,000. That is the most money ever spent on a piece of video game memorabilia, somehow eclipsing everything that came before, including the Nintendo Play Station that sold for $360,000 in March 2020.
The fourth print run of Super Mario Bros. is early enough that the packaging lacks a “Game Pak NES-GP” code or a “TM” beside the “Nintendo Entertainment System” logo, the latter of which apparently was added at the beginning of 1987. This particular sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. sold at auction was graded 9.6 A+ by WATA, denoting “exceptional quality” for the condition of the product.
Does all of that warrant the game’s $660,000 sale price? Well, not really. But as Digital Eclipse Editorial Director Chris Kohler explained to IGN, the price tag has to do with cultural factors. Chiefly, the people who experienced Super Mario Bros. at the height of its popularity are in or approaching their 40s at least, meaning the people most interested in the product have much more disposable income now. Secondly, all it takes for a game to sell for this much is at least two people who are willing to pay over half a million dollars for it.
Nonetheless, vintage video games in impeccable condition are only going to continue selling for higher prices, in part for the aforementioned reasons. They won’t all be worth $660,000 like this sealed, fourth-printing run of Super Mario Bros. at Heritage Auctions, but it is still a good idea if you keep all your games in nice condition.