News On Japan

Foreigners Flock to Akihabara for Retro Games

TOKYO, May 17 (News On Japan) - The Akihabara game store frequented by foreign visitors is not targeting the latest releases, but rather old game software. The soaring secondhand game market suggests that treasures might be hidden in your home.

Akihabara, Tokyo, is a town where one can experience cool Japan. Over 70% of the customers at this retro game store are foreigners. The store is stocked with titles from Famicom, Mega Drive, and other vintage consoles, and visitors can also enjoy nostalgic arcade games.

Some games, such as "The Legend of Zelda" and "Magical Adventure," are highly sought after. Why do they buy games in Japan? "The best games are from Japan," says one visitor. Japanese-made games, which captivated many Japanese, are cherished worldwide.

Reflecting on the era, many children played Game Boy back then. A man recalls playing "Final Fantasy" in the past. Although Western games are on the rise, he believes Japanese retro games are still king. "Retro games have a charm in their simple yet flavorful graphics and music that modern games can't match," he says.

According to a used game appraiser, the popularity of retro games has driven market prices up. "Most retro game titles have been rising in value over the years. For example, the first 'Rockman' (Mega Man) for Famicom had a buyback price of 9,000 yen ten years ago, but it's now worth 70,000 yen." Famous titles have seen their value increase about eightfold in a decade.

At Tsutaya, a retailer of used games, a surprising title has set a new record. "Chibi Maruko-chan Deluxe Quiz" was bought for 1.5 million yen. This rare title for the Neo Geo console, known for its core users, has become almost mythical due to its limited distribution.

Your home might also house some hidden treasures. If in good condition, hit games like "Super Mario World" can be bought for 2,800 yen, and "Final Fantasy IV" for 2,500 yen. According to professional appraisers, the key to getting a high price is ensuring the game and its packaging are in good condition. "We often have campaigns and promotions that can increase the buyback price when multiple items are brought in. Cleaning the items before bringing them in can leave a good impression during the evaluation," they advise.

Entrusting your unforgettable memories to a store might turn them into treasures for someone else.

Source: ANN


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