[ This is JJ Hendricks' first contribution to VC&G. He is the author of the Video Game Price Charts Blog, which analyzes and charts video game prices. Additional contributions and layout by Benj. ]
Since the Nintendo Wii's release in November 2006, the Virtual Console service has been one of its most popular features. Yet almost instantly after its launch, people began complaining about how much VC games cost. The most common argument against the VC pricing scheme (aside from the illegal emulator option) is the presumed "low price" of the original games if you bought them used. But how much would it really cost to buy physical copies of all the Virtual Console games? Is Nintendo's retro service a good deal, or are you getting ripped off?
By analyzing the current market prices of every game offered on the Virtual Console service, I've come up with an answer. In the charts below, you'll find an exhaustive price breakdown that compares the current market value of real cartridges to the cost of their VC counterparts. The prices for the cartridges themselves were determined by using the daily updated prices at VideoGamePriceCharts.com from January 24th, 2008, which, in turn, are taken from multiple sources, including recent eBay auction results, Amazon.com, and Half.com. All prices are in US Dollars.