A sealed NES cartridge of Super Mario Bros. has sold for an astonishing – and record-breaking – $660,000 (£477,000).
Before now, a rare copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 had set broken the record for being the most expensive video game ever. A sealed copy of the game was recently sold at auction for the hefty price of $156,000/£117,000. At the time, it was the most expensive video game title ever sold at auction.
This latest auction, however, smashed that record. The game – which comes from the game's fourth printing run and does not have the trademark symbol next to the console's name or the Game-Pak NES-GP code on the box – ranks at a 9.6 on the WATA scale.
"For Nintendo, it was just stuff they had to do internally, but collectors are using this information now," Digital Eclipse's Chris Kohler told IGN. "It’s not like a collector cares if there’s a "™" on their box or not, but it’s the ability to use that information to figure out what the earliest printings are.
"So if you’re an expert in comics, you know a 9.6 is very hard to get on the WATA scale, especially for black box NES games because those are so old. They really narrowed it down to when was this copy on sale, when did Nintendo start tweaking parts of the box?"
Given the difficulties in sourcing early copies that are still sealed, Kohler thinks this has pushed up the value.
The previous record for the most expensive title was also held by a Nintendo title, Super Mario Bros., which sold for $114,000 (£85,000) in July of last year. That particular copy had been sealed for 35 years and left in pristine condition that made it primed for a high price tag and, at the time of the auction, had been the highest-graded Super Mario Bros. cartridge to ever be put up for public auction.
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