There are tens of millions of physical copies of the original “Super Mario Bros.” for the Nintendo Entertainment System. As such, buying the game is usually a trifling matter — a few bucks at most at your local garage sale.
But this copy is different, and it just sold on eBay for over $US30,000.
What makes this particularly copy of the original “Super Mario Bros.” so valuable is that it’s a particularly early copy of the game; additionally, it’s still in the original shrink wrap from when it was sold (for $US26.99!) back in the 1980s.
Since the original “Super Mario Bros.” came out in 1985, that means this copy has been preserved perfectly for over 30 years. The seller spoke with Kotaku — he said the game had “been sitting in his office for years” when he decided to put it up for auction on eBay. The auction started at one penny, eventually reaching a grand total of $US30,100.44; the seller has reportedly been paid already.
Few games demand such high prices at auction.
One particularly notable example is a game named “Nintendo World Championship,” which isn’t a game that was actually released but rather a collection of snippets of NES-era Nintendo games that the company used during a series of in-person competitions. Since few cartridges were ever manufactured, it’s become an ultra-rare collector’s item — when it does pop up on eBay, it often goes for thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars.
What will become of this very rare, very early copy of “Super Mario Bros.” remains to be seen. You can, of course, play the original “Super Mario Bros.” whenever you’d like on dozens of different devices. And don’t worry: You don’t need $US30K to play.