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November 07, 2004


Is there even a revenue stream associated with regular Nintendo games and consoles anymore??? I can't think of any store that still sells original Nintendo games and consoles brand new. If people are only purchasing these items second hand, Nintendo is not receiving any revenue from those transactions.


There is still a revenue stream associated with good ol' 8-bit NES games. Nintendo is fond of re-releasing their games on newer systems. Just this year Nintendo has released several "classics" games on the portable Gameboy Advance system. Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Excitebike, etc. All of them are direct ports of the old 80s classics - no changes at all. And Nintendo has made a ton of money from these games (I don't have figures handy, but I do remember reading in several places that the re-releases sold surprisingly well). So there isn't exactly a market for new copies of the original physical 80s cartridges, but the content definitely still has marketable appeal. The medium is irrelevant, the intellectual property is still very much a viable product (think of all of the old records and tapes re-released on CDs, or VHS movies reprinted on DVD). If everyone can download the old games for free, that hurts the market for the re-releases. That's certainly something that Nintendo and other IP holders find very important.

Now that I think about it... the last video game I played was Nintendo's Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. It was released in 1991 for the Super Nintendo system, but I was playing the 2002 Gameboy Advance release of the same game. And I paid $25 for it, even though I bought the exact same game on a different format back in the early 90s.

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