The latest big ticket item in rare retro games and computers has sold today for a whopping 20,050 EUROS! Are we further heading into an era where retro games, consoles & computers will become the next investment rather than traditional commodities?
This prototype computer - the Commodore 65 - or going by the development name of DX64 or C90 was a 90s (90 - 91) invention that never went to market. As a working prototype it's value is in the fact this never went live, and they are impossible to find with only a few in existence.
The fact that there is a video of the machine actually running does add more value to the sale, whereas recent non-working prototypes have even gone on auction for serious money.
Commodore 65 demo video:
The ebay auction has been gathering momentum over the last few days with it culminating in a massive final bid of 20,050 euros - $23,000.
Who made this massive bid for the machine?
Perhaps a tech-milllionaire who learnt their trade on the Commodore 64 and Amiga and wanted this in their collection. Or even a non-computer investor who sees these one-off computers as an alternative to gold, wine, art and other ways of investment in physical goods. It could have been a fake bidder who won't come forward to pay as often does happen with these high profile gaming auctions. Only time will tell.
But if it is a 'true bid' - this is yet another interesting development - and if there are people 'outside the hobby of gaming' who are looking into buying retro computers and consoles, what does this mean to the average collector or even those who have a bit more cash to spare to get that special item?
It probably means a further price hikes to those top end items - the ones that are in low numbers of production and especially prototypes. But even games that are either in very good condition (sealed) or have a low production run are are now feeling the same effective - especially on ebay.
You have to search that much harder and look to other methods to grab a bargain. Car boot sales, charity shops, gumtree, trades on facebook - even these prices are rising.
There is clearly more interest in retro gaming - which means new investors / resellers as well as longer term fans. It will be interesting to see how the market moves over the next year! Let's hope that games will stay freely available to those who want to play them.