A sealed copy of the video game Super Mario 64 has been sold at auction for more than $ 1.5 million (£ 1.1 million), making it the most expensive video game ever sold.
The game cartridge, which dates back to 1996, is in high demand at the U.S. Heritage Auctions auction house because of its “historical importance, scarcity and condition” as there are “less than five copies” in good condition.
Super Mario 64 remains one of the most popular video games of all time, with a three-dimensional platform that helped sell millions of Nintendo 64 consoles during its launch.
“It seems impossible to overstate the importance of this title, not just for the history of Mario and Nintendo, but also video games as a whole,” said Valarie McLeckie, video game specialist for Heritage Auctions, which handles sales.
The cartridge sold on Sunday has received a 9.8 A ++ rating by video game collection company Wata, which means “like new”, in near -perfect condition and with an intact seal.
“This is Mario’s first appearance in the 3D world, and it’s the best -selling video game for the N64,” added McLeckie. “Given this, and the fact that there are fewer than five sealed in this class according to Wata, this copy is a real gift for serious collectors.”
The sales value is almost double that of the previous record -breaker, the original The Legend of Zelda cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) from 1988, which had been set just two days earlier at $ 870,000 (£ 744,000).
“After the first record sale in the Zelda series on Friday, the possibility of surpassing $ 1 million in one video game seems like a goal that will have to wait for another auction,” McLeckie said. “We were surprised to see it turned out the same!”
Copies of Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda have been sold as collector’s items and not for play, as Nintendo has launched both for its modern Nintendo Switch console.
Super Mario 64 is the best -selling book for the Nintendo 64 system and is considered a pioneer in introducing a new style that allows players to move freely through space instead of being confined to side -scrolling.
However, some experts have warned that the video game collection market is in danger of overheating, with interest in factory -sealed retro games soaring over the past year, generating huge profits for some collectors.
After the sale, game writer and broadcaster Pat Contri tweet: This “pump” is improper and long -term dangerous. 99% of these games aren’t uncommon because the purchase price of this is justified, the price increase is meteoric, and we don’t know how many copies of each title are available. “