Early Copy of Super Mario Bros. Sells for Record-Setting $100,150

Early Copy of Super Mario Bros. Sells for Record-Setting $100,150

You might think spending $60 on a new AAA video game is a lot, but three video game enthusiasts just spent more than $100,000 on a single game, and they don’t even plan to play it. The record-setting price for the game makes a bit more sense when you find out it’s an ultra-rare sealed early copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES.

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) launched in Japan in 1983 as the Famicom, but it wouldn’t come to North America until two years later. Nintendo wasn’t sure how the NES would be received in the US, so it started the rollout in several “test markets” like New York and Los Angeles. The games produced for this initial run are known as “test market games,” and that’s what makes the newly sold copy of Super Mario Bros. so valuable.

Rumors recently began circulating on game collecting forums that a prominent member had a test market copy of Super Mario Bros. If authenticated, it would be the only known copy in existence. The seller (who has opted to remain anonymous) had the item evaluated by video game grading firm Wata Games.

An example of Nintendo stickers on test market games.
An example of Nintendo stickers on test market games.

The evaluation confirmed this was indeed one of the original US NES cartridges, which is an important distinction. Later runs of the game are only worth around $1,000 sealed and in perfect shape. Wata Games also noted the box’s original stickers were in amazingly good shape. Unfortunately, we don’t know how the seller kept the box in such pristine condition for 30 years.

The seller said he’d only consider offers of $100,000 or more, which takes most game collectors out of the running. Eventually, three prominent game collectors stepped up to split the $100,150 cost via Heritage Auctions. The extra $150 was to cover the seller’s fees. The new owners liken this item to Action Comics #1 (the first appearance of Superman) for comic collectors. A perfect copy of that book sold at auction several years ago for $3.21 million. It’s not unthinkable that a copy of Super Mario Bros. like this one could eventually be worth that much.

Continue reading

NASA: Asteroid Could Still Hit Earth in 2068
NASA: Asteroid Could Still Hit Earth in 2068

This skyscraper-sized asteroid might still hit Earth in 2068, according to a new analysis from the University of Hawaii and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

AMD Has No Near-Term Plan For Hybrid Big, Little Cores on Same Silicon
AMD Has No Near-Term Plan For Hybrid Big, Little Cores on Same Silicon

AMD has no plans to build a hybrid CPU with big and little cores any time in the near future, but the company continues to evaluate the concept.

Nvidia Unveils ‘Grace’ Deep-Learning CPU for Supercomputing Applications
Nvidia Unveils ‘Grace’ Deep-Learning CPU for Supercomputing Applications

Nvidia is already capitalizing on its ARM acquisition with a massively powerful new CPU-plus-GPU combination that it claims will speed up the training of large machine-learning models by a factor of 10.

New Mac Teardowns Show Apple’s M1 Engineering Under the Hood
New Mac Teardowns Show Apple’s M1 Engineering Under the Hood

iFixit has disassembled the M1-powered MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, giving us a look at one of the last unexplored major areas of these products: their underlying physical design.