With PS5s Nearly Impossible To Find, Massachusetts Stores Find Retro Gaming Systems Like GameCube, Nintendo 64 Returning
Video game consoles fill the shelves at StateLine Video Games. But a PlayStation 5 is not one of them.
Owner Frank Bond stumbled across a PlayStation 5 recently, but it’s a rarity, video game store owner Holyoke said.
“We have people here all the time because they’re full everywhere,” Bond said. “Do you have the new PS5? Unfortunately, no one has them.
The PS5 was released in November 2020. While many parents hoped to give them as gifts last Christmas, it was nearly impossible to buy them. Yet over a year later, they’re just as hard to find.
Bots and supply shortages are to blame.
Although Sony declined to comment, Bloomberg reported that uneven vaccine deployments where Sony suppliers have their production bases have made supplies of chips and parts unpredictable. It initially targeted more than 16 million assembled units in March, but has since reduced that number to around 15 million, the outlet reported.
The average person struggled to grab one before a bot did. And small local stores are no different.
“Unfortunately, being a very small store, I don’t have a direct relationship with Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo,” Bond said. “I deal with intermediary distributors who never have one or if they do, they are well above the cost.”
- Associated content: Where to buy a PlayStation 5
Instead, Bond said, he’s focusing on another trend this holiday season – retro gaming.
GameCube, Xbox 360, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast systems fill the boxes of StateLine video games. An original Game Boy and Game Boy Color, as well as many games, are at the center of the store.
It’s reminiscent of years gone by, once loved games and hours of dedication.
“Their eyes light up when they walk in and they go back to their childhood,” Bond said.
The average price of a retro video game has increased 33% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, PriceCharting.comthe study suggested in April.
The GameCube has seen an increase of over 70% and the Nintendo 64s have seen an increase of 43%, according to the study.
All Pokemon had the biggest price increase.
Pokemon Emerald for Game Boy Advance increased 145% and Pokemon HeartGold for Nintendo DS increased 133%, according to the study.
“Collecting video games has become a very popular pandemic pastime,” PriceCharting owner JJ Hendricks said in a press release. “The game collection is nostalgic, inside and out, but it also has a great online community so collectors can distance themselves socially while connecting virtually. “
For many, it’s nostalgia.
“I find you will see a leap in some consoles as some generations hit their twenties,” said Camille Fowley, deputy director of human resources at That’s Entertainment in Worcester, adding that 10 years ago Super Nintendo was very popular. . “And now it’s starting to be Nintendo 64 or GameCube because people are reaching that age where they’re like ‘life is really hard and maybe I just want to play Zelda.'”
A retro gaming system won’t have the highest quality graphics or the latest technology, but it could have something even better.
“It’s more like an emotional attachment to this item and the memories that go with it,” Bond said.
Then it’s about sharing those memories with other family members or children.
“You can share your memories of why these games are special to you and have a good time playing them when you’re older,” Bond said. “It’s really cool.”
Last year That’s Entertainment struggled to keep retro gaming systems in stock because it depends on the people selling their old systems. But this year, despite the demand, things are better.
“I think for every person that hits their twenties and thirties and wants these consoles again, you have their parents finding these consoles in the attic and thinking, ‘OK, we’re done with that,’ Fowley said. .
For those unsure of which old gaming system to give as a gift, Bond suggests one of their retro Nintendo systems with built-in games. Some of their systems already have 20 games on them.
“You get a nice variety and it’s a really cool giveaway instead of buying an old system which might be difficult to hook up to a new TV,” he said.
For those looking for a new gaming system, customers can try their hand at scoring a PS5 by watching Restock or buy a Nintendo Switch, which has also been popular.
However, by Monday afternoon, all PS5s from Amazon, Walmart, GameStop, Target, and Best Buy were out of stock. Amazon last had it three days ago, while Best Buy’s last listed restock was three months ago.
Fowley suggests stepping out of the typical gaming giveaway, opting for merchandise instead. She suggests a Dark Souls keychain, a Witcher coffee mug, or something like that.
“It’s a tough time for modern gamers to shop for the holidays,” she said.
But she also suggests eventually pushing them out of their comfort zone and trying out a board game.
“Anyone can play board games,” Fowley said. “A lot of people are scared because it’s like, ‘Well, I don’t want to have to learn a game for three hours.’ But they just got so much more beginner friendly.
Another popular trend is comics, which she says make last-minute giveaways easy and quick.
“They’ve been so popular with the MCU lately,” she said, after the record-breaking “Spider-Man: No Way Home” opening weekend. “You can walk into the store and pick up a volume one of Spider-Man and you can be done.”
And those other options might be the safest bet, as supply chain issues for new video consoles are unlikely to go away.
“I have a feeling that next generation systems are going to be continually difficult to find,” Bond said. “We keep hearing about the shortage of the video game supply chain as much as any other industry. “
Bond is also gearing up for a future where retro gaming has changed.
“There will eventually come a time when it gets to that point where a child is going to be born who has never had a physical collection of games. Everything was digital, everything was for download, ”he said. “It will change. It will transform and deteriorate depending on the age group.
For him and StateLine Video Games, that will hopefully mean hosting more events and tournaments in person. Something he hopes to start in 2022 as people continue to get vaccinated against COVID.
“I think I have community events, events where you can come and have birthday parties and arcades and go out,” he said. “This is my plan for the future.”