Tuesday, 13 October 2015

My argument for Pre-Emptive Retro Purchasing

I am sure that most of you will have heard of the term pre-emptive strike, for anyone who hasn't it can roughly be described as being a surprise attack that is launched in order to prevent the enemy from doing it to you. What I am going to be talking about today is what I would call pre-emptive retro  purchasing. So what do I mean, how would I define this term? Well usually when someone purchases a game to collect for the purpose of having a retro game collection they are buying games that are already old, in doing this you are waiting for a game to become old and desirable and then hunting it down your retro purchasing. Now what if you were to buy a game that will be old, that you think will gain a cult following, and which you think will be worth a lot in the future? Well this is what I call pre-emptive retro purchasing.

Now the whole term Retro is hardly set in concrete but if you look it up then you will see explanations along the lines of ''Involving, relating to, or reminiscent of an earlier time'' and ''denoting something associated with or revived from the past'' the problem is that terms like ''the past'' and an ''earlier time'' are rather vague. I could write a whole article on what is or is not retro in Video game terms and then someone would most likely come along and write a totally different article which argues with my findings and my opinions. Some view Retro games as anything that is not the current generation, while others view them as anything that is not easily brought from a regular shop, yet others will try to put dates or other formulas in to the mix. Personally I tend to view games as being retro when they are either no longer stocked at all by shops or when they are seldom stocked and whatever is left over in the shops has been pushed in to dark corners and is largely ignored. So to illustrate this I wouldn't really view the Xbox 360 or PS3 as Retro yet because they still dominate a fairly large area in my local Game, Grainger, etcetera, yet even though it is similar in age I tend to see the PSP as retro because what little stock there is in any of these places tends to be pushed to the back of the shop and is usually on a very low shelf out of sight if it is even there at all.

The PS3 and 360 have some great games though, and to be fair there will be games which as the years go bye they become harder and harder to find. So if I was to explain pre-emptive retro purchasing to you this would be the generation I would do it with. Its at that point now where the machines are no longer the hip and the new, yet there not seen as old and classic yet, there in a state of flux they are neither new or old. Many people are selling there PS3, 360 and even Wii games in order to afford to get something newer this is in my opinion a mistake though. The games generally will get you very little especially if you are selling them to large registered businesses, there is a flip side to this though and that is the fact that some of these titles will appear in places like pawn stores, markets, on sales sights etcetera for very good prices. Now I am not saying to go run and fill a basket and get your hands on every game going I am talking about playing the odds, gambling if you like.

Do you know what the Futures Market is? Basically people think that banks are mostly involved with the stock market this is where you buy and sell stock in certain companies but there is actually far more that goes on than this people also buy what are called futures. Now the easiest way to explain a Future to you is with a simple example, lets pretend I own a coffee plantation now I could just sell my coffee beans and be done with it or I could sell promises. Lets pretend that a 1Stone sack of Coffee is currently worth £10, what if I agreed to sell you a sack of coffee not now but in 4 months time for £10, now if you shook hands on this and signed the paper work there are three things that could happen. One is that the worth of coffee doesn't change at all, so you get a fair deal, I get a fair deal and nothing much has happened. Two coffee loses its worth, I sell you a sack for £10 which is now worth only £7 and you have to buy it as you have agreed to it. Three coffee grows in value, the sack I promised you for £10 is now actually worth £14 and you've made a profit. Now that's the futures market for you. To do well on the futures market you need to do your research, look at supply and demand curves over time and at how the market currently stands and anything that could change that, so lets apply this to the world of Video games.

If you buy an XBOX 360 game lets say, maybe you find it on a second hand store for £3, if its worth goes up you make a profit, if its worth goes down your at a loss and if it stays the same your basically where you started. So what do you do? You look how much it is typically selling for at the moment in other places, you look at how easy or hard it currently is to get, you might look at how similar games by the same company have done in the past, is one of there games in the same series now almost impossible to get and going for a small fortune? Is it likely to at any point get some form of re-release or be digitally released on a virtual console style platform, and is this likely to effect its worth? Yes no matter what you decide you are basically gambling, but its educated gambling and you can minimise the risks, the best way to do so is to only buy things you'd enjoy playing anyway because even then even if its never worth anything your at least going to get something out of it.

So do I do this? Heck yes all of the time. Has it worked out? Yes, No , sometimes. When did I last do it? Today after work when I picked up Project X Zone for £12.99 and about a week ago when I got Etrian Odyssey Untold The Millennium Girl for £15 hence the fact there is a picture of them at the top of the page. The thing is I want to play both of these titles, but I know I don't really have the time for them at the moment, but I also think they will most likely cost more in the future, so I am not only trying to make some kind of minor investment here I am also trying to save myself cash because I know that if I didn't get them and then latter ended up paying through the teeth for them I would feel dumb for having looked at them and passed them by.


  1. I've been trying to do this with PS3 RPG's and the like in recent years. So many games get released beneath the radar that are bound to be obscure and hard to grab in the future. Even paying around the £15 mark for sealed copies is a good deal in my book when I can see them going for £20-£30 used in the future.

  2. I have mostly done it with PSP RPG's , a few PS3, wii and Xbox bits... I have even brought the odd Wii U game that was on sale that I was only half bothered about because the price was low and well its the wii u ..if it doesn't sell more its going to be so rare in and of itself that the good official nintendo games should eventually be rareish