When A New Game Could Cost $10 Less Than Its Console

When A New Game Could Cost $10 Less Than Its Console

Not just a Super Nintendo system, but a system bundled with Killer Instinct as seen in this ancient Electronics Boutique ad from back in 1996 posted by Redditor sketchbreaker.

Of course we were in the tail end of the Super Nintendo’s run by the time Donkey Kong Country 3 arrived in November of 1996. After a relatively short five years in North America (the Super Nintendo hit here in ’91, a year after its 1990 Japanese debut). The Nintendo 64 had been released in North America back in September of 96, so it makes sense its predecessor’s price been down pretty low.

Here’s the full ad:

When A New Game Could Cost $10 Less Than Its Console

Two Tetris games (one with more shapes!?), two Donkey Kong Countrys (one bundled with a system), four Mario games (well, three games and a mouse-based creativity tool), Killer Instinct, Super Star Wars, Sim City and my favourite Zelda game. No wonder I didn’t get a Nintendo 64 for a couple more years.

Old school Electronics Boutiques AD [Reddit]


  • I recently saw some circa 1994 Hyper magazines on oldgamemags.com and it reminded just how expensive cartridge games were back then. Plenty over the $100 mark, $150 for Street Fighter 2, Virtua Racer for $190 would have been approaching the price of the Mega Drive itself. I don’t think they were imports either, just RRP.

  • Yeah Shadows of the Empire was about $120 on N64 even. Things these days are cheaper but the manufacturing cost and higher sales volumes since PS2 have made that a thing as much as the fact consumers won’t tolerate BS prices.

    • Despite being a retrospectively kinda crappy game, Shadows of the Empire is still my favourite and it’d still say it was worth $120… BEST DEBUG CODE EVAR.

  • Indeed it’s truly interesting. Having worked in the gaming industry in the late 90s/early 2000’s I can unequivocally say we pay less now for games than we really ever have.

      • Which aspect of globalization. It’s a very broad term.

        Then there’s the question: Do I believe in globalization theory or World Systems theory by which a heirarchy of primary countries feed off lesser countries to sustain their capitalism…

        Who knows.

        • Just in general. Literally hundreds of different things that work in favor for us. Most prominent would be more awareness of overseas pricing thanks to the internet and efficient, cheap shipping for goods – it disappointing that the digital software is still a complete rip off due to regional discrimination.

          I really hope that as globalization eventually limits or eliminates regional pricing discrimination – thus far it is making an impact.

          • The pricing of digital software boggles the mind, but in this day and age where we still have slow internet connections charged by the download quota, it’s less of a surprise :\

  • I can see why games are trying to add micro transactions and paid expansions. I paid $69 for MGSV. 20 years ago I was paying more for new release games.

    • And here I was thinking it was because games back then sold a fraction of the amount of copies.

      They are adding micro transactions because they put profits over product quality.

      • They’re building games around business models now instead of what is fun and better for the consumer (just look at sw:battlefront – which is sad)

    • Well nowadays sure, but back in those days you usually couldn’t get anything more than four letters into a game. Lots of these games seem like they have big names, but when you booted them up you’d find out that you actually had “Tetr is”. Zelda revolutionized the industry in eliminating excessive use of spaces.

  • The PAL SNES we got was so much better looking than that boring, dreary design the Americans got. I keep forgetting how bad it looked compared to the PAL version.

  • Why do you refer to EB Games as Electronics Boutique in this article? I’ve never seen EB referred to like that recently? Was that their shopfront name in the past, and it got shortened over time, or are you just referring to EB differently because it’s an article about old advertising?

    • It’s what EB games used to be called. I remember earlier this year when my friend gave me his copy of melee. It still had the original receipt in it and the store must have still been called Electronic Boutique at the time that game was bought.

        • I saw on a receipt just this weekend, it said “Electronics Boutique trading as EB Games”. I think officially they’re just EB Games now, and have been for years. I think maybe since some time around the mid-00s?

  • And now, youll pay just as much if not much more for them if theyre in decent condition 😛 not taking inflation into account of course

  • I’m sure someone knows the answer to this but I never understood why the American SNES was so different to the aussie one. Console shape and button colours…..

    • Lance Barr was the case designer for the US NES and SNES systems. This was his response (which in my opinion doesn’t answer the question adequately at all):

      The Super Famicom was maybe okay for the market in Japan. For the US, I felt that it was too soft and had no edge. We were always looking at future modular components (even the NES had a connector on the bottom), so you had to design with the idea of stacking on top of other components. I though the Super Famicom didn’t look good when stacked and even by itself, had a kind of “bag of bread” look.

      It doesn’t really add up since the Japanese SNES was also modular and worked just fine. In other parts of the interview he seemed very insistent that it made sense to design the case differently in different markets so it would “meet the needs of the market” better, which also sounds like trivial “I need to justify my job” bullshit.

      • hehe thanks for that. So really it was a marketing thing…. at best. The american version looks like balls in my opinion. In fact, i didn’t even know it existed for a long time and when i first saw it i thought it was cheap rip off!

  • I still have an old eb catalog in my room I think its from mid 2001. Back when they used to sell computer parts lol.

  • Swear this is the bundle my folks bought me for my 6th birthday. The bundle that started it all for me!

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