A sealed, mint edition copy of video game Super Mario 64 sold for $1.56 million at an auction on July 11, becoming the most expensive video game ever sold.
The sale of the 1996 cartridge for the Nintendo 64 console broke the previous world record, set only two days ago when a sealed copy of 1988 The Legend of Zelda was sold for $870,000, according to auction house Heritage Auctions.
“After the record-breaking sale of the first game in the Zelda series on Friday, the possibility of surpassing $1 million on a single video game seemed like a goal that would need to wait for another auction. We were shocked to see that it turned out to be in the same one!” Heritage Auctions Video Games Specialist Valarie McLeckie said in a statement.
“We are proud to have been a part of this historic event,” McLeckie added.
Video game collectible firm Wata rated the Super Mario 64 cartridge with a 9.8 A++ rating, meaning that is in near-perfect condition with an intact seal and is “like new.”
Heritage Auctions also said that there were “fewer than five” copies of the cartridge in such good condition.
The Super Mario 64 cartridge, as well as The Legend of Zelda cartridge, were sold as collector’s items rather than for playing because Nintendo has rereleased them for its modern Nintendo Switch console, which means that the two games are valued for their physical memorabilia, similar to trading cards.
Super Mario 64 remains one of the most influential early 3D platform games as it introduced a new style that allowed players to move into three dimensions instead of being limited to side-scrolling through levels. Its 3D gameplay helped Nintendo sell millions of its Nintendo 64 console upon its launch.
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