In our retro game collecting guides, we often focus primarily on the games themselves, but I wanted to start monitoring the values of common variations of console and handheld hardware as well. The Console Hardware Price Guide was published in January and I’m excited to share the Handheld Guide now.
My goal with these price guides is to give everyone an easily-accessible price listing of mainstream retro hardware so that it is easy to survey the console landscape, see what you might expect to pay for hardware you have been considering or see what you might be able to get for a console you’re looking to offload.
The price guide is broken down into three major condition groupings:
- Loose: handheld system hardware only with no packaging. The lower price range may only include the console itself and minimal accessories like a power adapter. Even at the low price, the machine should be in working condition. Units that are for “parts only” should be valued lower. The high range of loose handhelds should include charging cables and be in excellent cosmetic condition. For some older hardware, this higher price range may even include some restoration of the hardware.
- Complete in Box (CIB): This is for a console in good working order that also comes with its original packaging. The lower price range may have a few items missing from the original shipment (like manuals or inner packaging) and/or the cardboard box may be in rougher shape (older boxes typically show a lot of wear). The higher price ranger should include most every item that came in the original retail box and should be in excellent cosmetic condition.
- New (Unopened): This grouping is for units that have never been opened from its retail packaging or used. Since this is less common, we simply give a single price range estimate, but there are still some variance in the value due to the condition of the packaging and such.
I have included some interesting or rare handheld variants in this price guide, but it is not meant to be exhaustive at this point. I also included some handhelds with aftermarket screen mods, but again, this is by no mean exhaustive. Many of Nintendo’s handhelds have different color variations, some of which have premiums for certain colors. I try to present more of the average values for those systems. You might score better prices for less-desirable colors, but pay a bit more for the most popular — even if they aren’t more rare.
I may eventually add more unit variations to the guide over time as I also update values. If you feel I have made some glaring omissions, please let me know in the comments section below, but I cannot add every recommendation immediately.