I noticed something this week that I thought was interesting. Last week I bought a couple games off of eBay – imported copies of Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger for the SNES. As soon as they came in Thursday morning, I examined them both to make sure everything was intact and all that. The following line of text was on the back of both boxes:
That may not mean anything to you just by looking at it, but you’re already well aware of the concept – it’s a suggested retail price of 11,400 yen, not including tax. I got curious as to what that would have cost back then and found a site containing exchange rates for each month back to about 1970. In March of 1995, when Chrono Trigger was released in Japan, the exchange rate was about 90 yen to the dollar. Do the math, and… this game’s MSRP in 1995 is $126. For one Super Nintendo game!
I guess the sands of time and Square’s love of remaking old titles are good for something, though – back about 10 years ago these games would still have fetched a stiff price on eBay, but I bought them for under $20 each just last week because the demand for that sort of stuff just isn’t there anymore. Oh well, either way that’s a bunch of cheap reading practice packed up in games I enjoyed the hell out of in English years ago. Right now I’m working on Final Fantasy V and I’d hazard a guess that I’m comprehending about 75-80% of the game’s text, which is a noticeable improvement even from just a few months ago.