Ever since the days of the Super NES Nintendo has offered a wonderful little discount program called "Player's Choice" in which video games that have sold thousands of copies are reduced in price, typically by ten dollars or more. Game Boy Advance games have never been inducted into the Player's Choice collection, however, and now as rumors have begun to fly that that may change, Nintendo has put the kibosh on such thoughts.
"There are also currently no plans to introduce a first-party budget software range for Game Boy Advance."
Ever since I started playing the Nintendo DS last year I've begun to pick up a Game Boy Advance game here and there to enjoy between new DS game releases. Games that are legitimately new - Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, and so on - I have no problem paying $30 to own. These are new games with fresh adventures, after all. I expect to pay full price for new games.
On the other hand, it'd be nice to have some re-released classics such as the Super Mario Advance series to play while killing time at an airport or during a power outage; something familiar to play for a few minutes now and then. The MSRP of $30 each seems very steep to me considering that I already own all of these games in their original home console formats and (with the exception of Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island) there are no new levels to explore in these portable ports. I know that the main benefit of purchasing a portable version of the game is portability, but I can't get past the fact that I'm paying for the same product one more time.
Purchasing a used game for a cost less than a new game is always an option, but the used game market in local GameStops and whatnot are even more of an overpriced hassle. Considering that $30 gets me a brand new game with a crisp manual and a box, why would I want to pay $27 for a single used game pak that has been defaced and scratched off by the previous owner?
I realize that there is really no way to express these thoughts without sounding cheap, but I have to say that I'd probably pick up more first-party GBA titles if they went into the Player's Choice line with a $10 discount. I can understand Nintendo's position on the matter; if the games continue to sell at the standard MSRP and if profit margins for portable games are thin, then it wouldn't make sense to cut prices. I've held out hope for a Player's Choice line for Game Boy Advance titles, but it looks like it's just not going to happen any time soon.