FatHeadCat

Sealed Video Game Guide

Determining whether a sealed game is genuine or a fake can be quite hard unless you handle a lot of real seals. You get a “feel” for the genuine seal. Having said that however, there are some general rules which I have listed below which will hopefully help you out if you are in doubt. If you have any suggestions which are not described here then please let me know by emailing fatheadcat@fatheadcat.com and I will update this guide for the good of all :)

In general all PAL games come with some kind of tear strip.
All Japanese games come with some kind of tear strip. The cellophane used for Japanese games is usually very thin.
No USA games come with tear strips, which for later systems makes it very easy to fake.

  • Game Boy Advance – PAL
    Always sealed with Y-fold corners and the red Nintendo tear-strip down the left edge where the Game Boy Advance logo resides. Anything else is a fake.
  • Game Boy Advance - USA
    Always shrink-wrap sealed with a H-seam across the back and down the two sides. Anything else is a fake.
  • Dreamcast- PAL
    Always sealed with Y-fold corners and a clear tear strip across the bottom area of the box. Anything else is a fake. Some were resealed due to the insertion of additional language instructions. These are reseals and do not have the tear-strip, so are fakes.
  • Dreamcast- USA
    Always sealed with Y-fold corners and a no tear strip. The seal is always tight and thick to the feel. Anything else is a fake. Some were opened by Canada to insert French instructions into them and then heat-shrunk cellophane sealed, but in all honesty that is a reseal, so a fake.
  • Gamecube- PAL
    These are always sealed with the Y-fold corners and a tear strip just below centre. If they were manufactured by Nintendo then the tear-strip will have “Nintendo” written on it in red. If they were not manufactured by Nintendo then the tear-strip will be clear. Some games were released as “big boxes”. These usually were sealed with a single large clear round sticker across the opening edge. Some European ones however were also sealed with cellophane which had the red Nintendo tear strip too Anything else is a fake.
  • Gamecube- USA
    Always sealed with Y-fold corners and a no tear strip. The seal is always tight and thick to the feel. Anything else is a fake. Some were opened by Canada to place French instructions on the back of the box and then cellophane sealed.
  • WII - PAL
    These are always sealed with the Y-fold corners and a tear strip just below centre. If they were manufactured by Nintendo then the tear-strip will have “Nintendo” written on it in red for first editions, or the tear strip will be “Nintendo” in black if they are subsequent editions. If they were not manufactured by Nintendo then the tear-strip will be clear with the red recycle symbol on it at intervals. Some of the WII games are released as special editions in big boxes. These are usually sealed with big round clear stickers (a couple of recent ones have no stickers). Be aware that these stickers can be removed with a hair dryer and then re-applied. Look for creases Anything else is a fake.
  • WII- USA
    Always sealed with Y-fold corners and a no tear strip. The seal is always tight and thick to the feel. Anything else is a fake.
  • PC-Engine
    These always have the Y-fold corners and a tear strip which either runs along the bottom of the box or down the vertical spine card edge. The cellophance is kind of very thin to the touch and can have quite some movement to it. The six or so Super Grafx games were heat shrink-wrap sealed and may have had defects common with this kind of sealing, such as random holes and dots in the cellophane. In any case the shrink-wrap is sealed along the top and bottom edges. Anything else is a fake.
  • Sega Genesis
    These were always sealed in a tube of very thick cellophane. The top and bottom edges were cut off in the tube and that is where the seals are. The long edges should not have any sealing lines. If they do then it is a fake.
  • Sega Megadrive
    These were never sealed other than with a daft oval sticker with Sega written on it.
  • PS1 - PAL
    These were always sealed with the Y-fold edges and a clear tear strip along the bottom edge with the word “Playstation” written on it in black. In addition to this the box has a PS hologram stuck to the front or the back.
  • PS1 - USA
    The common aspect of all USA PS1 games is that they had a stuck-on seal along the top edge of the box with a silver pull tab and writing about the game, such as the title, how many discs and the catalogue number. All USA PS1 games had this. The shrink wrap varies. It can be the more common Y-fold edge type, or in some cases it is the thick heat-shrunk type. The heat-shrunk type is subject to issues such as holes in the shrink wrap. In any case they all had the top edge seal strip. Anything else is a fake.
  • PS2 - PAL
    These are always sealed with the Y-fold edges and a clear tear strip along the bottom third edge with the word “Playstation 2” or in some cases “Playstation” written on it in black. In addition to this the box has a PS hologram stuck to the front or the back. Anything else is a fake.
  • PS2 - USA
    The original PS2 games adopt the same seal strip as the USA PS1 games and also Y-fold cellophane seal on top of that. Later on the PS2 games were just sealed with the Y-fold cellophane and the seal strip was dropped. This can make it awkward to detect a factory seal and a reseal or a fake seal.
  • PS2 - Japan
    These are always sealed with the Y-fold edges and a clear tear strip along the very bottom edge with the word “Playstation 2” or in some cases “Playstation” written on it in black. In addition to this the box has a PS hologram stuck to the front or the back. Anything else is a fake.
  • Nintendo DS - PAL
    The PAL DS is always a fat clear box. Fakes will usually come in the USA style slim black box, but with a PAL format inlay. The PAL games always have the Y-fold edges and a tear strip. The tear strip will be a red “Nintendo” embossed style for first editions manufactured by Nintendo. The tear strip will be a black “Nintendo” embossed style for subsequent editions manufactured by Nintendo. The tear strip will be clear with the red recycle symbol on it for third party releases. Anything else is a fake.
  • Nintendo DS - USA
    The USA DS games are probably the most faked of all games. Their boxes are always black and are slim in comparison to the PAL DS games. There is no tear strip, but they are always Y-fold edge cellophane sealed. Anything else is a fake. Fakers sometimes use the PAL boxes with the USA inlays and the images on these are many times stretched out to fit the area being printed on.

Other things to consider when collecting sealed games…

If bought from a shop they may come with additional security stickers or punctures in the cellophane due to the security devices inserted into the games. These generally help authenticate the seal, but are not the most desirable condition collectors want as security stickers can be very troublesome to remove.

Some shops would open the original seals, insert a security strip/chip and then reseal the game. These in my opinion constitute fake seals.

Some countries will stick additional hologram stickers onto the seal, or reseal them with tape with logo written on them, such as the Nortec tape used in Greece.

Some sealed game sellers will also stick on price stickers, etc to cover cracks in the box or holes/tears in the cellophane.

Just like all collectables, the price of a sealed game is driven by availability, desireablility and condition. Sealed game collecting is a good way to invest your money as they generally rise in price, but please be careful as there are a lot of reseals and fake seals out there. If in doubt don’t buy it and don’t believe what a seller may tell you. If they don’t fit the descriptions above then they will more than likely be a fake !!!