Video game consoles come full circle

by Bennett Tiglao, Seattle Goodwill
December 30, 2016

Nintendo NESNintendo had exceeded expectations of their recently released NES Classic Edition Mini before this holiday season even got started. Complete with 30 games from Mario to Metroid, the Japanese gaming giant has found itself with one of this year’s most highly sought after gifts. 

The console was on everyone’s list with its friendly $60 price tag. In early November the Redmond-based gaming company sold out of its new “retro” console days after its release.

If you weren’t fortunate enough to get one, Seattle Goodwill’s online eBay store and has a steady stream of the classic gaming consoles along with more recent ones, too. 

Classic consoles such as the Atari 2600, the Nintendo NES and the first PlayStation regularly come through our online auctions and usually come complete with controllers, cables and games. We even see Xbox Ones and PS4s since both have recently released newer versions for the holidays.

With the new year days away, it’s the perfect time to clean out the closet and donate old electronics to Seattle Goodwill. Did you get a new gaming system for Christmas? Make a donation, and proceeds from the sale go to directly fund our free Job Training and Education Programs.

Seattle Goodwill properly recycles all electronics that aren’t sold, and even takes the time to wipe clean computer hard drives before resell to protect the privacy of our donors.

Gaming systems have undergone many transformations throughout the years. Check out the industry’s evolution below:

  • Atari 2600 (1977) – The first true mainstream home console. The foundation of all gaming which sought to bring the arcade experience into the home.
  • Nintendo NES (1983) - Iconic franchises like Mario and Zelda became the standard for all game systems to follow.
  • Sega Genesis (1988) – Leaning toward more mature games like the arcade classic Mortal Kombat, this system targeted older audiences.
  • Nintendo SNES (1990) –SNES game library consisted of incredible original RPG and fighting games, innovated the six-button controller.
  • Sony PlayStation (1994) – The graphics and deeper content set this console ahead of the competition and standardized the CD format of today’s games.
  • Nintendo 64 (1996) – Innovated standard features such as Rumble, four-player local gaming and analog control.
  • Sony PlayStation 2 (2000) – The best-selling video game console of all time. HUGE selection of games that catered to a wide range of gamers.
  • XBOX 360 (2005) – Despite the infamous Red Ring of Death, the 360 refined online gaming, introduced achievements, wireless technology, a hard drive and voice communication.
  • Nintendo Wii (2006) The Wii arrived to become a system found in the home of non-gamers and gamers alike, appealing to all ages.

One aspect of the Pacific Northwest that is overlooked is the budding gaming scene. From Microsoft to Nintendo, all the way down to the countless indie companies, Seattle is full of developers and designers putting out title after title.

In fact, the Emerald City has the largest concentration of game developers in the U.S. (some say it’s due to all the rain).

Thus, we see an abundance of gaming hardware donations. Whether you’re looking to complete your collection of vintage-game consoles, find custom designed gameware, huge lots of video games for resale or you’re simply looking for a great deal on a console that plays Blu-ray and streams Netflix, Seattle Goodwill has you covered.

Pro gaming tips

  • Clean your controllers: Residue from hours of sweat, spilled sodas and overall grime from dirty hands make your controller sticky and unresponsive. Use baby wipes, rubbing alcohol, Q-Tips, cotton swabs or toothpicks (for finer detailing)
  • Check for the right connections: Many of the older consoles were made in the age of cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs, and today’s LCD and Plasma TVs don’t have the right connections required for our beloved old-school gaming consoles. You’ll need a converter or adapter that will connect to a part your TV has. Many adapters on the market exist, and Seattle Goodwill frequently receives them through our donation stations. 


Bennett spends his working hours as an Admin Assistant with Seattle Goodwill’s Online Department. A jack-of-all-trades and a master of none, he enjoys photography, riding motorcycles and working on projects around the house.

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