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What are the differences between .2 grades (9-9.8)?


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I am new to the hobby and have been trying to understand the real differences between each of the .2 grades from 9.0 to 9.8. I think I have a solid understanding of the same concept in the card grading hobby but with sealed games, things get more complicated.

The WATA examples (images) on their website are, needless to say, rather useless for any self grade assessment purposes, so I came to ask here.

1) What really is the difference between a 9.2 and a 9.4, or between a 9.4 and a 9.6

For example, the attached picture is a 9.4. Is it over-graded? Is it normal (besides that there's a slight bowing on the shorter side). 

2) I assume WATA grades differently for each platform/console. I noticed that many GBA/GBC games look really clean even at 9.2/9.4, whereas N64 or NES games always have more damage at the same grade. Is that the case or am I making things up?

I remember seeing some comparison video in the card hobby, where a person took the same card from PSA 1 all the way to PSA 10 and kind of explained the differences - is there anything similar for WATA grades? I also understand that these are graded by humans, so inaccuracies will happen, but I am curious about what the community think is 'acceptable' for each grade.




Edited by goonhoon
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  • The title was changed to What are the differences between .2 grades (9-9.8)?
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WATA is a soft grader and their grading is HIGHLY inconsistent with a bunch of known mis-gradings/questionable grades.

Also, they do indeed appear to grade games on a different set of criteria based on the system, with older systems getting better grades for comparatively worse conditions compared to newer ones, and certain systems being allowed FAR more seal damage whilst still getting high grades.


Generally speaking, however, bigger number is better, so customers LIKE them to be this way. If you are looking for grading consistency, you are doing it wrong, apparently! 😅

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Unfortunately it’s more nuanced than 9.2 to 9.4 to 9.6. Seal condition can skew you up or down the condition gradient.

For example, 9.4 A+ is near mint, but 9.4 A isn't since it presumably has seal flaws like holes.

There’s been arguments about whether seal or box should be weighed more heavily when translating an overall wata grade to semantics like “near mint” and “mint.”

Personally, I like 9.4 or better on boxes and A++ for seal. That leaves less in question since A+ seals have been floating around with massive holes. Lol

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