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DefaultGen

Wata Spectre prototype article

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https://snescentral.com/article.php?id=1238&fbclid=IwAR11IsXsK7BtfAqfwqoxQVqY-slnU-spT8E_ZgL-l3_YUPZmUGm3v5eVQv8

tl;dr: Article alleges DreamTR sold an empty prototype shell in 2012, someone in the path of ownership put a retail PCB in it and resold in 2019, the latest buyer got the game graded by Wata as a prototype.

I still see people who have read the article claiming it's a legit prototype. I don't know enough to say either way, but the article sure seems damning to me, let alone just observations like the hole in the cartridge seems clearly cut for 2 chips, not one..

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I was just asking this question the other day about some proto disc based stuff.  Even if I know where they came from or what they are, I'm not sure how I could prove it or how Wata could definitively authenticate them.  As long as the files are different from retail is that enough?

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5 minutes ago, hyrulevyse said:

I was just asking this question the other day about some proto disc based stuff.  Even if I know where they came from or what they are, I'm not sure how I could prove it or how Wata could definitively authenticate them.  As long as the files are different from retail is that enough?

I suppose that brings into question other mediums as well. You can buy a modern eprom programmer such as the TL866 for $40 and burn eproms that you can just throw into a cart and call it a proto. I suppose it depends though, for example, any of the NROM sample carts like those cluclu land samples IMO are subject. They use a retail board (as nintendo didn't change the pinout of their mask roms for them) and use eproms with sometimes handwritten labels. Anyone can just source chips with date codes from that era. It makes the whole proto-world something to be very skeptical about it. Personally, I don't trust anything not on dev hardware.

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I would assume Wata would make anything right if there were an error but stuff like this is disappointing to say the least.

I'm of the opinion that just because you *can* certify something doesn't mean you *should*.  The inherent problem is that absolutely no one can be an expert in everything.  Yet a grading authority is expected to be just that, experts in everything.  The only way that is evenly remotely possible to have a network of experts in various areas that you rely on.  Everyone knows NES but what about Genesis?  Okay most know that, what about more obscure like Neo Geo?  Etc.  Or what about PAL?  What about Sachen?  What about protos?  Test carts?  Etc, etc. The list goes on.  

Either way I wish them the best but I'm also happy to see that some diehard collectors are looking at things with a fine tooth comb.  The community does a great job at policing itself. 

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2 hours ago, jonebone said:

The only way that is evenly remotely possible to have a network of experts in various areas that you rely on.

That's why Rick from Pawn Stars always calls in his experts!! 😆

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20 hours ago, DefaultGen said:

I still see people who have read the article claiming it's a legit prototype. I don't know enough to say either way, but the article sure seems damning to me,

There’s an update on the post now that Wata contacted him and plan to rethink their handling of prototypes. 

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11 minutes ago, Link said:

There’s an update on the post now that Wata contacted him and plan to rethink their handling of prototypes. 

Good on them. I'm still kind of surprised they didn't just crack open a legit copy for comparison; they would have immediately realized the proto was a fake. I'm assuming the guys who work there are pretty big collectors and probably had easy access to the game.

Maybe this was just the result of them taking on too much work and being overwhelmed? I suspect they severely underestimated demand and, conversely, overestimated their ability to grade games quickly, leading to a perfect storm of delayed service, consumer dissatisfaction, and grading errors. Hopefully they've righted the ship.

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Wata I’m ready to contract out my services to work on prototype authentication and better labeling of what makes them cool also I’m planning to end the matrix hahah 

Edited by Romiked2689
I think I should proofread before submitting

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So does this deter anyone wanting to send more to them? Ive also heard of errors in them grading the early releases of NES games. Do yall think this kind of thing could lead to their demise? 

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1 hour ago, Calan87 said:

So does this deter anyone wanting to send more to them? Ive also heard of errors in them grading the early releases of NES games. Do yall think this kind of thing could lead to their demise? 

Not a chance with all the heritage hype from the new buyers. The new crowd literally has no interest in vga besides crossing over. 
 

for me there prototype service is a complete joke they don’t do it right at all. They are more focused on the type of board and if the cart is there instead of the data which makes or breaks a prototype in value. Also the matrix is not up and I don’t think sending a rom to every current owner is a good idea either unless you have it graded then sell otherwise if you are buying wata dumped game there’s no assurance that it’s hasn’t been dumped and released 

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2 hours ago, Calan87 said:

So does this deter anyone wanting to send more to them? Ive also heard of errors in them grading the early releases of NES games. Do yall think this kind of thing could lead to their demise? 

There is far too much money behind them now to fail for proto mistakes or grading errors. What would hurt them if they were found grading games that were resealed but chances of that are slim to none.

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5 minutes ago, Mr. CIB said:

There is far too much money behind them now to fail for proto mistakes or grading errors. What would hurt them if they were found grading games that were resealed but chances of that are slim to none.

You say that, but it wouldn't surprise me if that happened to take place for a more obscure system.  Maybe not, but just imagine if someone, some day, sent in a resealed Atari Jaquar of 3DO title and someone definitely proved that it was a reseal.

I think the chances are slim that this will happen, but I think if they made that mistake, it was caught and well documented it could hurt them because people would wonder about the more common systems, if they've made similar mistakes and it would just be bad PR, even if the negativity isn't realistically warranted. And, I only think it's plausible because they seem swamped with work, which though good for business does also mean that they are likely to make more mistakes.

So... who knows, but I don't see that as being implausible.

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6 minutes ago, Mr. CIB said:

There is far too much money behind them now to fail for proto mistakes or grading errors. What would hurt them if they were found grading games that were resealed but chances of that are slim to none.

Could you be so sure though? I mean obviously they just shrugged their shoulders to a proto they had no idea about and graded anyway. I would almost bet they've done the same to a reseal thinking it could have been a 3rd party release.

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Just now, Calan87 said:

Could you be so sure though? I mean obviously they just shrugged their shoulders to a proto they had no idea about and graded anyway. I would almost bet they've done the same to a reseal thinking it could have been a 3rd party release.

I'm thinking proto collecting is too niche and the majority of collectors that care about sealed stuff didn't pay much attention to the proto debacle. If someone were to send in a resealed game, get a high grade, then do a tell-all on YouTube or something, that could create a lot of bad press and spook the sealed collectors that are currently forking over thousands / tens of thousands on HA. 

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2 minutes ago, RH said:

You say that, but it wouldn't surprise me if that happened to take place for a more obscure system.  Maybe not, but just imagine if someone, some day, sent in a resealed Atari Jaquar of 3DO title and someone definitely proved that it was a reseal.

I think the chances are slim that this will happen, but I think if they made that mistake, it was caught and well documented it could hurt them because people would wonder about the more common systems, if they've made similar mistakes and it would just be bad PR, even if the negativity isn't realistically warranted. And, I only think it's plausible because they seem swamped with work, which though good for business does also mean that they are likely to make more mistakes.

So... who knows, but I don't see that as being implausible.

They’ve been smart enough to stay away from certain systems they have no experience in and say they can’t or haven’t designed cases for them yet. Nothing in life is full proof but with the amount of money they have behind them they will be given a lot of passes. 

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15 minutes ago, Mr. CIB said:

There is far too much money behind them now to fail for proto mistakes or grading errors. What would hurt them if they were found grading games that were resealed but chances of that are slim to none.

I’d think if they had the same problems of vga it could lead to a downfall. So if someone sent a game in and it got grade vastly different then maybe. 

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3 minutes ago, Mr. CIB said:

They’ve been smart enough to stay away from certain systems they have no experience in and say they can’t or haven’t designed cases for them yet. Nothing in life is full proof but with the amount of money they have behind them they will be given a lot of passes. 

Well, at first I preferred WATA over VGA because they seemed to be more passionate about game collecting and preservation.  They still are, but whether it's growing pains or the fact that money changes people, I'm more cautious.

I hope I'm wrong and what you're saying stays correct, but sometimes demand drives poor decision making.  This is why "to much growth" can kill a business. My pile of stuff to get graded is getting bigger and bigger and right now, I'm leaning toward sending the sealed stuff to VGA, but I'm still waiting to see if WATA is just working through growing pains.

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1 minute ago, RH said:

Well, at first I preferred WATA over VGA because they seemed to be more passionate about game collecting and preservation.  They still are, but whether it's growing pains or the fact that money changes people, I'm more cautious.

I hope I'm wrong and what you're saying stays correct, but sometimes demand drives poor decision making.  This is why "to much growth" can kill a business. My pile of stuff to get graded is getting bigger and bigger and right now, I'm leaning toward sending the sealed stuff to VGA, but I'm still waiting to see if WATA is just working through growing pains.

Wata is for selling to the new crowd, vga is for more strict grading. Crossover tend to show anything over vga 90 is gonna be probably be a 9.8 a++ 

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2 minutes ago, Romiked2689 said:

Wata is for selling to the new crowd, vga is for more strict grading. Crossover tend to show anything over vga 90 is gonna be probably be a 9.8 a++ 

This 100% in the interest of full disclosure I’m out of the grading business. Maybe 5 years ago I got a lot of games graded with the VGA and they still sit on my shelf 🙂 Therefore, I haven’t sent anything to WATA. I don’t see the reason to grade anything unless you plan to sell in the near term. I hope WATA flourishes and succeeds but the growing pains they are experiencing are unprecedented. How many people work there? 3 maybe..... far too much work for the amount of stuff I see posted and they delayed turn around times. The only reason people are accepting of the delay in time is because the “potential” of the money they can make selling it. 

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19 minutes ago, Mr. CIB said:

This 100% in the interest of full disclosure I’m out of the grading business. Maybe 5 years ago I got a lot of games graded with the VGA and they still sit on my shelf 🙂 Therefore, I haven’t sent anything to WATA. I don’t see the reason to grade anything unless you plan to sell in the near term. I hope WATA flourishes and succeeds but the growing pains they are experiencing are unprecedented. How many people work there? 3 maybe..... far too much work for the amount of stuff I see posted and they delayed turn around times. The only reason people are accepting of the delay in time is because the “potential” of the money they can make selling it. 

I agree with wata being driven by the thought of cashing out I mean check eBay out craziness every week now! I will say I’m not a sealed collector( have like ten sealed) I like grading to keep them in the current state. I recently set up a display with my sealed games and dropped my Pokémon red and I’m sure it took a few points off the grade. Not happy at all 

 

 

I personally don’t see the difference between wata and vga on grading prototypes both completely miss what makes them more unique then sealed retail releases 

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