Tony’s Time: The Resiliancy of Nintendo
Tony’s Time might be a bit short today, but I just wanted to talk about something I’ve noticed over the years and something that many people have talked about and that’s how sturdy Nintendo products have been. These stories go back as far as Nintendo’s entry into the video game space.
The first, and probably most obvious, example is the Nintendo Entertainment System. This was Nintendo’s first real step into the gaming market and they started off with a bang. That system, which was marketed as a toy has proven that it can stand the test of time. It’s been around since 1985, 25 years ago, and there are still systems that were sold then that are working today. Sure it might take some creative abuse to get it to work properly. There have been techniques developed over the years to get the games to work, some of them work, some not so much, but it still works. You can even find replacement parts for the pins that connect the games that will extend the life of the system probably another 25 years. For their first home console Nintendo sure knew what they were doing, even back then.
Then there’s the Game Boy; Nintendo’s first handheld system. Sure they had the Game & Watch, which still work today, but this was Nintendo’s first handheld system that could play different games. The most amazing piece of evidence that shows how tough this system was comes from the first Gulf War in Iraq. The system was the victim of a bombing and the picture evidence shows it was pretty beat up, but you could still turn it on and play Tetris. If that’s not a quality system I don’t know what is.
We now, recently, saw evidence of a Nintendo DS being dropped into the gorilla area of a California zoo. The system was picked up by the ape that then proceeded to do what apes do. It chewed on the system, it beat the system, and it even looked, at times, like it was playing the system. Zoo keepers managed to get the system back from the gorilla and despite a few bumps, bruises and drool it worked fine.
Sure Nintendo has had a few bumps in the road. The DS Lite suffered from occasional hinge problems, NES’s need some TLC to get into complete working order, but they’ve been very easy to work with should the need arise for a replacement system. The best evidence I have comes from personal experience. During the early years of the Wii I had a lot of issues with my system. I had to have it sent back 5 times in the span of two years because the disk drives were continually failing. Every time Nintendo fixed the system for free and extended my warranty another year. I even had one period where the system was scratching up games. One of the games in question was not even a Nintendo game. The Nintendo rep I spoke to said that they couldn’t replace the game with a new copy, but they would offer me a free Nintendo game as a replacement. I don’t know any other company that would do that.
So, if you ever wonder which company has the most reliable systems I think you only need to look one place. Nintendo has survived wars, mother nature and the test of time.