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Joystiq presents

DS Daily: Reliability

Sure, the DS is known to have its problems -- like hinge cracks and shoulder buttons that sudden give up the ghost -- but how does your handheld stack up to your other electronics? We know many DS owners who are on their second (or third) PS2, and we don't even need to start comparing numbers when it comes to the infamous 360 red ring of death (because we can't count that high). Not every system has its problems, however, and even those that are common don't strike everyone. Some people just get lucky.

What we want to know, however, is how reliable is your DS -- and your other Nintendo products -- when compared to those other systems? More reliable, worse, or about the same? Have you had any experience with Nintendo's customer service? If so, how was that?

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 3)

Ramen Junkie1

9-16-2007 @ 10:40AM

Ramen Junkie said...

The only unreliable console I have is my NES which is almost to be expected.

That includes my DS.

Ok, technically me PS2 has trouble playing disks with a blue tint on the back like Frequency.


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9-16-2007 @ 10:45AM

Metal_Link said...

I don't have an iPod (GASP! :O) so I can't really compare my DS (which is still out for repairs, though expected back tomorrow) to other major electronics out there. Though my cellphone might be a good contender, it's "newer" than my DS, and half of each of it's hinges are actually speakers, but it looks like a Humvee compared to my Lite (Making the DS Phat still a Tank, for comparison).


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hvnlysoldr (NDF )3

9-16-2007 @ 11:14AM

hvnlysoldr (NDF ) said...

I'm on my third PS2. My DS Phat and Lite are OK. My broken GBA is even more broken since it was usable for GB and FFCC before. My NES died due to no maintenance, or it was working but games weren't. Genesis lying around. GCN is thinking the cover is open. Wii is doing good.


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9-16-2007 @ 11:17AM

Raian said...

I had a decent experience with Nintendo's customer service. Both hinges broke off my DS, and they replaced it with a refurbished one. The unit is in okay condition-- the screen had some distortion, discolouration in some parts-- which was disappointing. The biggest disappointment was that despite my attempts to keep those hinges safe-- they've already started to crack on the new unit.


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9-16-2007 @ 11:44AM

impact24 said...

I own a number of consoles released since the famicom. I've only had one console that had to be rebought since it consistently had hardware problems. That's the original playstation. I haven't had problems with my ps2....but I dont own any next gen system yet either.

Sad to say, my DS lite is the second console I have where I experienced problems. It has the crack hinge, shifting screen...and the touch screen on the extreme upper right corner can't be calibrated properly.

Interestingly, the PS and the DS lite where bought almost immediately as they were released.

In general, older systems seem to be more "reliable"...but I guess that's expected since they don't have as much sensitive parts.


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9-16-2007 @ 11:55AM

axela said...

My first DS lite had a tiny crack at the Hinge. When I took it back to Nintendo, the guy swapping it for the refurbished system really manhandled the sytem before the crack actually opened up.
My super nes is still workin awesome...

My first gen PSP has had a stuck pixel from day one. When I tried to swap it for a new one, all the other had even more dead pixels!
my PSone with LCD screen is starting to get a bit wonky...


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Jackson Pritt7

9-16-2007 @ 12:12PM

Jackson Pritt said...

I bought my DS Lite at launch, and it developed a hinge crack almost immediately. No big deal, since it's more cosmetic than anything else. But about a month ago one of the shoulder buttons stopped working, which is a much bigger deal since it's pretty difficult to play Mario Kart DS without items. I'm not the world's most careful guy when it comes to any of my systems, but I don't feel like I've manhandled it or treated it any worse than ought to be expected.

I'm not really sure what I want to do about the problem at this point. I really love my DS and it's saved me from boredom during my work commute, but I'm not really fond of the idea of dropping another $130 on a system I already own.


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9-16-2007 @ 1:04PM

Otaku.Anon said...

I bought by DS Phat, used from a pawn shop like 3 years ago. The thing was obviosly used and abused. It has worked for me for all these years. The right button stopped working but I fixed that when I bought a 5 dollar replacement case for it, to make it look new again. now if only i can fix the scratches EBA left on my touch screen..


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9-16-2007 @ 1:18PM

CC said...

Well, 2 things so far with my ds lite (bought on launch day) :

1) I got the crack at the hinge...

2) Listen to this : My "R" Button doesn't work anymore. That is VERY VERY annoying. Since I bought the system a year and a couple of months ago (launch was on June), they wouldn't replace it for free. Instead, they told me it would cost 90$ to get it fixed.

I am very angry about this, and looking forward to solutions that you guys (and girls :P) could think of to help a brother out. (I DON'T WANNA PAY!!)

I've owned a nes, super nes, 64, gamecube, gameboy and a ds lite and bought many games on all of them...

I think I've earned the right to get it fixed for free, don't you think so? ... :*(


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9-16-2007 @ 1:33PM

Sean said...

I've had a lot of Nintendo Consoles. Right now, they're prolly happy at all the money i'm handing over to them considering I bought almost every Nintendo Console. NES, N64, 2 Gamecubes, Wii, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Advance SP, Gameboy Micro, Nintendo DS, DS Lite. Etc.

Well, it's a lot of consoles but it's missing a few of them. ;P

Anyways, for some odd reason i've had problems with my handhelds but besides that every other thing works fine. They break however during the warranty period which doesn't bother me. They fix it in like a very short time. Nintendo Customer Service = Amazing.

Overall, even if I've had to replace my DS Phat 3 times and my Lite once and soon to be my Micro once due to the L button being a bit unresponsive, I am ultimately pleased with my consoles because they handle their defective returns in a very pleasing way. I'm not connected to someone in India I can't understand, I'm not on hold for three hours, most for me was 3 minutes on hold.

Nintendo, you're doing a great job, keep it up! =D


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John B.11

9-16-2007 @ 1:34PM

John B. said...

Overall, my Nintendo consoles have held up extremely well when compared to other electronics. I think that recently they've started to let that reputation die down (hinge cracks and shoulder problems with the Lite, overheating problems with the Wii), but right up through when the DS Phat came out, you could count on a Nintendo product to be built for what was probably going to happen to a fair number of them: they were going to be manhandled and thrown around by a child.

My old iPod died from a short fall (hard drive scratched) and my current iPod is on its last breath due to leaving it in a hot car for a day. So yeah, Nintendo products stack up almost incomparably to other electronics in terms of durability.


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Orville the Unfathomable Time Walrus12

9-16-2007 @ 1:37PM

Orville the Unfathomable Time Walrus said...

My launch day DS Phat still works perfectly and is in perfect cosmetic shape. Lucky me.

The only video game system that I ever bought new that has died on me is my Gamecube, which I got about a month after it came out. About two years ago, it began to play games for about five minutes before giving me disc read errors, then shortly after that the motor that spins the disc burned out. Fortunately, a couple of months after that I got another one at a yard sale for free--paid $50 but it came with the Game Boy Player which I sold on ebay for just that amount because I already had one.

My N64, PS1, PS2 slim, GBA, GBA SP, GBA Micro, and launch day DS Phat all work perfectly. Every other system I own I bought secondhand, so I won't list those.


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9-16-2007 @ 1:38PM

Sean said...

The only thing that I've every owned that broke was the old PSP. My Ds, iPod and PS2 are all in great condition. Maybe that's because I try really hard to keep them in perfect shape.


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9-16-2007 @ 1:47PM

Toph said...

CC, I'm in exactly the same position as you. Launch day, right trigger not working. I'm considering just plonking down the cash for a new one, and maybe changing colors.


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9-16-2007 @ 1:54PM

outfaller said...

I've been a pc gamer for most of my gaming life and only about 2 years ago started buying consoles. i did own an nes when i was a kid and aside from constant button mashing that broke the gamepads every couple of weeks, it never failed on me. So far i own an xbox, a ps2, a ds lite and a psp. none have failed on me yet and work as new. the portable ones are the ones i use the most and treasure the most. after a year of use psp is in perfect condition except minor barely visible scratches on the screen and back after a year of use(it was a while before i decided to buy some protection for the fragile psp). the ds i owned for almost a year and everything's in tact so far requiring almost no maintenance. my only complaints is a single dead pixel on the upper screen but it's only really noticeable during the loading screens. i have to clean it once in a while since it's a white ds and becomes dirty pretty easily. hinges aren't cracked and shoulder buttons work without any problems. only two scratches are on the bottom screen from the time one of my friends stupidly used a mechanical pencil as a stylus.

everyone of my consoles are as reliable as the next one(i guess i'm one of the lucky people), though walking around with a ds in my pocket i feel like i could be more careless with it than a psp.


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9-16-2007 @ 2:16PM

Bayli said...

I haven't had any console to break on me yet, (knock on wood, lulz.) other than my GameCube way back. And Nintendo did well with the repair and all. The only problems I have with my DS is the calibration, on BOTH my DS Phat and Lite. I seriously think it's from pressing down too hard while spinning on EBA, lol. My PS2 is still the original one, my Wii has done wonderfully, and no problems with my 360, then again I bought that a couple of months ago, lol. My brother's red light'd about a year and a half after launch.


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Justin A17

9-16-2007 @ 2:53PM

Justin A said...

I've been a Nintendo fan ever since SNES. (I'd have been one earlier if I had been born earlier...)
I purhased my DS lite 2 years ago and have so far changed it 2 times. The first time was due to the ds speakers which had just stopped working, and the second time was due to my left shoulder button which stopped working. I've been lucky all three times to have purchased the 3 year warranty (although I know nintendo provides a very good 1 year warranty). I have not purchased a new warranty on the newest DS in hopes that if this one breaks I can just go out and purchase a sweet new black and red one.


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9-16-2007 @ 2:53PM

fvig2001 said...

Let's see of all my consoles/handhelds
My most unreliable console was my playstation 1. The GPU fried itself and the audio normally had static at times. It was awful. My PSP and DS both have that diagonals problem. My DS also has a stuck pixel anomaly whenever you drop it, wherein this annoying pixel stays green and somehow disappears when you stop caring. Other than that no big problem.


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9-16-2007 @ 3:50PM

StudentID1165 said...

Don't have many things to compare it to, but my DS is in decent shape. I swapped out my launch DS because of a weird screen thing (sand or dust got under it), and even though the new one has a dead pixel, I rarely notice it. Works good as any other.

Compared to my iPod, it's a lot better. I never drop, manhandle, or otherwise the iPod; nothing has spilled on it; nothing has crushed it; etc. Yet the dang thing will freeze up every few weeks...


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9-16-2007 @ 4:53PM

CircusMcGee said...

I have never had a single issue with any nintendo system. My Gamecube and n64 still work fine, Wii is perfect so far, and the only reason my original Game Boy doesn't work is because I left the batteries in it for like a year and they leaked. Anyway, my DS Phat has taken all the abuse I have thrown at it and never given me any problems, I love it.


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