Following a number of substantiated online reports of hinge cracks on the recently US-launched Nintendo DS Lite portable, Nintendo of America has opted to offer free repairs to anyone who calls the company's support line to report the issue.
The company has issued a formal statement to Gamasutra regarding the reports, noting: “In the U.S., the reported number of small cosmetic cracks in the plastic hinge of DS Lite systems represents less than 0.02 percent of the total units sold. This cosmetic issue in no way impacts the gameplay or integrity of the DS Lite.”
The statement concludes: “Nintendo stands behind the quality of our products and encourages DS Lite owners to contact our Customer Service Department if they are not happy with the functionality of their systems.”
The DS Lite launched on June 11 in North America at a suggested retail price of $129.99. The new console is smaller and lighter than the original model and features a brighter screen display. Only the “polar white” color is currently available in North America, compared to the five colors in Japan and the two in Europe.
Initial reports had indicated that Nintendo might be charging either $50 or $75 for repairs to the system when faced with hinge cracking issues, something that the company has now superceded with this official statement on free repairs.