Also makes large donation to disaster relief operations.

From almost the moment they entered the video game industry, Nintendo started earning a reputation for innovative hardware and timelessly fun game design. In recent years, though, we’ve come to learn that it’s also a company of god-tier customer service.

From preserving nostalgic stickers to finding lost wedding rings, the kindness and caring of Nintendo’s repair department has become the stuff of legends in Japan, and that legend is continuing to grow with the company’s latest announcement, which comes in the wake of the 2024 Noto earthquake. The earthquake struck the northern coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu on New Year’s Day, causing extensive damage and necessitating widespread evacuations, and to help boost the spirits of those still picking up the pieces, Nintendo has announced that if any victims of the quake had their Nintendo video game hardware damaged during the disaster, Nintendo will fix them for free.

“We would like to offer our deepest sympathies to all those affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake, and are praying for a swift recovery for the region and its people,” Nintendo’s statement begins. It then goes on to offer the free repair services to anyone living in the 47 municipalities in Ishikawa, Niigata, Toyama, and Fukui Prefectures that make up the official government-designated disaster area, a full list of which can be found here.

▼ It’s especially good news for anyone who was in the middle of a long game, like Tactics Ogre, when their hardware broke.

In 2024, the phrase “Nintendo hardware” will have many people thinking exclusively of the Switch, but the free-repair offer also extends to the New Nintendo 3DS LL and Nintendo 2DS, as those two members of the Nintendo handheld system family tree are still covered by Nintendo’s service department, and the same goes for the Nintendo Classic Mini Famicom and Super Famicom (the Japanese-market versions of the NES and Super NES Classic Editions). Nintendo is even offering repair services for the Wii U and peripherals for the Wii, provided the necessary parts are still in its warehouse stock.

In further shows of generosity, the free-repair period will last for six months, with no fees for parts or labor for disaster victims’ hardware that arrives at Nintendo by July 1. Oh, and don’t worry about tracking down your receipt or hardware registration card, or doing the math to see if your hardware is still in its warranty period. Nintendo has said that it doesn’t care about any of that: if you’re in the disaster area and have eligible hardware that needs repairs, they’re free, regardless of whatever documentation you may or may not have.

Though this isn’t the first time we’ve seen such caring gestures from Nintendo, Japanese Twitter commenters were touched all the same, with reactions such as:

“I love that Nintendo is this kind of company.”
“Totally living up to their reputation.”
“So much respect for this company.”
“There are so many kids who are going to have smiles on their faces because of Nintendo.”

Of course, with video games being a hobby that people of a wide range of ages now enjoy, it’s not just kids who’ll be benefiting from the free-repair program, but a whole bunch of other victims of the earthquake too, all of whom could probably use a little entertainment and an occasional mental break from inevitable stressful periods of waiting involved in disaster recovery operations. Oh, and it’s not like Nintendo isn’t aware of the need for more direct, practical aid for victims too, and the company has also announced that it’s making a donation of 50 million yen (approximately US$345,000) to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help with relief projects related to the quake.

Source: Nintendo, Twitter/@NintendoCoLtd via Otakomu
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