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Club Nintendo Goes Live

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the who-doesn't-love-proprietary-currency dept.

Nintendo 59

AKAImBatman writes "Nintendo has launched their new North American Club Nintendo service that allows customers to earn 'coins' for purchasing Nintendo products. Coins can then be redeemed for items like exclusive DS games, playing cards, Wii Remote holders, DS cases, and other Nintendo branded items. Points are earned by registering Wii games (50 points), DS games (30 points), or by purchasing Wii Shop items (10 points) after your Wii Shop account has been linked to your Club Nintendo account. Users may link their account under the 'Settings' area of the Wii Shop channel. Prices range from 300 coins for a Wii Remote holder to 800 coins for the Game & Watch Collection for the Nintendo DS."

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Link is wrong (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142153)

Here's the link I originally submitted: http://www.wiimedia.com/news/view/club_nintendo_goes_live/ [wiimedia.com]

The information is more or less the same, but Ars takes a very negative view on the service and the issues they're having.

Re:Link is wrong (4, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142173)

First post on a story you submitted yourself.

Congratulation! The obsessive-refresh-click is strong in this one.

Re:Link is wrong (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142207)

Actually, it's kind of dead in here. I would have expected more people to be excited about this. Granted, the technical problems are putting a real dampener on things. (When I submitted the story, the site was operating fine. Didn't take long for that to change.) But it's still kind of cool. Ars' complaint about having to spend $800 to get a $20 game misses the point. The point is that if you already spent the money (which a lot of gaming fans have), then this program offers some nice rewards for being a loyal customer. Spending money for the explicit purpose of getting stuff on the site seems a bit silly.

On another subject, anyone else notice that the site uses the Struts framework? If the issues they're experiencing are any indication, I'd say this is a perfect example of why Struts should never be used for a scalable solution. In my experience, far too much logic gets executed on every request while accomplishing very little. Especially when programmers are tempted into putting session initializer actions into their webapp. Then things just go haywire. ;-)

Re:Link is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26142287)

Ha, off-topic in three posts, and it's done by the article submitter. Must be a record!

Re:Link is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26142341)

How do you figure? Ars' opinion on Club Nintendo and technical problems with Club Nintendo caused by Struts seem pretty on topic to me. What did you think the topic was about?

Re:Link is wrong (0)

module0000 (882745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142297)

Spending money for the explicit purpose of getting stuff on the site seems a bit silly

Really?

this program offers some nice rewards

Fail.

Re:Link is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26169855)

Fail.

Fail.

Re:Link is wrong (2, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142327)

Actually, it's kind of dead in here. I would have expected more people to be excited about this.

No doubt all the gamers are too busy being enthralled by the bundle of excitement that called "Home".

Insightful? (0, Troll)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142597)

In case any other potential mods are reading my description of Home as a "bundle of excitement" was intended to be sarcastic.

Perhaps someone misread my post as saying "bundle of excrement".

Re:Insightful? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142871)

Sarcasm is one form of communicating insight, I suppose.

Re:Link is wrong (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26143511)

In my experience, far too much logic gets executed on every request while accomplishing very little.

Yep, it's Java alright. ;^)

What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26144265)

Actually, it's kind of dead in here. I would have expected more people to be excited about this.

What do you expect, the same kind of excitement a new Playboy Club opening gets? Your expectations are too nerdy even for /., you, you, 9-10-Nerd!

Re:Link is wrong (1)

SeinJunkie (751833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26144569)

I'm excited about the potential to get a Super Famicom controller for the Wii, but at the rate that it takes to get points, it may be easier to just pay for it to be imported [play-asia.com] .

Re:Link is wrong (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26149591)

Ars' complaint about having to spend $800 to get a $20 game misses the point.

The complaint is only silly because Ars emphasized the wrong thing. What they meant to say is that there's nothing on the Wii worth spending $800 for to begin with. The point being that the Wii has problems that Nintendo should look into before putting effort into something like Club Nintendo.

Rob

Re:Link is wrong (2, Funny)

Laser_iCE (1125271) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142417)

Nintendo, Link, it's all the same to me.

works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26142177)

that link works just fine for me

A Brief YouTube History of the Steve Jobs Macworld Expo Keynote

Not Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26142191)

Not much really worthwhile there, is there. I guess I could get wii-branded bucket to hold my wii remotes, but I bet I could get a cheap rubbermade thing at wal-mart for just a couple bucks easier.

Less than I'd hoped for. (4, Insightful)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142461)

The reset on coins every "year" really sucks out any enthusiasm I'd have for this. Not sure if it is fear of the resale market (register games I'd paid $10 for instead of $60) or simply another inducement for kids to buy the next copy of Pokemon garnet-spiral ham, but as a long time consumer of the Big N's products this comes off as kind of dickish.

Re:Less than I'd hoped for. (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#26143249)

It would be silly to fear the resale market, because there's a reasonable expectation that the coins would already have been registered to the original owner of the game.

Re:Less than I'd hoped for. (1)

solkimera (1319365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26143355)

Yeah, hopefully it will pick up. A few years ago they gave out a zelda collector edition disk for I think three games registered. that was a pretty good deal. the disc contained the two nes zelda games and the two n64 zelda games.

Re:Less than I'd hoped for. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26146233)

The two collector zelda discs (the one mentioned and "Master quest") have to be the best gamecube discs ever

Re:Less than I'd hoped for. (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26144839)

It's not the resale market, as from what I understand the codes are unique per disk and thus one time use only. Most "points" programs have some sort of timeout on their points, I imagine it's partially to ensure they continue to get business and partially some sort of legal CYA.

Re:Less than I'd hoped for. (2, Interesting)

springbox (853816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26145565)

That's going to backfire on them. I'm not registering any first party titles to collect points *until* I see something good.

Re:Less than I'd hoped for. (3, Informative)

MagicM (85041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26146165)

Coins don't reset every year. Gold/Platinum status resets every year. Coins expire between 2 and 3 years.
From the FAQ [nintendo.com] , Coins and Status (Gold, Platinum):

Gold or Platinum status is based on the number of Coins earned in a Club Nintendo year. Each Club Nintendo year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. If you earn 300 Coins during a Club Nintendo year you will reach Gold status. Earn 600 Coins during a Club Nintendo year and reach Platinum status! [...] Your status will reset annually on June 30.

Unredeemed Coins will expire two (2) full Club Nintendo years (July 1 - June 30), plus whatever is left in the current Club Nintendo year, after they are earned.

Why only first party titles? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26142509)

Why is it that the only retail games purchased with codes redeemable are Nintendo's first-party titles? In Japan, pretty much every game, including third-party, comes with a Club Nintendo code to redeem. It's much easier there to gain codes than it is here.

Sure, the only games for Wii that I'd be willing to spend money on are most likely first-party, but for the DS? My money is on third-party.

And none of my old GC games are eligible? Why?

Re:Why only first party titles? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142885)

Probably because it's easier for Nintendo of Japan to negotiate payment for marketing data than with Nintendo of America. That's what registration is -- marketing research. Prizes is the cost of doing business, and a substantial number of US distributors don't make the game, just localize and distribute.

Re:Why only first party titles? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26144813)

Well, maybe they have to work out deals with the publishers first? Things take time, especially when dealing with companies like EA who would rather have their own program than participate in Nintendo's.

Re:Why only first party titles? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26145701)

And none of my old GC games are eligible? Why?

Because your ongoing possession of them is not floating more money in Nintendo's direction?

Re:Why only first party titles? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26148345)

Has always been limited mostly to first party published games in Europe.

My experience (3, Interesting)

KuNgFo0 (519426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142621)

I just logged in and converted my "My Nintendo" membership into "Club Nintendo" membership. It recognized 4 games and 1 Wiiware title that I had previously registered, and then allowed me to take a survey for each game. The surveys were pretty vague but after I was all finished I already have 210 coins. The biggest beef I've had since the beginning of my Wii experience is the fact that only Nintendo-brand games like Mario, Zelda, etc qualify to be registered. The dozen or so other games I've bought did not qualify, and there's not a good way to tell before hand if a game will qualify. I remember at the very beginning they advertised some deal like "register 5 games and get a free prize" however I could not find 5 games being sold that would qualify (this was like around 6 months after the Wii was released).

little dissapointing (2, Informative)

grendel03 (926696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142823)

The Japanese version of this has much more interesting rewards. I know the Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack was offered. There were limited edition DS's (just a special skin) and I can't remember what else.

  Hopefully I'll be able to add the rest of my wii/ds games and the consoles. It's kinda weird how the eligible games are picked. I bought my Wii on launch day with Twilight Princess and Excite Truck but only TP was eligible.

Good luck (1)

saintm (142527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26143071)

If it is anything like Nintendo's European efforts, good luck with actually getting anything worthwhile.

The best you'll end up with is a crappy wallpaper as they'll only have 5 DS cases available between the hundreds of thousands of users.

Warning: Nintendo might screw you in the long run (2, Informative)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26150873)

That's not entirely true. There are many interesting prizes, such as games, which are still available, but the problem is that they cost an awful lot of points. Here's the top items that you can buy at the moment in the European Club Nintendo 's Stars Catalogue [nintendo.co.uk] with their sale price in points:

  • Gold-like statuette of Link riding Epona [15.000]
  • DS cases brown (sold out) / pink [5.500]
  • Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising GBA (sold out) [5.000]
  • Metroid: Zero Mission [5.000]
  • DS Lite Value Pack (Super Mario) [5.000]
  • Mario Power Tennis [5.000]
  • Kirby and the Amazing Mirror (sold out) [5.000]
  • Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack - platinum edition [4.850]

There are many fashion accessories and cute gadgets among the less expensive items; you can also turn your star points into Wii points.

I registered 10 GameCube games since I joined and barely earned 4000 points. I haven't bought games since then and Nintendo did something that is certainly not going to encourage me to change that: this year, they decided that some games people have registered are now too old! So they withdrew the points from our totals, just like that! For me that's 2800 points vaporized. And they plan to do that every year. Imagine if your banker decided that some of the money you have on your account come from salaries that go back too far in time and just took the money away. I feel that's what Nintendo did. You don't take back what you give, that's plain stealing. Besides, this new system favours kids who can spend a lot of money in games and doesn't reward other patient loyal fans. That really didn't help improve the rather negative image that I've been having of Nintendo lately.

So watch out for Nintendo's nasty tricks in the US too!

If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26143115)

Where you can amass 6000 points having spent a small fortune on games, only to receive an e-mail telling you unused points will be whiped after 6months. You then wait around for something interesting to come up and when it does you find they already whiped your points... after 3 months.

It is at this point where I decided club nintendo is little more than a con, there is no reason whatsoever than ripping off customers to erase unused points, let alone in a time period less than that stated.

In other words, I simply wouldn't waste my time with it anymore.

Re:If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#26143241)

As far as I know, this only happened once, a half year back. I've been a Club Nintendo member for years. And it was only applying to stars of a certain age.

I bought a Mario Kart stopwatch one month before the partial wipe for 3500 stars.

Re:If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26143839)

I don't think the frequency of it really matters, it's the fact it was done at all and done earlier than stated that bugged me.

I could've got a £25 game out of it had anything decent came up so I do feel like I've been somewhat ripped off when I had the decency to buy enough games to get that many points in the first place.

What's more is they said at one point we'd be able to convert points into Wii points to buy Wii arcade games and so originally I was waiting for that to come along. Storing my points costs them nothing, but getting rid of them has cost them my loyalty. I do not see the point in buying brand new Nintendo games anymore, there was little point in the first place, but I did it anyway and this is how I was treated.

Re:If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#26147727)

Did you try to contact them about it? If not, why not?

Re:If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26149891)

Yep, I've never had anything from Nintendo support, I had an issue with the Wii whereby some of the downloadable games (like super mario world) don't display correctly on my screen. They never got back to me on that either and the fault still exists to this day despite being reported by many.

Re:If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26150165)

I had an issue with the Wii whereby some of the downloadable games (like super mario world) don't display correctly on my screen.

Make sure your Wii is configured for Widescreen/Progressive or Standard/Interlaced. Occasionally the system can end up being set to Widescreen/Interlaced which reeks all kinds of havoc with Virtual Console games.

(This particularly happens with Gamecube games that offered Progressive scan support. If you forget to press the magic combination when you start the game, it will happily reconfigure your Wii to Interlaced mode. Boo!)

Let me know if that fixes you up. :-)

Re:If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26151115)

I previously tried all resolutions, and have tried both S-Video and Component connections to see if they make a difference. The only way I got it to work was switching to a different screen altogether which is of little use as that TV isn't in this room where I want to play! When I bring up the Wii menu the game display is correct in the background, but as soon as you close the menu it warps back to fucked up mode, so it does seem to be a rendering issue with the Wii itself.

I did find something in some support area on Nintendo's site about the issue about pressing some horribly awkward button combination which made a couple of games work but still didn't solve it for most that had the issue.

I'll admit I haven't tried fixing it again in a while, frankly I gave up with the virtual console because of this- paying for games that don't work and having my e-mails ignored by Nintendo's support team was a little frustrating, so I just kept to XBox live arcade for things like sonic and downloaded emulators and ROMs for the games I'd bought but wouldn't run on the Wii.

Are the settings you mention part of a new update at all or were they always there? as I say it's been a while since I last looked. If they were always there then I'm sure I'll have tried them- I went through every combination of relevant settings possible at the time.

Re:If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26151819)

When I bring up the Wii menu the game display is correct in the background, but as soon as you close the menu it warps back to fucked up mode, so it does seem to be a rendering issue with the Wii itself.

That was the exact same problem I had.

I previously tried all resolutions, and have tried both S-Video and Component connections to see if they make a difference. The only way I got it to work was switching to a different screen altogether which is of little use as that TV isn't in this room where I want to play!

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that the TV that works is a CRT and the one that doesn't work is not. Am I right?

Are the settings you mention part of a new update at all or were they always there? as I say it's been a while since I last looked. If they were always there then I'm sure I'll have tried them- I went through every combination of relevant settings possible at the time.

The settings were always there, but it can be confusing to get them right. For some reason progressive scan vs. widescreen are different settings. I'd actually suggest trying the minimum of SD/4:3, and then try HD/16:9 if that doesn't work. Couldn't hurt to try, anyway. :-)

Also, Composite and SVideo cables require that you use SD, but the system can still emit a 16:9 signal. So you might want to make sure that you're using SD/4:3 if you're not using component cables.

Re:If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26151295)

Er, the Wii points store was opened before the stars started expiring.

Re:If you're lucky, it'll be like the European one (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26145595)

If you are super lucky, you'll be like me and have registered for "My Nintendo" using a valid email address and be unable to convert the numerous games you've purchased to "Club Nintendo" because the only way to merge accounts is to provide the address you registered "My Nintendo" under and their new email validator is too stupid to realize it's been given a valid address.

1UP (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26143773)

If I get 100 coins, do I get another chance at life?

Re:1UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26146247)

The fact that you have 100 coins proves that you wasted your first chance, so no.

Good luck, suckers (1)

alienunknown (1279178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26143875)

My Chintendo Vii don't need no stinkin club. Its all quality, right out of the box.

booooooo (1)

CheshireFerk-o (412142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26144555)

damn you, ./
im trying to use that site! =D
i guess this is some kind of incentive not to pirate the bigN's first party titles....

Exchange rate? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26144807)

How many coins can I get for a Camel buck?

Japanese one is more stable than the US site (1)

ufpdom (556704) | more than 5 years ago | (#26144861)

Sadly enough this site blows goes. I get errors and when I click on things it logs me out or 404. I am part of club nintendo japan and that site works like clock-work. Get game, input coupon, answer a few questions and points are posted. The American site seems very similar to respect when inputting a code. The only code of mine that carried over was Mario Party 8. As it stands right now its way too much effort to get 'coins'. Hopefully they'll get it right here soon because as it stands they are having a meltdown.

W00t! Great news! (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26144969)

I was just saying to myself the other day, "Self, you really need to involve more corporations in your purchasing decisions." I mean, I already had a customer loyalty card from the grocery store and just finished taking a survey from Slashdot that roamed from which websites I view to my wife's income to the kind of underwear I prefer, but that just wasn't enough! Thanks, Nintendo, for being there for me when I really needed someone to monitor everything I buy and then reward me with a pittance so long as accept their valuable limited time offer.

Scooby Doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26146169)

"Coin! Coin!" -Mummy from "Scooby Doo Where Are You?" episode. Sorry this obscure reference stuck in my head from childhood!

I can't for the life of me remember my Login (1)

Rutefoot (1338385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26146385)

For the MyNintendo site. Funny that they have a password retrieval system, but no way to retrieve a forgotten username.

Re:I can't for the life of me remember my Login (1)

Rutefoot (1338385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26146491)

Due to high traffic volumes, the sign in function may not be working properly. If you are sure your username and password are correct, please keep trying.

Which is made worse by that little problem. I've tried going through all possible usernames to no avail. I wonder how many times I've tried the right one only for the system to reject it due to their server load.

Re:I can't for the life of me remember my Login (1)

tfranzese (869766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26146609)

You can login and/or reset your password by using your email (the one on the account, which should be easier for you to recall I'd hope) where it asks for username.

Re:I can't for the life of me remember my Login (1)

Rutefoot (1338385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26148587)

Turns out it was the FIRST username I tried (and several times, mind you). I just happened to be experiencing those aftorementioned server lag issues.

Kool-aid? (1)

Stereoface (1400061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26147199)

Kind of reminds me of kool-aid points, but I guess they're not giving away cups or backbacks, it's real product, which is nice. I just remember saving up for like a year and getting two plastic cups- I still have those suckers somewhere. A friend of mine exchanged about 7 games for one new one at EB games- it seemed really unfair at the time, but games are really pricey.

?? out already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26147639)

hasnt this been out 4 like ages? or is that just here in england?

I don't want your steenking pointz. (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26151635)

The biggest fail in all this .. not calling them rupees.*

* no, not really

yay! i've been registering my games for years! (1)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153205)

and of course, it doesn't count for beans NOW, even though it shows that i've already registered tons of stuff. yay, punished for my loyalty!

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