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Nintendo Vows to Fix Any Dead DS Pixels

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the that-be-customer-service-with-an-N dept.

Portables (Games) 57

islandroots writes "In a statement issued soon after the problem came to light, Nintendo is offering to inspect and even fix the pixel problem at no cost as long as the machine is returned within the one-year warranty period. From the article: 'With a small number of Nintendo DS screens, one or two dots on the screen may appear to be 'stuck' on a particular color, such as white or red. This effect is caused when a particular pixel (the dots that make up the screen) is not working properly, even with the high quality standards set by LCD manufacturers. You will find this situation is common in many LCD devices, (PC monitors, televisions, cell phones, etc.)'"

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Wow. (4, Insightful)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910230)

Most notebook manufacturers don't do this unless there are two full pixels stuck, and the DS costs what, a fifth of the price of a new notebook? That's customer service for you. The DS is looking more and more appetising...

Re:Wow. (3, Interesting)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910419)

Its not the price, but the fact that the LCD real estate is smaller. If there's one pixel broke on a laptop screen, you have to replace the whole thing to fix it. On the DS, you replace one of the screens, which are less likely to have faulty pixels to begin with. I'll find it interesting to see how this stacks up against the PSP, which has a larger single screen.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10910487)

Yeah, no kidding. I spent $3,600 on a 23" Apple Cinedisplay and it has two very annoying bright green pixels. I can't even watch DVDs on this monitor because the two dead pixels drive me insane.

I contacted Apple, figuring they'd want to help since I spent as much money as a used car would cost, but they just said "we consider it acceptable unless your monitor has more than ten dead or stuck pixels within the area the size of a dime in the main viewing area".

So if you have fifty dead pixels, that's okay. Even if they're bright and annoying. As long as they're spread out and not all cramped into a tiny area.


Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10911754)

Whoever told you that at Apple is lying. I used to work for Apple phone tech support, and that wasn't the policy at all (as of the end of September).

Try calling again, and if you're told something you don't like there's magic words "I'd like to speak to your supervisor." And make lots of noise.

Apple likes to throw money at its cutsomers, even if it dosen't always seem like it. I've seen so many replacements that it amazes me how Apple keeps in business.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10917351)

I work for AppleCare (T1) and that's bullshit?

I bet they transferred you to one of those moron Indian Transworks motherfuckers.

Re:Wow. (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910891)

I won't buy anything lcd unless it comes with a warranty for 0 dead pixels, for most laptops and lcd's it means factoring in the extended warranty as part of the cost. Only 0 dead pixels is acceptible.

Re:Wow. (1)

netfool (623800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10911845)

So you've never owned a LCD I take it. Have you ever seen a dead pixel?

Of the 784,432 pixels on my screen right now, one is dead.
I notice it about 1% of the time I'm on this computer, and I only notice it for about a fraction of a second.
To refrain from buying a LCD in fear of a single dead pixel is silly. You will hardly ever notice it. And it you do, you'll see it for about 1/4 of a second and move on.

Re:Wow. (1)

Zutroy Of Earth (114413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10911895)

Is that pixel dead or color stuck? Like another poster pointed out, a pink or red pixel in the middle of your screen just might be a tad annoying. On the other hand, your brain can probably 'fix' a dead pixel automagically :p

Re:Wow. (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 9 years ago | (#10912365)

I own two at home, and many at work. We have no dead pixels. LCD's with dead pixels as far as I'm concerned are junk and I do notice dead pixels as they are quite distracting. The first lcd I've ever bought had a dead pixel and I brought it right back to the store. I don't refrain from buying an lcd for fear of a dead pixel I mearly check all warranties and refuse to buy ones that I don't feel offer a proper warranty. Sometimes there is a store warranty you can buy that covers a dead pixel, this would get factored into the price when choosing such an lcd.

Re:Wow. (1)

bob65 (590395) | more than 9 years ago | (#10914573)

Of the 784,432 pixels on my screen right now, one is dead. I notice it about 1% of the time I'm on this computer, and I only notice it for about a fraction of a second. To refrain from buying a LCD in fear of a single dead pixel is silly. You will hardly ever notice it. And it you do, you'll see it for about 1/4 of a second and move on.

The problem is, it's because it's just barely noticeable that it's so annoying. To refrain from buying a LCD in fear of a single dead pixel is silly (because you *can* get defect-free screens), but being afraid of a single dead pixel is not silly. I've used LCDs with dead pixels, and trust me - it gets *very* annoying after awhile. Also, once you know it's there, you're going to subconsciously look for it all the time, and that distracts you from whatever you're doing.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10921096)

Eh? My laptop, which I've been using for over *four* years now, has a single, always-green pixel at the two third of the screen starting from the left (it's about in the middle horizontally). It annoyed me for a week or two after getting my laptop, then I pretty much forgot about it. Even now, I'm having some difficulties noticing it...

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10912900)

I find it amazing that there are so few dead pixels.
If your 1280x1024 lcd screen has a single dead pixel, that's a pixel failure of 0.00008% of the pixels.

My 5 megapixel G5 has two visible dead CCD pixels. That means 99.99996% are good.

Re:Wow. (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915080)

lies damn lies and statistics. Your screen is malfunctioning.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10911393)

Well, just like this guy [] they might have some policy going on...

Re:Wow. (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10914119)

Two pixels? Have you looked recently? Most LCD manufacturers have dead-pixel policies now where they will only take back screens with 8 to 10 of the pixels dead or stuck (or even a certain number with a 1cm radius) and because of this, your liklihood is actually very high of purchasing a monitor or laptop with many dead pixels and being stuck with a defective display.

Some online stores [] have "zero dead pixel" guarantees if you'd like to pay an extra fee. I know I sure will when I buy my twin 19" LCDs after the new year.

Dead Pixels (2, Funny)

StandSure (778854) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910257)

I just got a Dell 2001FP and I don't see any .... hey wait a second there's one right in the center and it's pink ... DAMN YOU DELL!!! DAMN YOUSE ALL TO HELL!!

Re:Dead Pixels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10911554)

Hey, hey. That's your keyboard...and that's your nipple mouse.

Re:Dead Pixels (1)

nukem1999 (142700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10911600)

My first 2001 FP had 2 dead pixels and 5 stuck-on pixels. Fortunately, with that many, sending it back for a replacement wasn't difficult, but getting a swap on one or two pixel defects is allegedly like pulling teeth.

Re:Dead Pixels (1)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 9 years ago | (#10921191)

My favorite was getting my laptop back from Dell's repair department, and discovering it now had a pixel stuck on red. Despite the fact that it happened while the laptop was in their hands, they refused to fix it. The problem cleared up with a little massaging, but it still angered me on principle. It really boosts my confidence in a company when they break my stuff and then claim its within tolerances.

How sad this is news... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10910310)

A company announces it will actually fix the product they sold to you if it's in the warranty period. Really, this is the least to be expected from a warranty!

Re:How sad this is news... (2, Informative)

JVert (578547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910353)

Alot of devices have a dead pixel policy of like 4 or more before they will offer to repair.

Re:How sad this is news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10910493)

Tell me about it. When I first read this, I thought, "Well, duh. That's what warranty means, isn't it?" Then I remembered that I was scared away from buying a nice 19" LCD because there were huge bold letters that said warranty repair was only available if there were at least 8 dead pixels. I think that's unacceptable, and in light of that I must applaud Nintendo for having a much more consumer-friendly policy.

Re:How sad this is news... (1)

Thrakkerzog (7580) | more than 9 years ago | (#10912038)

Those devices probably have at least 4 times more pixels, so it is a similar agreement.

Re:How sad this is news... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10912167)

"A company announces it will actually fix the product they sold to you if it's in the warranty period. Really, this is the least to be expected from a warranty!"

It's pleasant news to a LOT of people who bought an original Playstation when it came out. Lots of those things had the skipping problem. Sony blamed the customers for using it wrong, and charged $80 to turn a little screw to adjust the speed of the CD-ROM motor until it worked again.

not now :) (1)

astrokid (779104) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910373)

My DS doesn't have any dead pixels (knock on wood) but if they somehow manifest, I'll be sure to not send it off to NOA until after Christmas :) I can't imagine not playing the DS for a few weeks. It's that much fun. .

Has anyone had any experiences trying to return it the store where it was purchased? I have the feeling their return policies vary from store to store, and possibly who is working.

Re:not now :) (2, Informative)

discoinferno (137207) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910420)

Dead pixels are dead from the start. It's possible to get 'sticky' pixels also, where they will display some colours, but not all. My laptop has one bad one that will display from white to dark blue, but no further (ie- a black screen will have one blue pixel on it).

Try your screen with all white and all black and if you don't see any bad pixels, you are set.

Re:not now :) (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10911835)

Heh... I've purposefully not done this with my IBM X31. IBM doesn't have a terrific policy on dead pixels, so I figure that, in this instance, ignorance is bliss - if I don't know about them, then I can't get angry if a) they're there, and b) IBM refuses to fix them ;)

Re:not now :) (1)

JMMurphy (533825) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915093)

I was under the impression that IBM would take any product back within the first thirty days with no questions asked...

I was looking around for a new laptop, and that was one of the major reasons I'd have gone with IBM. Perhaps I'm mistaken, however.

Re:not now :) (5, Interesting)

specialJay (672051) | more than 9 years ago | (#10911966)

I received my DS preordered from EBGames on Monday, and it arrived with one dead pixel. Before even hearing about their support policy, I called up Nintendo and was told that they would send another unit out to me immediately. When I receive the new unit, I am to return the defective one in the UPS return box provided, and ship it back to them. All this at no charge to me as long as they receive the defective one within 21 days.

In the meantime, I have been ignoring that problem pixel. =)

Re:not now :) (1)

SyncNine (532248) | more than 9 years ago | (#10921807)

For informational purposes:

I purchased a Gameboy Advance from Media Play and noticed immediately when I turned it on at home that there was a single pixel what was always white. I took it back and they gladly exchanged it for a different one that we tested at the store.

One of the better customer service experiences I've had.

i got one (1)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910416)

... a stuck pixel i mean. right in the middle of the bottom screen, always red.

it doesn't bother me much, but i'm very likely to return it in a few months once stocks have gone up again, since they're offering :)

Re:i got one (1)

UWC (664779) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910660)

Mine's a white one on the top screen. I haven't noticed it much at all while playing Mario 64, but I figure it might become annoying in darker games. I'll probably wait a while if I decide to return it, too.

Re:i got one (1)

hords (619030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10913301)

Mine had one dead pixel on BOTH screens. Luckily, I took it back to the store and got an exchange. They were a little hesitant to replace it for that, but they did.

I have one on my SP (1)

FriedTurkey (761642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910640)

I got a white "stuck" pixle on my Gameboy SP. Never got an offer from Nintendo to fix it. Doesn't bother me at all. I kept thinking it was something stuck on my screen.

Re:I have one on my SP (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10911114)

Did you contact them about the problem?
Otherwise it's a moot point that they didn't offer to fix it. They're making the press announcement as it seems to be a widespread problem (which it wasn't with the GBAs)

Re:I have one on my SP (0)

FriedTurkey (761642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10911444)

No I didn't contact them because it really wasn't worth the effort for something that doesn't bother me much. Just saying there was never an announcement about the problem for the SP or a public offer to fix it. Contacting Nintendo would put me though months of phone calls and being without my precious Gameboy SP. I am not sure the screens are that different from the SP so it was worth mentioning because they probably knew about the problem already.

Re:I have one on my SP (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10912391)

AFAIK they have better screens with higher definition - therefore a higher fault rate.
But I get where you're coming from... I've a laptop where the battery part isn't properly designed, so when on battery slight jolts will cut the power. Haven't sent it in yet... planning to, though.

Re:I have one on my SP (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10913920)

Uh, the reason you never heard about it is because it wasn't a widespread problem. If it's still under warrenty call them up and have them fix it.

Re:I have one on my SP (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 9 years ago | (#10911637)

I have a 'white pixel' that is actually a grain of dust. Is yours an actual dead pixel or just dust?

Re:I have one on my SP (1)

FriedTurkey (761642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10913657)

I have a 'white pixel' that is actually a grain of dust. Is yours an actual dead pixel or just dust?

No because it is not there when I turn it off.

Nintendo does actually fix those (1)

AllenChristopher (679129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10916737)

That isn't a stuck pixel. The Gameboy SP uses a front-lit screen, not a back lit. It's not a common kind of screen.

The result is that if a single bit of fluff gets in under the screen cover during manufacturing it becomes a mirror that reflects that light right back at you.

You only see it when the power is on because it's just a tiny, tiny thing. It wouldn't be apparent on a backlit screen.

White speck policy at Nintendo []

had that prob on my ds (0)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 9 years ago | (#10910968)

constant white pixel located about the middle of the top screen. I returned it. Almost didn't get a replacement for it though. The EB was sold out of DS's until January, but they called another EB which still had a few, so I drove there and exchanged it.

You can get exchange from NOA themselves, too (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10911321)

If you live around Redmond, you can actually get it exchanged at NOA Headquarter in Redmond.

There were few in their technical support center with exact same problem. Then did replace mine, but I heard them talking about considering 5 pixels or less per quadrant is considered normal.

Although, it seems like they have exchanged that customer's unit anyways.

Wonder if that implying that you CAN get denied if it's less than 5 pixels or less...

Re:You can get exchange from NOA themselves, too (1)

ayersrj (701333) | more than 9 years ago | (#10911433)

Five pixels is a bit much, even for a notebook. I'm really surprised they're willing to change it even for a single pixel. It's a pretty classy move, most would say one or two is within standard parameters.

Re:You can get exchange from NOA themselves, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10911729)

Indeed, their wording is tricky, too.

>We are happy to inspect and, if necessary, fix
>your system at no charge within the warranty

The key thing is "if necessary" wording they use. This could be mean if they see less than 5 pixels per quadrant (note this, literally interpreting what this is saying, this can be mean you can have up to 20 on the screen and still considered normal.) they find it "not necessary" to repair.

Da da da (0, Offtopic)

TheBot (806046) | more than 9 years ago | (#10912883)

How doooo you fix a bad pixel? I dont have the DS yet, although I know their are plenty in the backroom at work that I could buy, I do have a LCD monitor that has one. Any hints on how to fix it?

Re:Da da da (1)

hords (619030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10913324)

Replace the LCD screen in the device. I believe that is the only way.

Re:Da da da (1)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10919297)

Hold a voodoo ceremony to revive it.

Wonderful replacement method (1)

slapple (758402) | more than 9 years ago | (#10913501)

I've got a white dead one on the top screen. I called up Nintendo. They took down my information. They told me they'll ship me out a new unit, and that it'll be here in 3-4 business days. All I've gotta do is put my busted one in the box that it comes in and mail it back. I won't miss a beat. Pretty nice.

Re:Wonderful replacement method (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 9 years ago | (#10914226)

what if you decide to keep them both when the new one comes?

MetroidHunters is a download-multiplayer game. You should be able get some multiplayer action in with your friend that couldn't get his.

Re:Wonderful replacement method (1)

slapple (758402) | more than 9 years ago | (#10916330)

They take down my credit card information too. They'll charge it if they don't get my broken DS within 21 days. I guess a friend and I could get at least few days of multiplayer Metroid. >:)

I got one too (2, Interesting)

durtbag (694991) | more than 9 years ago | (#10914070)

I bought two, one for me and one for my gf. Mine is ok but my gf's has one white DOA in the -X,-Y quadrant of the touch screen. Having a slight OCD problem, the pixel in question annoys her to no end.

Thank you Nintendo for offering to fix this. I almost had to give up mine in the interest of domestic tranquility.

I did it monday (2, Informative)

69sofine (814153) | more than 9 years ago | (#10914243)

i called them monday and there exchanging it for me.
there shipping a new one out to me first and all they needed was a credit card # in case i didn't send the original one back in there enclosed postage paid envelope.
here a copy of the email confirmation they sent me


Thank you for contacting Nintendo regarding our Advance Replacement
program. We wanted to let you know that your order has been shipped to you
as requested. You should receive your replacement system within the next
two to three business days.

To avoid a charge on your credit card, please follow these instructions.
Nintendo must receive your non-working system within 21 days from the ship
date of your Advance Replacement system.

When you receive the package from Nintendo, please do not discard the
packaging. You must use the packaging and enclosed adhesive to return
your system to Nintendo. Do not use your original system box as it
may attract undesired attention. Please remove all games and accessories
(including memory cards and wrist strap) from the system.

Included with your replacement system will be a pre-paid UPS return label.
Seal the box with the enclosed adhesive. Fill in the "From" section of the
return label and adhere it over the top of the existing label.
Note: The return label includes a barcode which, when scanned by Nintendo,
prevents your credit card from being charged. Not using this label may
result in an unnecessary charge. Retain the bottom portion of the label
(which includes the tracking number of your package).

Once your package is ready for shipping, please take it to your nearest
UPS location. This includes all UPS Store locations, UPS Customer
Centers, UPS Drop Boxes, Authorized Shipping Outlets and UPS drivers. To
find the UPS location nearest you, please visit the UPS website at to use the "UPS Drop-off Locator" feature or call UPS at
1-800-742-5877, option number 5.

Please send in your non-working system as quickly as possible. We will
notify you, via e-mail, when we receive your return. Your replacement
system comes with a one year warranty.

If you have any questions, please reply to this e-mail and let us know.
Thank you for your time and for your continued support of Nintendo. We
hope you enjoy your replacement system!


Nintendo of America Inc.

Maybe we'll finally see an end... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915760)

To Nintentrolls bringing up PS2 Disc read errors all the time. Sony replaces PS2s with those for free too.

Re:Maybe we'll finally see an end... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10916299)

Sony didn't start replacing PS2 disc read errors until they got their asses kicked in a class action lawsuit.

Nintendo Fixed My Dead Pixel! (2)

theraccoon (592935) | more than 9 years ago | (#10918267)

I got my DS in the mail from Amazon on Tuesday. It had a dead pixel out of the box. Of course, my first thought was I'll return it to Amazon, but they don't have any in stock. What's a gamer to do?

On a whim (before hearing anything about this article), I called Nintendo Customer Service yesterday. I told them I had a single dead pixel, and wanted to know if they'd fix it. Being employed as a high level tech support guy for a fairly large computer company, I've turned down several people wanting their displays repaired for one, two, even three dead pixels. It really sucks, I have a hard time justifying these things myself, people usually go away pissed, swearing to just return the product, but I have no choice. The company sets the standards, and if I don't follow them, I don't get to buy any more games. (Although the irony here is I have a lot of free time to play those games I can't buy. Heh.)

I was fully expecting to get the same response from Nintendo.

I almost dropped my DS when the phone agent said, "We can replace your unit."

I had to make sure he'd heard me: "Wait, I said there was only ONE dead pixel. Just ONE. You're going to replace my whole unit for ONE dead pixel?"

"Yes," he replied. "Nintendo wants to be certain you have a great gaming experience, and if there's a pixel out on the screen, that could interfere with the game, so we want to fix that."

In less than ten minutes. he had setup the replacement. The new DS will be in the mail Friday, and 2 - 3 days later in my hands. I use the return shipping label they provide (read: paid postage) to send my unit back. The guy I spoke to was pleasant, asked about what games I was looking forward to for the DS (he said he'd already played Mario Kart DS, and that it's really fun with the touch screen -- "a whole new game") and we were done.

I'm fully impressed with Nintendo on this one. I haven't had to call Nintendo in over a decade, and it's great to know they're still the same rad company they were when I was a kid. If you've had your eye on the DS, go buy it. It's a awesome little gaming device, and although a bit heavier than the SP, I have no real complaints. At least, not anymore!

Industry Standard = Don't Replace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10920891)

The industry standard is that if there are 5 or less dead pixels... and none are next to each other, then it is not going to be replaced. A couple companies have told me this - including NEC, who would not replace an LCD flat panel (I returned it to the store instread of to them)

Nintendo is doing a good thing by offering to replace a screen with 1 dead pixel or two.
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