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Portables (Games) Hardware

Nintendo Vows to Fix Any Dead DS Pixels 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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Nintendo Vows to Fix Any Dead DS Pixels

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  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Txiasaeia ( 581598 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @01:33PM (#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. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by xenocide2 ( 231786 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @01:46PM (#10910419) Homepage
      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.
    • 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.
      • 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.

        • 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
        • 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 ge
        • 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* ge

    • by Eil ( 82413 )

      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
  • Dead Pixels (Score:2, Funny)

    by StandSure ( 778854 )
    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!!
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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!
    • Alot of devices have a dead pixel policy of like 4 or more before they will offer to repair.
    • "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.
  • 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 :) (Score:2, Informative)

      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.
      • 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 ;)
        • 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 :) (Score:5, Interesting)

      by specialJay ( 672051 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @04:13PM (#10911966) Homepage
      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. =)
    • 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.

  • ... 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 :)
    • 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.
    • 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 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.
    • 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)
      • 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.
        • 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.
        • 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.
    • I have a 'white pixel' that is actually a grain of dust. Is yours an actual dead pixel or just dust?
    • 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 []
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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...
  • 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.
  • I got one too (Score:1, Interesting)

    by durtbag ( 694991 )
    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 (Score:1, Informative)

    by 69sofine ( 814153 )
    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
  • by Anonymous Coward
    To Nintentrolls bringing up PS2 Disc read errors all the time. Sony replaces PS2s with those for free too.
  • 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 disp

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