News Archives for: December 2003

Nintendo's Call Center Braces For Intensified Post-Christmas Crunch
Posted on December 22, 2003 @ 11:24 AM EST by: Hairball
The gifts have been opened and the in-laws are gone. It's time for some post-holiday peace and quiet. Except that the kids won't stop pestering you with questions about how to defeat the bad guy in their new Nintendo video game. No need to worry: Even people with no video game savvy can find a sympathetic ear and a helping hand at Nintendo of America's Consumer Service Department.

Every year during the period between Christmas and New Year's, known at Nintendo as "Crunch Week," the Consumer Service Department sees a flood of inquiries. But with record sales of Nintendo's portable Game Boy® Advance systems – and a recent boom in demand for the Nintendo GameCube™ home console – those consumer contacts seem destined to balloon. During an average week, Nintendo responds to about 30,000 phone calls, 9,000 e-mails and 500 letters. But during Crunch Week, it typically handles 60,000 total inquiries. Consumers want to know everything from tips about the hot games they received to how to hook up their new Nintendo GameCube consoles. And Nintendo is there to help.

"Our in-house experts know these games and systems inside and out," said George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Game-play counselors have, at their fingertips, access to a vast library of information regarding more than 3,300 video games for all Nintendo systems."

Consumers can reach Nintendo four different ways. First, they can find extensive information at Nintendo.com. The recently redesigned Web site is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is the most comprehensive resource for Nintendo game and product information. Each month, Nintendo's Web sites average more than 5 million unique visitors and more than 70 million pages viewed.

By calling the Consumer Service Line at (800) 255-3700 between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Pacific time, consumers can speak with Nintendo representatives – in English, Spanish or French – about Nintendo game systems and subscriptions to Nintendo Power® magazine. Because of the large volume of calls on Dec. 26, the call center's hours will be extended that day only from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pacific time.

For game-play tips, consumers can call the automated Nintendo Power Line 24 hours a day at (425) 885-7529. The line is updated daily and contains information about more than 100 video games. If that's still not enough information, for $1.50 per minute players can call the Game Play Counselor Hotline at (800) 521-0900 between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Pacific time to get advanced game advice from a live operator. On Dec. 26 only, the hotline also will have expanded hours, from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pacific time. On average, questions are answered within three to four minutes.

Each year the Consumer Service Department at Nintendo headquarters in Redmond, Wash., helps more than 1.9 million people increase their knowledge of video games. Since the department began in 1985, Nintendo has helped more than 78 million people become better gamers. The department is composed of 100 game-play counselors, consumer service representatives and online staffers. During Crunch Week, their number surges to 150. Nintendo's customer-service employees typically stay with the department for eight years, compared with a customer-service industry average of less than two years.

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy® Advance and Nintendo GameCube™ systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.8 billion video games globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario™ and Donkey Kong® and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.nintendo.com.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Best-Selling Game
Posted on December 22, 2003 @ 11:21 AM EST by: Hairball
In the race to be the best-selling video game this holiday, only one competitor can get the checkered flag. In November, that game was Mario Kart®: Double Dash!!™, exclusively for Nintendo GameCube™. According to NPDFunworld's November Toy Retail Sales Tracking Service (TRSTS), approximately 528,000 copies of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! were sold, easily besting any other video game on any system.

This feat is even more remarkable when you realize that Mario Kart: Double Dash!! was in stores for only 14 days in November, following its launch on Nov. 17.

Additional Nintendo highlights from the November TRSTS data include:

  • 754,000 Nintendo GameCube systems were sold in November, making it the best-performing month in the system's history. The strong sales propelled Nintendo GameCube past Microsoft's Xbox in year-to-date sales.


  • Sales of hardware and software for Nintendo GameCube have increased at a faster rate than either of its console competitors so far this year.


  • Console sales, YTD versus 2002

    Nintendo GameCube: +61 percent
    Xbox: +5 percent
    PlayStation 2: -36 percent

    Software sales, YTD versus 2002

    Nintendo GameCube: +60 percent
    Xbox: +59 percent
    PlayStation 2: +21 percent

  • As for Game Boy® Advance, more than 1.3 million units were sold in November, beating the nearest console competitor by more than 50 percent.


  • When combined, Nintendo hardware accounted for 57 percent of total hardware units sold in November.

Nintendo Rewards Its Customers With New Loyalty Program
Posted on December 12, 2003 @ 1:00 AM EST by: Hairball
Nintendo of America, a company that's universally recognized for its deep and loyal fan base, now takes its customer relationships to the next level with the creation of a Customer Loyalty Program. Part of a completely redesigned Nintendo.com Web site, the three-tiered program rewards players for their site participation with exclusive news and inside information while soliciting feedback on Nintendo systems and games.

The Customer Loyalty Program's first free reward is The Legend of Zelda® Collector's Edition disc, which users can get by registering two of Nintendo's hot holiday titles and their Nintendo GameCube system on the site.

"Nintendo players around the world exhibit a level of dedication and loyalty that is unmatched, and the updated Web site and our new Customer Loyalty Program focus on our greatest assets – our fans," said George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "As an extension of our ‘who are you?' campaign, the new Nintendo.com Web site lets players explore a community of emotions and personalities, and allows our consumers to share their passion for video games."

The Customer Loyalty Program gives Nintendo the opportunity to communicate easily with its millions of loyal fans. Select members also may receive special promotional offers or awards as a result of their site participation.

The new program offers three levels of membership:


My Nintendo Members – All visitors to Nintendo.com can become registered My Nintendo members by providing their e-mail and home addresses. My Nintendo members may participate in surveys or forums and subscribe to value-added services such as e-newsletters.


NSiders – By registering at least one Nintendo product on the site, My Nintendo members become NSiders. They get access to hidden game content, cheat codes and other valuable information that rewards them for their loyalty to Nintendo.


Sage – Based on their frequent participation and feedback at the NSider level, the most dedicated customers may be offered Sage membership, bringing them into an inner circle of influencers who can retrieve premium content, help moderate forums and occasionally preview new Nintendo games and initiatives.
"The new Nintendo.com Web site will enable us to further strengthen our relationships with our valued customers," said Dan Owsen, Nintendo of America's online manager. "A higher level of feedback provided by our fans will give us a better view of what our fans want, which will help us tailor future marketing campaigns, customer service outreach and even new products to meet their needs."

The "My Nintendo" Web site is a secure customer service portal that provides Nintendo customers a single access point to their personal profiles and transaction histories with Nintendo. In addition to registering members, the "My Nintendo" Web site allows consumers to determine the status of subscriptions, orders and repairs; lets people view and change their profile information and preferences; and allows parents to manage the content and services provided to their children.

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy® Advance and Nintendo GameCube™ systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.8 billion video games globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario™ and Donkey Kong® and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.nintendo.com.

Hollywood Honors Video Game Hero Mario With His Own Wax Figure
Posted on December 9, 2003 @ 7:41 PM EST by: Hairball
Brad Pitt has one, Marilyn Monroe has one and Arnold Schwarzenegger has one. So it's only fitting that Nintendo's Mario™, the No. 1 video game star in history, should join those notable figures today with his own wax statue.

It's easy to see how he fits in with this crowd of superstars: Mario has starred in 67 video games that have sold more than 170 million units, a big reason why the video game industry today brings in more revenue than the motion picture box office. The Hollywood honor comes during a time when Mario has four new games available for the Nintendo GameCube™ and Game Boy® Advance systems.

"With four new Mario games in stores right before the holidays, this truly is the 'Season of Mario,' " says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president for marketing and corporate communications. "Mario's induction into the Hollywood Wax Museum further establishes his importance as a pop-culture icon."

The statue now resides at the Hollywood Wax Museum at 6767 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, Calif. Mario, the first-ever video game icon honored with a wax figure at the museum, replaces statues of Matrix actors Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in the museum's lobby, even while the final installment of their trilogy remains in theaters.

The Hollywood Wax Museum opened in 1965 and showcases figures of 180 stars like Tom Hanks, Cher and Michael Jordan. Now fans will be able to visit their favorite video game star, who himself was overcome with the excitement of the day. "My fans always said that no one could hold a candle to me," Mario said. "Now they'd better not!"

Despite his wax figure honor, Mario will not rest on his past success as he offers fans four new games. For Nintendo GameCube, Mario stars in Mario Kart®: Double Dash!!™, the hottest game for the holidays, which already has sold more than half a million units, and Mario Party® 5 with more than 60 new mini-games to attract fans of all ages.

For Game Boy Advance, Mario appears in Super Mario® Advance 4: Super Mario Bros.® 3, the hand-held version of the best-selling video game of all time. He also teams with his brother, Luigi, for a wisecracking adventure in Mario & Luigi™: Superstar Saga.

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy® Advance and Nintendo GameCube™ systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.8 billion video games globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario™ and Donkey Kong® and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.nintendo.com. For more information about the Hollywood Wax Museum, contact Tej Sundher at (323) 462-5991, ext. 11.

Nintendo GameCube Hits No. 1
Posted on December 2, 2003 @ 2:43 PM EST by: Hairball
After rocketing up the charts the past several weeks, the Nintendo GameCube™ has now reached No. 1 – it's America's top-selling home video game console, according to direct sales data from the nation's leading retailers. Nintendo GameCube sold more than half a million systems to consumers during Thanksgiving week, easily surpassing its console competitors. Among all game devices, it trailed only Nintendo's portable Game Boy® Advance, which sold almost 600,000 units to U.S. buyers during the week.

"All along, our business plan for this year was to maximize consumer interest and sales during the fourth quarter," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "But frankly, we're overwhelmed by how successful we've been. Our price cut of Nintendo GameCube has ignited sales to the degree that it may turn out to be the best-selling console for the entire month of November. We're tracking to sell more systems in the last eight weeks of the year than we did in the previous 10 months combined."

Nintendo GameCube went from No. 3 to No. 1 in just two months, evidence that the Sept. 25 price drop to an MSRP of $99.99 and the hot new games were just what the public wanted. The library of games available for Nintendo GameCube now stands at more than 320, including America's current hottest game, Mario Kart®: Double Dash™ exclusively for Nintendo GameCube, role-playing and sports games, Pokémon titles for younger players and action and racing games for adults.

Numerous new and upcoming releases that will keep the momentum going include 1080°®: Avalanche, a shred-'em-up snowboarding game; Mario Party® 5, the ultimate party game; F-Zero® GX, the fastest racing game on the market; Mario Golf™: Toadstool Tour, a golf game that appeals equally to novices and experts; Pokémon Channel™, the first-ever Pokémon game available for Nintendo GameCube; and Final Fantasy®: Crystal Chronicles™, an upcoming role-playing game that continues the hit franchise.

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy® Advance and Nintendo GameCube™ systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.8 billion video games globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario™ and Donkey Kong® and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information about Nintendo, please visit www.nintendo.com.