Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Club Nintendo is LIVE!

After announcing Club Nintendo would be coming to North America in early October, I’ve just found out that the site has gone live at http://club.nintendo.com. Club Nintendo has been around in both Japan and Europe for awhile, allowing gamers to earn points (or “Coins” for the North American version) to redeem for Nintendo-themed rewards. Up until just recently, Nintendo had tracked Nintendo game purchases with its “My Nintendo” program via Nintendo.com, though there were few motivations for registering products as about the only thing you could get in return was three issues of Nintendo Power for free. Well, now it’s ready to launch here, and it’s long overdue! From what I’ve been told, the version us North Americans are getting is more similar to Japanese version than European one (and that is a good thing!). Unfortunately, there are some (read: a lot) of bugs still on the website. I’d love to tell you all about what you can expect going there, but although I’ve transferred my “My Nintendo” data to Club Nintendo, I can’t log into Club Nintendo. I called NOA’s Customer Service line to find out that they are aware of these bugs and are working hard to fix them. The Rep I spoke to said they should hopefully be worked out by tomorrow, and assured me my data had transferred successfully, despite me being unable to log in currently.

What I have heard is that Nintendo made DS and Wii games are the ones that are worth Coins, with DS games racking up 30 Coins and Wii games 50. “Bigger” Wii games, such as the Wii Fit Bundle, are supposedly worth more, like 80 Coins. While they are not currently worth anything, there is word that Virtual Console & Wii Ware games may eventually be worth Coins too, although a modest amount, like 10.

Again, going on only what I’ve been told, 300 Coins nets you “Gold Member” status while 600 Coins gets you “Platinum Member” status. Rewards apparently range in price from 300-800 Coins.

Also, apparently Coins are earned by not just registering games, but registering them and then completing surveys on the games you registered. Not all Nintendo published games have surveys up (games like Children of Mana, Trace Memory, and Polarium) and therefore are not worth any Coins, even if you have them registered…not yet anyway.

I look forward to learning more about the program, and once I’m able to access my membership I’ll be sure to post more, including information about what rewards are available (right now I’m hearing Mario & Animal Crossing themed playing cards, game cases, DS cases, even the Famicom designed Nintendo DS). In the meantime, check out Club Nintendo for yourself!


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