Nintendo went out of its way to fulfill this Game Boy service request

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

SoraNews24 points to a story published in the February 21 edition of Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s top national newspapers. Per the site’s translation of this Twitter post, 70-year-old Kuniko Tsusaka recounts a time when her 95-year-old mother had fallen ill. The woman loved playing Tetris on the original Game Boy and as luck would have it, the handheld – the third original she had owned – stopped working just as she got sick.

After coming up empty-handed in their quest to find a replacement locally, Tsusaka’s son suggested to his grandmother that he contact Nintendo customer support for help. She did just that, penning a hand-written letter and sending the broke Game Boy along with it.

Surprisingly enough, Nintendo responded, saying they couldn’t repair her old Game Boy due to a lack of parts but did find a brand new one in their warehouse and sent it over along with the reply. According to Tsusaka, her mother lived for another four years before dying at age 99.

Nintendo launched the original Game Boy in 1989 and discontinued it after a lengthy run in 2003. To put that into perspective, Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation 2 were already on the market by the time Nintendo finally stopped producing the original Game Boy.

The one key piece of information missing from the story (or perhaps, just the translation, as I can’t read Japanese) is – when did this actually take place? We know that it was at least four years ago, but there is nothing I can find to confirm or deny that it didn’t happen much earlier and that the story is only just now being told.

Also, why didn’t they simply opt for a second-hand Game Boy, or turn to the Internet for some new old stock via eBay or similar auction sites?

Tetris courtesy Kraft74.

Permalink to story.

 

amstech

IT Overlord
Loved my Gameboy, I remember my folks getting me the 'Handyboy' add on thing, but it was just a magnifier with crap speakers and crap buttons, I think the only thing I liked about it was the little light it had.
Most people don't know this but the original Gameboy was not view-able in the dark and provided no luminescence.
 

hahahanoobs

TS Evangelist
"Also, why didn’t they simply opt for a second-hand Game Boy, or turn to the Internet for some new old stock via eBay or similar auction sites?"

Agreed. Sending it and a letter doesn't sound normal as a first thought.
 

BigRedPDX

TS Booster
Still have my GameBoy, with case, 25 games, and the magnifying lens with lights. Great times gaming on it on long car trips.
 
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Vulcanproject

TS Evangelist
I remember the Game Boy Advance launch really well and spent the next few years wondering which maniac at Nintendo decided it didn't need a back-lit screen.
 
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opckieran

TS Rookie
"Also, why didn’t they simply opt for a second-hand Game Boy, or turn to the Internet for some new old stock via eBay or similar auction sites?"

Agreed. Sending it and a letter doesn't sound normal as a first thought.

Until you realize she was 95 and her son was 70... that’s about the only way people that age communicate.
 

Lounds

TS Maniac
I remember the Game Boy Advance launch really well and spent the next few years wondering which maniac at Nintendo decided it didn't need a back-lit screen.
Yeah I always wondered that, also why did they remove the IR sender/receiver? the Color's IR was pretty cool in Pokemon Gold and Silver for mystery gift sharing.
 

Vulcanproject

TS Evangelist
Right? Seems like a stupid decision but they did that due to battery life concerns iirc.
It's possible that was the reason. But eventually you could buy a replacement screen with a backlight and mod the machine yourself. You just needed to solder one wire.

Took about 10 percent of the battery life. Well worth it considering how impossible the machine was to play in anything but direct light.
 
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chadthecoder

TS Rookie
"Also, why didn’t they simply opt for a second-hand Game Boy, or turn to the Internet for some new old stock via eBay or similar auction sites?"

Agreed. Sending it and a letter doesn't sound normal as a first thought.
Sounds like this was long ago as it was at least 4 years, but more likely closer to when Nintendo still had stock of games. Ebay was newer and maybe not much of a choice in finding games. I could be wrong. I was younger when Ebay started so I didn't know as much back then.
 
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Awau uwu

TS Rookie
"Also, why didn’t they simply opt for a second-hand Game Boy, or turn to the Internet for some new old stock via eBay or similar auction sites?"

Agreed. Sending it and a letter doesn't sound normal as a first thought.
The woman was around 90 years of age give her a break.