If you've been a member of Nintendo's Club Nintendo rewards program, you may be disappointed to learn that Nintendo has announced the eventual end of this program. Then again, if you've been a member of Club Nintendo for any length of time, disappointment is probably a familiar feeling.
According to the announcement, North American players will have until March 31st to sign up for the service. Any product released as of today, January 20th, won't be available to register on the website. "Elite status" members have until May 1st to pick up an elite status gift, while all other game/merch redemptions must take place prior to June 30th. After that, any remaining coins on your account will be deleted.
The shutdown applies to all regions, though the dates are slightly different elsewhere. European and Australian Nintendo releases will stop including registration cards as of April 1st--though the New 3DS and 3DS XL models, which release on February 13th, reportedly won't include them either--and points must be redeemed by September 30th. Japan's version of the service will also end on September 30th.
In theory, Club Nintendo was designed to gift neat tchotchkes and free games to loyal Nintendo product purchasers. Members could input pincodes from various Nintendo products into a website, fill out some surveys, and redeem the earned coins for whatever stuff Nintendo had up at a given time. It's existed in Japan since 2003, and eventually came to Europe in 2007, and North America in 2008.
The problem was, apart from things like Virtual Console games and the occasional Mario hat, the American version of the service rarely had much in the way of worthwhile junk to redeem. As of right now, you can redeem points for a game called Grill-Off With Ultra Hand, a Super Smash Bros. poster set, Mario & Luigi or Nintendogs greeting card sets, and a bunch of Virtual Console games (including some bonafide classics like Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda). That list will refresh in February, if none of that sounds terribly appealing. Meanwhile, here's what's available in the Japanese store. I don't know how Europe's store typically was, but it always seemed like Japan got the better rewards.
Nintendo reportedly plans on replacing the service with something new, but didn't give any indication as to what that service might be, or when it might launch. Hopefully it will offer more in the way of things people might actually want. You know, like hats. Way, way more hats.
Editor's note: This article originally stated that digital purchases do not automatically sync to your Club Nintendo account, which is incorrect. The article has been updated to remove this bit.
Log in to comment