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Nintendo Are Charging Up To £180 To Fix Nintendo Switch Case Cracks

Are they ignoring a design flaw?

The first iteration of any product is always liable to manufacturing issues and design flaws, and it seems that Nintendo might have missed a problem with the Switch’s upper and rear casing. In a survey conducted by Nintendo Life, 20% of the over 1000 respondents said that their Switch had hairline cracks and nicks, in particular surrounding the power button and the grill for the fan vent.

Nintendo are not accepting this as a design flaw at this time, and are instead evaluating consoles on a case-by-case basis – Aha! Nintendo Life report that these are mostly being attributed to accidental damage, with repairs of this sort coming up to £180. That’s over half the price of the actual console!

Obviously, these figures can be skewed depending on the sample size and the audience that it’s been able to reach, but 20% is still significant. Among the staff at TSA, we’ve also seen this occur. My Switch had a chunk that came out of the top of the case surrounding near the power button, and there are now hairline cracks and a piece missing near the fan vent. Jake’s console had similar issues, but his replacement console is holding up so far. Thankfully, Dom, Jason and Miguel  report no issues with theirs.

Why this is happening is relatively easy to figure out. The case needs to be able to expand and contract to account for the heat that the unit can output while gaming, this could be much higher when docked than when handheld, and if the case cannot expand enough in the right areas, you’ll get these kinds of hairline cracks in something that’s plastic – Jake notes that the rear case seems to be screwed on less tightly on his replacement. Additionally, many of the accessories for the console are soft, flexible cases (such as the official Nintendo one) instead of rigid ones, and a combination of heat and stress when put in a tightly packed bag will only exacerbate this.

The reason for the exorbitant cost, however, is that the top of the case is part of the main housing and frame onto which all the other components are attached, instead of being part of the very easily removed and replaced back plate. Especially without the ability to lean on cloud backups for player saves, for Nintendo to repair this requires them to completely deconstruct the Switch and built it into a new console.

Games consoles manufacturers have a spotty track record when it comes to game hardware, whether it’s the infamous RRoD for the Xbox 360 and YLoD for PlayStation 3, the rapidly wearing rubber on DualShock 4 controllers, and even the early issues Nintendo had with the left Joy-Con and Bluetooth reception. Hopefully Nintendo can address this issue more fully in the near future, even if just on how to avoid it.

Source: Nintendo Life

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