Nintendo: DS Lite cracks in < .02 percent of units

[UPDATE] Company says that reported cases of cracked left hinges on portable are very rare, fixes can be arranged through customer support.

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Earlier this week, several owners of Nintendo's new DS Lite voiced concern over a small problem with their handhelds. Reports of a small crack on the left hinge of the dual-screened portable began popping up around the country, indicating that it wasn't just an isolated incident.

Nintendo wasn't immediately available for comment at the time, but today the company released a statement addressing issue.

"In the U.S., the reported number of small cosmetic cracks in the plastic hinge of DS Lite systems represents less than 0.02 percent of the total units sold. This cosmetic issue in no way impacts the gameplay or integrity of the DS Lite. Nintendo stands behind the quality of our products and encourages DS Lite owners to contact our Customer Service Department if they are not happy with the functionality of their systems."

By contrast, when the Xbox 360 was released in November 2005, Microsoft reported that approximately 3 percent of its units were experiencing problems. The company also claimed that the figure was less than the average rate for newly released electronic gadgets. Sony has also had problems with defects: Many PlayStation Portable screens suffered from dead pixels, and the company quietly staged a free PlayStation 2 repair program for PlayStation 2s plagued by the dreaded "disc read error."

[UPDATE] There appears to be some confusion about whether or not Nintendo is charging to have the crack fixed. When GameSpot News contacted Nintendo customer support at the time the news broke, a rep said that damaged DS Lites would be repaired for $50, marked down from the standard fee of $75. However, other reports claimed that Nintendo has now changed its policy and will repair units for free. GameSpot called Nintendo customer support again today to find out if there was any change in policy, but the rep on the phone insistend that the $50 fee was still in place.

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