Nintendo went above-and-beyond its exceptional customer service record when — unable to repair a 95-year-old Japanese woman's dead Game Boy — the company replaced her classic Game Boy with a brand new one.
The Most Hardcore Nintendo Game Boy Fan
Of course, this has left the gaming community wondering just how many classic Game Boys Nintendo has.
One of Japan's national newspapers — SoraNews24 — published a story by Asahi Shimbun, which details a letter received from Kuniko Tsusaka, the 70-year-old daughter of the lucky recipient of the brand new Nintendo Game Boy. Tsusaka's mother loves playing Tetris on the original handheld console and was on her third such console when it died.
Sadly, this is roughly the same time the woman fell ill. Discontinued in 2003, the original Game Boy became nigh-impossible to find in local stores, and the woman's attempts to have the broken console repaired came to naught.
Uncanny Customer Support
The 95-year-old woman's grandson (and Tsusaka's son) told his grandmother that Nintendo's customer service was renowned in the industry as second-to-none, and advised her to reach out to them. She did, in a hand-written letter sent via the mail. One week later, Nintendo's customer support replied with news that her Game Boy was beyond repair because the company lacked the requisite parts to repair it.
But contained in their reply was another, brand-new Game Boy found in a warehouse, attached to a letter wishing her many more years of sweet Tetris gameplay.
Tsusaka's mother enjoyed the new Game Boy for at least four more years before she finally died at the age of 99. Her high score in Tetris is probably one of many legacies left to her succeeding generations.
Game Boy: Nostalgia vs. Flaws
It's impossible to not be moved by this touching story, but it also raises the question: how many Game Boys is Nintendo hiding, and are there enough to hook more grandmothers on Tetris until they pass away, too?
The first Game Boy's screen is infamously underwhelming, sporting only 23,000-plus pixels on screen and contrast levels that make gameplay almost impossible, even under a lamp. Some might wonder why Nintendo didn't send the grandmother a Switch, instead of a relic from the nineties, as a replacement.
Some argue that anything is better than the basics of Nintendo, and there are many other consoles more advanced than the original Game Boy. But loyal fans of classic brands have a nostalgic attachment to the artifacts of their heyday, which is why — perhaps in the year 2050 — a loyal Nintendo gamer might send a message to the company, asking for the (by-then) obsolete Nintendo Switch.