Sadly, after many years Nintendo has decided to shutter Club Nintendo, at least in North America. This was the club that let you enter those numbers you find on the red inserts inside Nintendo games and trade them in for prizes and downloadable games.
The North America club was always a bit of a disappointment compared to its siblings in Europe and Asia. For example, you often heard of those clubs giving prizes like gold controllers and trophies which quite commonly resell on eBay for hundreds of dollars. In the US, I’ve been qualifying for Platinum status every year given all the Wii fitness games I’ve bought over the years, and yet the best we ever did was a Super Mario statue–the rest of the “prizes” were mostly forgettable calendars and nicknacks.
Perhaps because they realize that their North America fans haven’t gotten the best of treatment, they went all out and have a ton of physical goods and downloadable games to choose from to use up whatever points you have. Of particular interest to this blog is Wii Fit U, which is available for 600 points.
If find yourself short on points, the good folks at Reddit have identified a few demos on the 3DS and Wii U that are free but will still net you points. They are:
- Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (3DS) – 5 points for registration, 10 points for post-play survey
- Pokemon Bank (3DS) – 5 points for registration, 10 points for post-play survey
- Steel Diver: Sub Wars (3DS) – 5 points for registration, 10 points for post-play survey
- Lucadian Chronicles (Wii U) – 10 points for post-play survey
- Zen Pinball 2 (Wii U) – 10 points for post-play survey
Since points earning ends on 3/31 and it takes about a week for the post-play survey to appear after downloading, you need to get in by around 3/20 to get these points locked in before it all ends. If you’re in a 3DS make sure it’s linked to your Club Nintendo account.
Unlike in the past, the physical goods aren’t disappearing right away–they did a smart thing and instead of producing a limited inventory that gets wiped out right away, they let people pre-order the goods so they can manufacture them to demand. What a concept, eh? The good news is that if you’re a fan you’ll definitely get a physical good (I ordered a Mario T-Shirt); the bad news is that if you want to resell it on eBay there’ll probably be a glut of these so the resell value will be lower than the exorbitant resale values of other physical goods.
Sorry to see it go, it was a nice program. But hopefully they’ll replace it with something better.