Class Customer Service by
Nintendo of America
Iíve got a little story to share with everyone
today. To start, Iíd like to
point out that Iím trying to capture some video footage of an awesome import
for the DS, called Daigasso! Band Brothers.
Iíll write my piece about the game once Iíve completed my video
conversions, which are almost complete. Anyway,
capturing some decent footage from the DS is proving to be VERY difficult, as I
canít use the usual equipment we have for capturing game videos.
For the moment, Iím attempting to capture some videos using a DV video
camera on a tripod, while holding the DS as steady as possible. Keeping the image centered and focused in the camera is
nearly impossible, as you can imagine. Soooo,
after seeing DS gameplay doubled up on televisions at E3, and knowing that I can
download direct-feed footage of DS games from Gamespot, IGN, and a handful of
other sites out there, I decided that Iíd try contacting Nintendo and their
renowned ďWorld Class Customer ServiceĒ to find out if I can buy a video
capture device from them. And that
takes us to my story.
First I sent them the following e-mail.
And FYI, to e-mail Nintendo, you pretty much have to use their web form.
Hello. I would like to know if there's any way for me to capture direct-feed video
our web site. As it stands, I'm fumbling around with a DV camcorder over my
shoulder trying to record videos, and the results aren't very good. I'm able
could view the games without trying to peer over someone's shoulder.
was their original response.
Hello and thank you for contacting Nintendo,
Unfortunately, we do not know of any video capture techniques that would allow
you to feature specific clips from our sites. Keep in mind that the video
(that you are trying to copy is the property) of the individual sites. Most
construed as endorsing a particular site. And, since most companies do not
have any means to monitor the content of the thousands of game sites that are
on the net, they cannot and do not authorize the copying of information from
As to the technology used at the E3 show for displaying the Nintendo DS games
on a television, this was created by our engineering department. However,
there is not a commercially available product that would allow you to do this.
Thanks for your email and good luck with your game site!
Nintendo of America Inc.
this guy know how to read? Can
somebody point out where I mis-worded my message?
Thatís just perfect.
ďOh please, Mr. Nintendo support guy, can you
tell me how I can copy video clips from your web site so I can put them on mine?
I donít know any of the special
I really didnít know what to say to that.
So I took into account that this guyís job is to ask people if they
have a system plugged in, make sure the cartridge is inserted the right way,
make sure youíre holding the system right side up, etc. and also factored in
that a new support monkey would answer me if I sent another e-mail.
So I responded with the following, along with a copy of my previous
Hello again. Based on the reply below, it appears that Mr. Bruce Mann did not
Media sites like Gamespot and IGN have NDS direct-feed videos of NDS footage.
Somehow, they have a way to directly capture video from the NDS. I seriously
this. Whatever they're using had to be provided by and acquired from Nintendo,
which leads me to believe that there is something out there to capture DS
footage that I should be able to buy from Nintendo. I expected the answer that
the E3 television setups were custom engineered by Nintendo specifically for
available for the gaming press to showcase NDS titles.
I will ask again, is there a video capture device of any kind that I can buy to
showcase NDS footage DIRECTLY FROM THE NDS SYSTEM on my web site? Are there
certain conditions I must fulfill to be permitted to possess such a device?
There are many good games coming out for the DS, and I want to be able to show
off what the DS has to offer on my site. One game in particular that I'm
trying to show is Daigasso! Band Brothers, which I know has the US title Jam
with the Band and has no release date, nor any mention of it on Nintendo's
site. I want to be able to show off what the game is like, and if possible I'd
other sites. Thanks again for your help.
I talked to Leon about the BS response I got the first time, and he found
a section on IGNís site where somebody asked them about how they were going to
capture DS footage, and they flat out said they got a device from Nintendo.
It even had a name, though I forgot what it is.
The Nitro Capture, or something like that.
Whatever it is, Nintendo makes it, and anyone capturing direct-feed video
from the DS got some kind of device from Nintendo.
I eventually got this in my box.
Hello and thank you for contacting Nintendo,
many of the issues our fans might encounter with our products, we would prefer
to speak with you directly as yours is a unique situation. At your earliest
255-3700. When calling this number, you can bypass the recorded information by
pressing "0" on your touch-tone phone. This will connect you to the next
available Consumer Service Representative. Please note that our
representatives are available between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time,
seven days a week.
Nintendo of America Inc.
Well all right, now weíre getting somewhere!
Or so I thought. I was feeling pretty optimistic at this point, assuming that
perhaps I had to call for pricing. Silly
me! I went ahead and decided to
give them a call. I figured I would
most likely be told that we have to be a commercial site or something before we
can even talk about buying a device. I
did not expect the second half of our conversation.
I really wish I got the guyís name.
Hereís the gist of what was said.
I explained the situation, and what Iím trying
to accomplish. He tells me that
there is no device of any kind commercially available for sale, and thereís
nothing I can do. I inform him that
Iím already aware that such a device is not commercially available (and Iím
thinking to myself that the Component cable for the Gamecube isnít exactly
commercially available either), but Nintendo has something to capture
direct-feed videos because several web sites are capturing and hosting such
videos. This guy then tries to tell
me that he doesnít know how the other sites are making direct-feed videos, as
Nintendo doesnít have any kind of device capable of outputting a video signal
to capture from. I responded that
Nintendo had live DS gameplay footage feeding televisions all over the show
floor at E3. ďOhÖ HmmÖĒ While
he was trying to figure out what to say next, I told him that thereís no way
that IGN, Gamespot, or many other sites engineered and custom built their own
hardware to get direct-feed captures. Whatever
theyíre using, they got FROM YOU. So
he then asks if I can hold so he can talk with a supervisor.
When he gets back, he tells me that they only work with large commercial
web sites that partner with them, such as IGN, and that they do not support
smaller sites in any way. He says
even though the device Iím looking for exists, Iím not allowed to buy one.
Basically, since weíre a little nobody site, weíre SOL.
He also added that since weíre not a commercial site, he canít direct
me to anyone that can help me.
I asked him if there were any other departments
that handle this kind of thing, and he repeated that he couldnít direct me to
any of them. I asked him if
thereís some kind of special licensing arrangement, and he couldnít say.
I asked him WHY not being a commercial site means I canít talk to
anyone about this, and he just simply responded that thereís nothing he can do
to help me. So I asked one final
question, what does it take to be allowed to talk about buying this device, and
for that matter, what does it take to become a Ďcommercial site.í
He said he couldnít say. Alrighty
then, I guess thatís the end of the conversation.
He then added at the end he had an idea to help me out.
He suggested that I mount a digital video recorder onto a tripod, put it
on macro-focus, and BUILD A STAND AND
CLAMP THE DS TO IT! He then
said thatís what the other sites are probably doing. I said okay, thanks, and hung up. Thanks a lot, jackass! What
the hell do you think Iím trying to do now?
So way to go Nintendo, thatís some mighty fine customer service you got there. I think Iím entitled to know what they expect from a web site to qualify as a Ďcommercial siteí before theyíll even talk to me, but whatever.
And thatís my rant. Actually, Iím considering doing a little rant on a regular
basis, just to talk about whatís wrong in the videogame world.
Thereís tons to talk about, and I doubt Iíd run out of material
anytime soon. Weíll see.
Anyway, why donít you go play a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Melee
If you want to drop us a line, send it to "webmaster" AT "gameswelike.com".