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Club Nintendo Inserts Could Be a Thing of the Past

by Aaron Kaluszka - May 17, 2012, 10:25 pm PDT
Total comments: 17 Source: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2012/0123845.htm...

A new system would track fraud and link Club coins to product returns.

Nintendo is considering an alternative registration system for Club Nintendo, which would do away with registration cards, as revealed by a patent application published today.

The registration codes would instead be printed right on the box. The hope is that more people would register their products instead of missing or losing the inserts.

While printing the code on the exterior could lead to fraud, Nintendo envisions a system where all registrations are tracked with purchase information. If an account has several duplicate registrations, the customer's account is flagged and potentially revoked. An example is if a rogue store employee copied and registered serial numbers after selling an item to a customer, but before the customer had a chance to register it.

The system would also tie in with retailers in an attempt to reduce fraud. Upon purchase, the code is scanned into a computer at the retailer. This tells Nintendo that the product was purchased legitimately, which is of special concern in regard to Nintendo point cards. If customers register a product on Club Nintendo but later return it, the Club Nintendo coins for that product are removed from the account. If a customer has already spent those points, he/she will be disallowed from returning the product. The system would require a computer at each retailer to handle scanning and reporting of the serial numbers.

The system patent was applied for on Nov. 15, 2010, and while it includes Wii products as examples, the ideas must have been around for much longer as the application text references the SNES, Game Boy, and Nintendo 64. Nintendo of America was represented in the latest round of patent filings, with Peter J. Junger and Brian Cheney listed as the system's designers.

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Talkback

broodwarsMay 17, 2012

I'm really curious what this means for Used Games, considering Nintendo would apparently be tracking the path of each of their games.  Would they reserve the right to revoke Club Nintendo points if you traded a game in at places like GameStop?  After all, you may not be returning a game, but you are potentially interfering in the sale of a New Wii U/etc. title.

I'm also really not fond of the idea of Nintendo stepping into a transaction between customer and retailer, telling the customer that they have decreed that a product can't be returned just because their system says a code on the box was used.  Couldn't the code be somewhere in the actual box where the customer would see it, such as on the label on the game's DVD/card?  If you were able to obtain the code there, there's no way the customer could still return the game and it would avoid potential issues down the road with misused codes.

NinSageMay 17, 2012

Quote:

If a customer has already spent those points, he/she will be disallowed from returning the product.

Anyone wanna take bets on hell freezing over first?

I'm thinking this is all just another example of companies registering for things they never intend to use.  Especially given some of the chronological clues referenced in the article.

EnnerMay 17, 2012

Individual X wants to steal all the Club Nintendo coins for themselves. Stop Individual X!

Indeed, I could see things going very badly if this were implemented, assuming retailers would even be up for the extra hassle of running the Nintendo system.

StrawHousePigMay 17, 2012

I've never understood why, in this day and age, is it not registered when I pop it in the drive / slot of the machine tied to my "account"? Of course it is nice being able register ALL the systems and games purchased for use in my household (ie., a lot).  8)  :o

I never confirmed this but I always believed that once a code is used it can't be used again, so I just toss the little slips. Not that I ever sell any games anyway... And when buying a used game I sure don't expect to be able to use the code. Another reason to do it automagically and not give out coins for used games that have had the coins redeemed. Tragic, I know.

I also don't see this happening. Or if it did it wouldn't last long.

house3136May 18, 2012

Club Nintendo codes can only be used once, and expire on an annual basis when used, right? I have probably 10+ CN codes stored up in case I want to use them all at one time, which is what I plan to do. When the game box is wrapped in cellophane, and the code is inside of the box, how are you able to return the game as new if it’s already been opened? I didn’t realize fraud was so rampant to get some Donkey Kong folders. Also, how is putting the code on the outside of the box “safer?” I feel like I’m missing some huge loophole here.

It's not safer by itself, only with the big tracking system they propose to go along with it.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)May 18, 2012

Maybe this is a sign of more free downloadable games in exchange for Club Nintendo points? (free choice this time please Nintendo!)


@StrawHousePig
I often wondered the same thing!
Another simple option is to use the Wii U Tablet camera to scan the code in right? Will it happen?
Only time will tell..

TJ SpykeMay 18, 2012

broodwars, I know the tech is there to register something just by inserting the disc. Disney does (or at least used to) allow you to register their DVDs and Blu-ray Discs just by putting them in your computer and clicking a link on the disc menu.


This is not a bad idea, but I don't see it happening. I can understand the concern of something like registering the game for the coins and just returning it, but why not print the code in the space right above the disc or on the disc itself like brood also said.


Straw, you are correct. Once a code has been registered, it's useless and can't be used anymore.

NinSageMay 18, 2012

Quote from: StrawHousePig

I also don't see this happening. Or if it did it wouldn't last long.

Correct.

Quote from: TJ

Once a code has been registered, it's useless and can't be used anymore.

This.

broodwarsMay 18, 2012

Quote from: StrawHousePig

And when buying a used game I sure don't expect to be able to use the code. Another reason to do it automagically and not give out coins for used games that have had the coins redeemed. Tragic, I know.

You seem to have missed my point.  I was concerned about what happens when you sell your game that had the points redeemed, such as trading the game in at GS.  Would Nintendo view that the same way they view returns, where they void your coins?

CericMay 18, 2012

For one it is a stupid idea to print the code on the outside of the box.  That like saying, "Hey, steal me."

For another thing, like others have said, in this internet connected age where I have to redeem my codes online, you would think they just let you register from putting your disc in and clicking "Register to Club Nintendo"

Well...this seems overly complex for a rewards system that from my experience doesn't offer too many things of considerable value.

Are there widespread cases of Club Nintendo Points Fraud that would have justified this?  This seems like looking for a complicated solution for a problem that doesn't largely exist. (did a google search and didn't find any cases or news stories).

KDR_11kMay 19, 2012

Quote from: MegaByte

Indeed, I could see things going very badly if this were implemented, assuming retailers would even be up for the extra hassle of running the Nintendo system.

There seems to be a standard solution for things like this, eShop cards use some sort of register verification that only activates the code in them after they're bought. This is reused from several cellphone-related cards (and things like iTunes or Facebook cards).

AVMay 19, 2012

i remember back in the day when they had free zelda collection for gamecube. I didn't have enough coins so I went to blockbuster and stole the inserts. Since i didn't steal the game or anything they didn't care but were confused.

Quote from: KDR_11k

There seems to be a standard solution for things like this, eShop cards use some sort of register verification that only activates the code in them after they're bought. This is reused from several cellphone-related cards (and things like iTunes or Facebook cards).

Yeah, the patent application basically covers this too. I guess for it to be feasible, they'd have to make it compatible with the gift card verification services, but I wonder about all the smaller shops and resellers... and the increased customer support headache if anything went wrong.

Quote from: Mr.

i remember back in the day when they had free zelda collection for gamecube. I didn't have enough coins so I went to blockbuster and stole the inserts. Since i didn't steal the game or anything they didn't care but were confused.

At least do it with used games, where there's no expectation of getting the code.

If you'd still do that sort of thing.

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