Nintendo Puts A DS Through Mechanical Hell To Make Sure It Works

Despite what some may think, Nintendo doesn't just make a product, put it on the market and hope everything works. The company has a reputation for making stuff that doesn't break easily, and these images show how that reputation is maintained.

They give a rare glimpse behind the curtain at Nintendo, showing the various stress tests a piece of hardware is subjected to in order to ensure it's sturdy enough to sell to the public.

The seven stages of mechanical hell do things like open and close a handheld's hinges, rub a robot finger over the surface, spin the cables, vibrate the packaging and press all the buttons.

There are a few more tests not pictured, like sticking a handheld somewhere really hot, or really cold, or really humid.

It looks like torture. Lucky, then, that only a doomed few units are condemned to such a fate, selected to represent the bulk of a manufacturing run. If every unit had to go through this they'd fall apart the second you took it out of the box.

You can see the seven stages of Nintendo Hell below.

Consumer Relations [Nintendo, via Tiny Cartridge]


    One Gamecube was famous for having been dropped from several stories and still functioning.

    Their crowning jewel, the old grey gameboy. My mother ejected it out of the door one evening into the rain and mud, it stayed there for a week and was driven over once or twice, it still worked when I did eventually retrieve it

    I read about a GBA being in the World Trade Center when it collapsed, and when it was found it was in pieces, but it still worked, Tetris cartridge and all.
    I think it's on display, on the Tetris main menu, at the Nintendo shop in New York.

      Not a GBA, sorry, one of the original grey boxes. You know, the indestructible ones.

        The melted-yet-still-functioning Game Boy at the NYC Nintendo Shop, is from Iraq. The person who was carrying it was hit from a landmine, I believe.

    pretty sure Apple doesn't do this type of stuff. A friend of mine dropped an iPhone 4 from a regular hand-by-your-side position onto carpet and it cracked. I would normally assume this is simply unlucky, but I've heard similar stories.

      Glass multitouch is still worth the risk I say. Apple absolutely made the right choice with glass, it's been a joy to use on my phone and MacBook these last few years. Apple uses glass multitouch on their entire range, from the ipod nano to the Mac Pro. As the following link demonstrates, I think Apple's commitment to their products is solid, and that they most certainly would do this kind of stuff.

      I can second what Andrew said. My brother's was dropped a short distance onto a soft surface and it cracked the screen. He's been buying new ones like clockwork almost every year now. Not because there are new ones available, but because they routinely run into problems regardless of how careful he is with them. I'm almost amazed the one he dropped still worked.

      DK, sorry, but your comment made me cringe.

    I accidentally put a Gameboy Advanced game through the washer and dryer, and it still works fine. That may have been just lucky, but the Gameboy itself took quite a few tumbles out of the car onto hard ground and there are no problems with it besides a very dim (with age and use) screen. Nintendo things are very durable. Oh, and nice Star Wars picture. Very geeky. :)

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