For a while now, my Wii has been displaying little green pixels every now and again while playing games (especially when playing Resident Evil 4). It was only a little annoying, but I finally got sick of it, so I called Nintendo for support.

Their first bonus point is that they were open on Saturday. The rep took my serial number, and asked what was wrong. I explained the problem and she asked if I was using Nintendo-official cables, I said yes, so she set up a repair. I said I was in Washington, and she asked, “Do you live within driving distance of Redmond,” and it just so happens I live in Redmond. She said instead of waiting for a repair, I can pop into the Nintendo repair center and get it fixed while I wait. Not only that, they’re open Saturdays, 9-6.

I jumped into the car, walked in (turns out it was about 2 blocks from my old Microsoft building), and the guy said they’d just swap me over to a new console. He went back to go do that, and I looked at some old-school Nintendo systems in a display case. They had most everything in there, though surprisingly none of the rare top-loading NES machines. They did have a ROB, though.

I also noticed a Wii set up, and it had Super Mario Galaxies in it, so I played that for about 5 minutes until my new Wii was ready. He handed me the new system, said I have a 1 year warranty on the new system already set up in my name, and sent me on my way. Took about 20 minutes including driving there and back.

Sure beats the 360 experience I had: they refused to fix my machine (it was before they extended the warranty to 3 years for the red-ring-of-death), so I had to swap it out at Costco. Plus I had to deal with their “helpful” automated debugger “Max” and useless India-based technical support who had me do everything “Max” did again. All this before telling me it’d be $179 to fix.

(According to the Invoice I got repair of a Wii is $75, though obviously my warranty covered that amount. That’s a fairly reasonable price – especially since you also get a new warranty to go along with your replacement system).

Kudos, Nintendo. I wish I knew how to buy your stock.