You can read part two here: The Club Nintendo Controllers (2/2)
Yesterday I was working on citing all my sources for all the retail controllers (It’s done!), and I found a website where all the Japanese news articles about entertainment from 2000 to 2009 are listed. And well, I looked into 2003 and clicked on every link relating to video games, and eventually, I found sources for the first three Club Nintendo GameCube controllers, which led me to much more. With that info in hands, let’s dive in this obscure early service’s history.
The online service was first launched on October 31st 2003 in Japan, and you could now find codes in select newly purchased software. It wasn’t until Early December that you could redeem your points however, which happened on the 9th. Among the prizes, you could find the Club Nintendo-themed GameCube controller for 500 points, which is roughly the price of 10 retail games.
Purchasing a GameCube game and entering the code would usually grant you with 30 points, but if you redeemed the code near the game’s launch, you would be granted an additional 30 points. While this is still a stretch from the required 500 points, you could earn extra points from special events held by Nintendo such as “Hot Mario” The point-earning process is pretty well explained in the October 2004 issue of the Nintendo Online Magazine (N.O.M.), take a look for more information: https://www.nintendo.co.jp/nom/0410/index.html
It took over half a year to see the release of the Mario GC controller on July 20th 2004, and then the Luigi GC controller a month later on August 24th 2004. And apparently, they sold out fast. The N.O.M. issue linked above seems to hint at a restock, but there’s no way to tell for sure. All three were available for the same amount of points, so 500.
You might’ve noticed that most of my sources so far come from a website called “Nintendo Inside”. Well, unlike IGN, they actually cited their sources. And their sources are the original listing from the Club Nintendo website! It’s amazing, have a look here: Club Nintendo – Mario – Luigi. Sadly, the pictures are broken on the last two. If you want to see more of the Club Nintendo rewards, change the end of the link – it goes from “p01” to “p08”, and “p11” to “p18”. The rest wasn’t saved sadly.
I will cover the Char Gundam WaveBird, the Club Nintendo WaveBird and the Wario GC controllers in another post, or this gets too long. There’s so much to say! I’d like to thank Shairn for helping me with the translation and the research, some of the text is in images and Google just couldn’t help me here.