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L-Button Blues: Nintendo's Red Ring of Death? [roundtable]
L-Button Blues: (sung to the tune of Bell-Bottom Blues)

ShadowLink's handheld troubles got me thinking. The stupid L-Button (or R-Button) has crapped out on almost every DS product that I have owned. I'm afraid to carry my new 3DS XL (and new DSiXL) around. At this point, I just hope the shoulder button(s) goes before the warranty. Sucking/blowing on the button only goes so far. Plus, it's weird.

I pretty much baby my handhelds, but I do carry them around. My theory is that the shoulder buttons still smash against my jacket pocket while I'm moving. Which is exacerbated by constantly running through the city to catch trains, and shit. So now I cradle my jacket pocket while running or I sort of glide/powerwalk down the street while keeping my hips completely level and immobile. Either way, I look like a freak.

More like a freak. And powerwalking is really tiring on the calves.

So is it just me and ShadowLink? Or is the L-Button the silent DS-killer? What are the experiences of the other handheld gamers at NW?

From my anecdotal perspective, it's weird that Nintendo doesn't get taken to task for this issue more often, especially since their pre-DS Lite handhelds were virtually indestructible. You know, if I were a conspiracy-minded fellow, I might think the whole thing had to do with planned obsolescence. I mean, it is one of the main reasons that I'm always so quick to upgrade to the newer model...

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Posted: 09/07/12, 14:03:12  - Edited by 
 on: 09/07/12, 14:13:21
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I've never had the L button crap out on me but I've also never carried a handheld in my pockets very much until the 3DS. Of both 3DS systems I've owned, the worse I've had with the L button is that it becomes very squeaky but I blame that more on the countless hours of Kid Icarus than I do carrying around. I can't even possibly carry my XL around in my jean pockets so I won't have that issue I suppose
Posted: 09/07/12, 14:09:16
I never carry stuff in my shirt/pants/shorts, anyway. The sensation of feeling something weighing down my clothes is very unpleasant to me. But that's neither here nor there, I guess. The XLs DO fit into my summer jacket pocket, but they require a lot more care around the zipper area.
Posted: 09/07/12, 14:17:00
I've never had the shoulder buttons go out on one of my DS products and I carry mine around a lot. I got the dreaded screen scratch on my original 3DS and the line does appear on my 3DS XL but I have got screen protectors in place this time. I didn't even know the shoulder buttons crapping out was a common problem.
Posted: 09/07/12, 14:30:08  - Edited by 
 on: 09/07/12, 14:30:27
Haven't had any problems -yet-, but I am annoyed that accidentally hitting the L or R button starts the camera on the home screen. Is there any way to turn that feature off? I do it quite often when opening up the 3DS, because I naturally put my fingers around the shoulders to lift the screen open. D'oh.
Posted: 09/07/12, 14:44:20
I had the L-button crap out on my DS Lite, and only after 2-3 years of owning it. It would also randomly decide not to read the game card that was in the system, which was frustrating as hell. (Fortunately it gave me an excuse to buy a shiny new DSi.) The DS Lite is the only system it's happened to me on though.
Posted: 09/07/12, 14:47:49
Oh god, I never even thought of that. My 3DS LIVES in my jacket pocket. And invariably it's the L-Button that's on the bottom. Whilst in sleep mode.

Could I really be putting unwanted strain on it causing it to conk out? But why now? It lasted for a year without issues and died soon after I got Kid Icarus. And now again 4 months after being repaired (which included 3 weeks of non-use.)

I dunno, the whole thing is very odd. On the plus side, Nintendo have the record of the previous repairs, and said they should do it for free again assuming there's not something else wrong with the system.

So annoyed. Apart from the N64's flawed control stick, I've never had an issue with a Nintendo product, ever.
Posted: 09/07/12, 16:08:01
I've never had shoulder buttons go out. I had the whole shoulder go!

Yeah, if anythings the red ring of death, it's the hinge break.
Posted: 09/07/12, 16:14:59
My 3DS' L button is on the verge of crapping out but it's entirely because of Kid Icarus.

But yeah, the shoulder buttons definitely bump stuff while you're walking. Once I was listening to music on my DSi - I had it in a case attached to my hip, walking along, and there was a semi-frequent stream of cat meows and dog barks due to the stupid shoulder button presses. And for that matter, who thought it was a good idea to keep that functionality intact while the system is closed?
Posted: 09/07/12, 16:24:36
We have 2 DS lites, a DSi XL, and a 3DS. Haven't had any hardware issues and I have certainly always carried mine around with me.


If you're worried about it in your pocket, why not get one of those thin, thin cases that just kind of clamp right around the system? I can't think of one to recommend off hand but I know I've seen them in stores.....
Posted: 09/07/12, 18:07:45
This is why the last handheld I bought was a GBA SP [face_rattlecane]
Posted: 09/07/12, 18:18:24
The Lite has the worst build quality, for sure. But I had shoulder button problems with my otherwise-awesome DSi, too. Twice, covered by warranty, like Shadowlink's.

I don't think so. Nor is there any way to disable the loud pervert alarm click when you snap a photograph.

Not a bad idea, although I'm kind of loath to attache a hideous spider to my beautiful blue 3DS XL.
Posted: 09/07/12, 19:13:19

Damn. My creeping days are over.
Posted: 09/07/12, 19:20:16
My shoulder buttons work fine on all my DSeseseses. And I carry those things around ALL THE TIME.

Maybe I just have good luck?
Posted: 09/07/12, 22:34:07

It's true.... but maybe there are clear ones??

And for reals, I hate that frickin' anti-perv alarm. I try to take candid photos during parties and gatherings and instead everyone gets all weirded out because of the SOUND and I have to stop.


I've heard that before.


lol. "DSeseseses" ... so true.
Posted: 09/07/12, 22:54:29
NinSage said:

lol. "DSeseseses" ... so true.


That expression is funny, but I'll admit it was actually Anand that came up with that. I'm just using it without his permission. I'm a Phrase Pirate!
Posted: 09/07/12, 22:56:19
Had handhelds shoulder buttons get loose over time. My DS lite would stick occasionally. Never had one totally crap out though.
Posted: 09/07/12, 23:56:32

Yeah it's not loose pr anything (that I can tell), it just doesn't work. Last time it was the actuators that were shot.
Posted: 09/08/12, 00:12:52
Just curious, has anyone here had shoulder button problems and they haven't been carrying the system around in one of their pockets? I don't carry mine in a pocket so I'm wondering if this is an issue I have to worry about.
Posted: 09/08/12, 00:17:02
NinSage said:
And for reals, I hate that frickin' anti-perv alarm. I try to take candid photos during parties and gatherings and instead everyone gets all weirded out because of the SOUND and I have to stop.
I know! The same thing happens to me on the subway and at the bottoms of staircases!

GameDadGrant said:
That expression is funny, but I'll admit it was actually Anand that came up with that. I'm just using it without his permission. I'm a Phrase Pirate!
That's okay. I kind of stole it from The Simpsons. We are all of us pirates.

@Mop it up
Oh, yeah. I actually meant to ask that in the OP. It's a very important distinction.
Posted: 09/08/12, 00:43:45
@Anand L button keeps crapping out on you? It seems you have an overdeveloped left index finger.
Posted: 09/08/12, 01:04:54
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