Inside Nintendo's North Bend Facility

Page 2

by the NWR Staff - March 13, 2003, 7:20 pm PST

Planet GameCube's Rick Powers takes a look inside Nintendo's building in North Bend, where every game and piece of hardware is housed ...

The thing that struck me right off the bat is just how much product there was. Literally, EVERYWHERE you look, there are boxes and boxes of games and hardware, sitting on pallets and ready to ship. It almost looks like a videogame in there, but if you were to bust these crates open, Nintendo security would be on you in a flash.

See all those boxes? That's all PRODUCT!
See all those boxes? That's all PRODUCT!

When you break these crates open, you get Fusion!
When you break these crates open, you get Metroid Fusion!

Obviously, having that much product, some of it unreleased, is a big temptation, and every square foot of the building is monitored by camera. My tour guide told me that as far as he knows, there are almost never any “shrinkage” issues (industry term for employee theft), and what little there is can usually be explained easily by the count simply being wrong, which is corrected immediately. Nintendo takes great care to verify that they always know exactly where their product is. Like that bin of Pokemon games on Page 1? Those could only be pulled after a pick list was generated and the games were accounted for, and as soon as they were finished being used, they were returned to stock.

We cruised by a couple offices, where I noticed a room of employees sitting around a table, opening games and checking the contents. Nintendo Quality Control randomly inspects games from different production runs to ensure that they are being packed correctly and that the discs are clean and scratch free, and that all the contents are there. What game were they checking, you ask? Why, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, of course! I grabbed a quick photo for you guys. It’s not long now!

You know you want Zelda, but THIS bad?
You know you want Zelda, but THIS bad?

As we proceeded to move on to some of the automated areas, one of those Quality Control employees ran up and wanted to know what I was taking pictures of. Even Nintendo’s regular employees are very careful to make sure Nintendo’s secrets and procedures are protected. Turns out, he didn’t see my badge or escort, and was challenging me … as he rightly should have. After clearing up the confusion, I grabbed a shot that all you Silicon Knights fans are sure to enjoy.

Denis would be proud!
Denis would be proud!

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