Over the last two years there have been a large number of cases with the Nintendo DS Lite hinges cracking, then snapping or breaking off.
If you are one of the unlucky ones with one of these there isn't a lot you can do unless it's still covered under warranty.
The problem does happen with all colours, but is very prone to happen to the White DS Lite. It seems there was a "bad batch" of White Nintendo DS consoles that hit the market place just under two years ago.
What to look for:
The crack normally starts on the right hand side (looking at screen) the hinge closest to the power LED.
This almost always starts off as a hair line crack which seems to take less than two or three weeks to become a full split in the plastic.
Once it has fully broken off, it can become hard to use the DS.
Try keeping an elastic band around the DS when it's closed, this will stop it falling apart.
You can also use tape to hold the hinges down, but I wouldn't recommend this if you are planning on sending it back.
Please do be warned, that once you see these signs, it will break off: don't just leave it thinking it will be ok.
What can you do about it:-
1) Take it back to where you purchased it from
2) Failing that, contact Nintendo direct (they now have a support site for this fault) which you can find here:
3) If you are out of your warranty and have tried these ideas without any luck you can try a site like eBay. Empty cases for the Nintendo DS Lites have come down in price a lot over the last 4 months.
Bare in mind you will need to be capable of taking the DS apart to fit the new case, normally all the tools (screw drivers etc) do come with the cases being sold (again do check with the seller first).
If you have abused your DS and managed to break it by doing something silly, like sitting on it in your pocket, dropping it, letting the wife borrow it (ok I was joking about the last one) then this will more than likely show up when it's inspected.
Be warned if this is found, you can be charged by Nintendo for any repair done.
While I would like to think that they have now sorted this problem out, it still seems they haven't.
Our family got hit by this bug, when we first found it we thought one of the kids had dropped it. After further investigation we found this to be a very common fault with the White DS Lite.
After many weeks of trying to find out what to do we contacted Nintendo who then very promptly sent out a package to put the DS in to have it posted back to them.
It was repaired and returned within about two weeks (which I was more than happy about).
However, three months later the same problem occurred again in the same place.
We then sent that one back (again really fast turn around from Nintendo) and now hope this is going to be the last time.
As a side note, we have 3 DS consoles in our house, 1x Black, 1x Pink & 1x White
The black and pink get used a lot more than the white one ever has and we bought them over a year before the white one.
The good news is, once you have sent your DS back to be repaired, Nintendo do reset the warranty date to another 12 months
To be honest though, if it breaks a third time on us, I will insist they change the colour which they say they wont do, but I will keep you posted.
Although our findings have pointed towards this fault mainly being on the right hand side (power LED side) there has been other cases on websites with the fault on the left hand side (same side as the power socket).
Handy Links Again
Nintendo Service Centre UK
0870 6060 247
Have you had any hinge problems with your Nintendo DS?
To get a more neutral view of the damage done to the DS's we have taken random screen shots from around the net to show the extent of this.