Nintendo beefs up Wiimote’s strap after controllers go flying

“Seems customers are discovering that Nintendo’s new Wii gaming console, which debuted last month and has a signature game controller that responds to users’ body movements, may have an unintended side effect: game controllers flying around living rooms and smashing into lamps, windows, televisions and foreheads,” Tom Zeller, Jr. reports for The New York Times.

“The wireless controller, called the Wii Remote, is designed to attach to the wrist with a strap, and permits users to emulate the motions of games they are playing — a bowling stroke, say, or a tennis serve. Many users, though, are apparently using the game with more enthusiasm, perhaps, than Nintendo’s testers anticipated, and they are apparently saying the strap breaks a bit too easily,” Zeller, Jr. reports.

Full article here.

WiiDamage.com has photos of, naturally, Wii damage here: http://www.wiidamage.com/

“Looks like Nintendo has learned a bit after reports of Wii Remotes crashing into TV sets. They’ve increased the thickness of the remotes in the latest shipment of Wii’s that was recently released in Australia,” Nick Starr reports.

Photos of the new, beefier straps here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “wandering joe” and “skepticus” for the heads up.]
Not Apple-related, but may be interesting to some MDN readers. We’re following the story of Nintendo’s Wii for pretty obvious reasons.

Related articles:
Ars Technica review: Nintendo Wii – November 28, 2006
Nintendo sells over 600,000 Wii consoles at launch – November 20, 2006
PC Magazine Editor’s Choice: Nintendo Wii is ‘fun, engaging, wildly innovative’ – November 14, 2006
5 must-have Nintendo Wii launch games – October 09, 2006
Nintendo’s Wii on Toys ‘R’ Us hot holiday list – September 26, 2006
Nintendo to launch Wii in Japan on December 2nd, priced around US$200 – September 14, 2006
IBM ships first microchips for Nintendo Wii – September 10, 2006
Can Nintendo’s Wii end up number one in market share? – July 18, 2006
Nintendo Wii wins E3 ‘Best of Show’ award – June 01, 2006
Nintendo’s Wii steals show at Electronic Entertainment Expo – May 12, 2006

38 Comments

  1. “These people are obviously morons.”

    Hear hear. What the heck are they doing with those wiimotes, are they impaling their TVs with intent? But those photos are obviously fake (or else they’re throwing their wiimotes with a fprce of 1000… somethings).

  2. The Wii tells you EVERY time you turn it on — before you begin to play— to use the wrist strap.

    So. The ‘people’ making these claims are either stupid, or they’re liars.

    Or both… I can’t decide.

    An Occam’s Razor Paradox? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. “The Wii tells you EVERY time you turn it on — before you begin to play— to use the wrist strap.”

    Bloke, the point is apparently the wrist straps are not doing their jobs, in other words, they break. Kind of like having a seat belt that snaps when you get in a car accident. It defeats the whole purpose of having a wrist strap. Consumers should be able to rely on the strap to do it’s job.

    Those of you who don’t believe the stories of wrist straps breaking are true, ask yourself this question: Why did Nintendo make the newer straps beefier than the original ones?

    Quit calling the users stupid and accept the fact that maybe Nintendo screwed up on the strap’s original design.

  4. A very strange situation indeed, the thickness of the strap really isn’t the issue, but ‘tensile strength’. A thin, lightweight cord, that wouldn’t break even under extreme human stress should have been developed. I would guess the strap would have been put through some type of ‘stress test’ machine beforehand as early as the design phase. It’s possible, but it would be sad if Nintendo has non-existent or incompetent quality control.

  5. …Can you imagine the force it would take to embed that Wiimote in that TV?

    After seeing a teen’s effort hardly reach the pins a couple of times, I believe it. He was determined to make good on his third try, now that a crowd had gathered at the store.

    Eyes on target (a Samsung flat screen), he takes his arm back, starts walking forward, [ remember: “I want a strike, now” ] … swings … and … and … release! THERE SHE GOOoohhhsSSShit!!

    He didn’t release the controller, of course, but I remember thinking that if a customer had walked into range, he would’ve knocked him out.

  6. [Bloke, the point is apparently the wrist straps are not doing their jobs, in other words, they break. Kind of like having a seat belt that snaps when you get in a car accident. It defeats the whole purpose of having a wrist strap. Consumers should be able to rely on the strap to do it’s job.]

    Kind of defeats the whole purpose of the wrist straps — uh, and seat belts — if IDIOTS don’t use them. Trust me. During my highly unscientific, purely anecdotal survey at sources such as EBGames, Walmart, Bestbuy — I haven’t seen a single person don the wrist strap. I told a kid that moved from a PS3 to a Wii (at EB, Thursday) that he should wear the strap. He was only polite enough to actually not tell me to fsckoff.

    [Those of you who don’t believe the stories of wrist straps breaking are true, ask yourself this question: Why did Nintendo make the newer straps beefier than the original ones?]

    Occam’s Razor. First, I doubt there’s any ‘proof’ that Nintendo could duplicate in their labs. However, designing an ‘improved’ wrist strap just might put and end to any further class actions, no? It absolutely would be cheaper. ‘Hear folks, this cord can pull a friggin’ tugboat!’

    [Quit calling the users stupid and accept the fact that maybe Nintendo screwed up on the strap’s original design.]

    If it were a FACT, as apposed to some conjectured ‘truth’ — I would. Your ‘evidence’ to the contrary, is as reliable as mine.

    Although, I actually did examine the infinitesimal chance that Nintendo spent more money designing the Wii than you or I will ever earn in our lifetimes — and still fobbed it up. I still hold to a simpler explanation. Sorry, yet another Occam’s Razor. This so-called damage — if it’s real, and not staged, as has already been suggested — is then explainable because of user stupidity.

  7. Oh bloke, (and frankly all the rest) don’t you know you’re fighting a million years of evolution? How do you throw a ball? Rear back, throw as hard as you can and LET GO! When these users get involved in the game they naturally want to go and no it’s probably not the kids breaking the tv’s, it’s the parents. Of course they can’t admit they beaned the tv so they blame little johnny. Honestly, how many times have you seen a noob tilting and moving a controller trying to influence a games movement?

  8. Perhaps you are correct regarding evolution, but…

    The Wii tells you EVERY time you turn it on — before you begin to play — to use the wrist strap!

    Nintendo did their part, users should do theirs.

    FWIW, those exaggerated movements are for the adverts. I get a strike every second or third ball I bowl, using a slight movement of my wrist.

    I guess Nintendo wanted to speak to parents how their game console would get the kids off their asses!
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

  9. Those people flinging them at the TVs by accident are probably not wearing the wrist straps. But then they are not going to admit that fact when thinking up who to blame both privately (at home) and publicly (on the web).

    But Nintendo is doing the right thing by making a change in the strap design, not because it will actually help in the majority of cases, but because it shows them as being proactive and hopefully lessens their liability when the first group of whiners gets together to try and sue them for damages.

    Gamers need to accept the consequences of their own actions if they let the thing go.

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