Nintendo to replace 3.2 million Wii straps

Nintendo is offering free replacements for up to 3.2 million remote controllers in its Wii video gaming console

In an effort to duck criticism that its remote controllers can fly across the room when wrist straps break, Nintendo is offering free replacements for that part of its new Wii video gaming console.

Carefully avoiding the term "recall", Nintendo made the move before any regulatory agency could step in. The replacement could affect up to 3.2 million straps, according to the Associated Press. Nintendo did not return calls for comment.

Shortly after Wii consoles began selling on November 20, North American customers began reporting failures of the strap that holds Nintendo's wireless gaming controls to players' wrists. A key difference between Wii and its rivals, the MicrosoftXbox 360 and Sony Computer Entertainment PlayStation 3, is that players can use Nintendo's wireless remote to, for instance, virtually roll bowling balls or swat tennis balls.

"We have received some reports that when consumers swing the Wii Remote with the original version of the wrist-strap using excessive force and accidentally let go, the cord connecting the controller to the wrist strap can break, potentially causing the Wii Remote to strike bystanders or objects," Nintendo said in a statement on its website.

"For example, in Wii Sports bowling, the proper way to let go of the ball while bowling is to release the 'B' button on the Wii Remote-DO NOT LET GO OF THE Wii REMOTE ITSELF. If you are having so much fun that you start perspiring, take a moment to dry your hands."

Nintendo's offer did not affect all of its Wii consoles, as the company had already begun shipping them with an improved strap by early December, the company said. Nintendo posted a photo of the difference between the two versions [at its website.]

Nintendo plans to begin shipping the replacement straps by December 21, and expected customers to receive them within five to nine days, the company said. Customer who had an original version of the part could request a free replacement through Nintendo's site.

The company added this new warning to a list of possible dangers for Wii users. Since the Wii has added a physical dimension to virtual games, many of the precautions could relate to any real-world sport. For instance, Nintendo warns Wii users to clear rooms of furniture before swinging the controller, and to beware of repetitive motion injuries and of console and TV screen damage.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ben Ames

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?