Wii recall: breaking wrist straps send controllers flying


Nintendo said Friday it will replace 3.2 million straps for its popular Wii computer game controllers after receiving a rash of reports that the device flew out of the hands of players.

The Wii’s controller set is a new paradigm in game controllers and fascinated me as soon as I saw the commercial on TV. I don’t have one myself and have never actually used it, but instead of a single controller box held in 2 hands, the Wii’s controller is 2 separate units designed to be held 1 in each hand. This arrangement allows the user to control on-screen implements in the same way he would handle them in the real world. A sword slashing maneuver would be performed by slashing the controller though the air. Tennis rackets and rifles are moved on screen by handling the controller set exactly as you’d expect to handle the real-world implements.

The problem, apparently, is that moving those things in the real world means accelerating them pretty aggressively and that means some folks lose their grip. The strap, which was supposed to handle that eventuality, wasn’t designed to take the pressure, hence the recall. I note that they’re having to replace 3.2 million of the straps, so sales can’t be hurting too badly.


  1. […] According to hoodathunk, about 3.2 million systems were recalled! Of course, Nintendo has done the best thing they could by quickly fixing the problem and offering a solution to previous purchasers. They have demonstrated their ability to be friendly to their customers and listen to their needs. So, that 3.2 million in sales is bound to go much higher. Wii to go, Nintendo! Bookmark this page online: […]

  2. I really don’t think Nintendo should have to replace the straps. The Wiimote flying off is more human error than straps breaking. But so long as their adjusting the straps, they might as well redesign it, so its not rope over the wrist. They should just make it an adjustable velcro strap. Problem solved.

  3. Its not kids that are the problem, its the near mentally retarded adults.

    The amount of force you have to apply in Wii tennis for example is about half that of a real game, but the videos online show the breakages are occuring when people apply more force than proffesional players themselves, as if they simply don’t understand physics and are trying to fling the controller as fast as they want the ball to be returned.

    People are stupid, not realising that fact was Nintendos mistake.

  4. I did not state that kids were the problem(re-read my comment if you need to). I stated that nintendo knew kids would be playing this system alot.

    Kids tend to get excited as they play and there is a greater chance of things getting broken when kids are playing. Having this knowledge alone should have been enough of a clue for nintendo to build better straps in the 1st place.

    Had nintendo taken this basic common knowledge into account to begin with it would not matter how many idiot adults were playing rough with it. The straps would have been strong enough.

  5. I have a WII and our strap broke.
    When I went to the Nintendo site – they showed two different straps.

    Playing with the WII gets intense, and I am a 48 year old man who never played video games before.

    Contrary to popular belief, the WII is not made for kids. It is an adult toy.



  6. This recall is dumb! The Wii is great, I even saw a Picture after the Wii remote strap “broke” The pic shows a hand that glass had cut from a TV when the Wii remote broke it. The Wii is on the grownd and guess what??? Strap was not Broke!!! Could he have not been using the strap?? noooo!! no one is that crazy!

  7. Give me a break, folks. Anyone who had one of the straps break is the same type of person who was moving the controller around on the NES, trying to get Mario to jump higher. Ridiculous, and bless Nintendo for their patience. You aren’t ACTUALLY hitting a tennis ball, people, and it’s not a REAL bowling ball, k?

  8. “moving the controller around on the NES, trying to get Mario to jump higher”

    That brings up a some bad memories of my nintendo getting pulled off the tv back in the day…

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