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Nintendo Offers Wrist-Strap Replacement

by David Trammell - December 15, 2006, 1:52 am PST
Total comments: 33 Source: Nintendo

Numerous reports of failing straps cause Nintendo to issue free replacements.

It's been just shy of a month since Wii made its world-wide debut in North America, and the console seems to be doing quite well by standard measurements. However, the launch has not been without its hic-ups. A few software bugs in the form of an obscure Zelda show-stopper and slightly unstable firmware have manifested. But most notably, the standard wrist-strap is reportedly snapping from time to time, causing isolated injuries to property. Most reported incidents have occured during Wii Sports sessions, particularly tennis, baseball and bowling. Some personal injuries have been reported, but these are primarily due to limbs colliding with nearby objects rather than strapless remotes colliding with people.

In response to the failing strap problem, Nintendo is offering wrist-strap replacement to interested consumers. Among other things, the form requires that you provide the serial number that is printed on the back of your Wii, and allows you to request up to 4 replacement straps. The AP reports that the replacement program will cost Nintendo "several million dollars". Nintendo claims that consoles shipping since early December already contain the beefed up strap.

Comparison of Wii Remote Straps


UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 14, 2006

The only question I have about this is, in a court of law (or in a Jury's eyes), would this not make Nintendo look guilty if someone were to sue for their older-style wrist strap breaking?

SheckyDecember 14, 2006

Well they can claim that the strap is only intended to prevent falls and you would need to prove that the strap indeed broke while you were wearing it, etc. They have a lot of outs I'm sure. The voluntary recall means that you had an option to do something about it beyond this date too... I imagine you'd get an email if you registered your Wii (and if not oh well, up to you to keep up on your product info then)

My question.... Without me having to go into any spoiler ridden Zelda threads. What the heck is the "obscure Zelda show-stopper?" Or is the answer to that a spoiler (that would be bad).

I've not heard of the unstable firmware problems either.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 14, 2006

There are apparently points in Zelda where if you save, your game gets screwed...

18 DaysDecember 14, 2006

Gunna start collecting them. Dad lost the wrist strap for his camera recently.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusDecember 14, 2006

I guess the public at wide aren't as lazy or as weak as most would have you think. Atleast in that right arm...

SheckyDecember 15, 2006


Originally posted by: UncleBob
There are apparently points in Zelda where if you save, your game gets screwed...

Really? I'm assuming these are atypical breaking points and not the typical enter a dungeon for the first time and save breaking points. Or for that matter when the game asks you if you want to save after clearing a temple.

WPack911December 15, 2006

Just so everybody knows I saved the first time I entered a dungeon and quit there in most dungeon's and I also saved in everyone of the times they ask you if you want to and had absolutely no problems. So I don't think those places are the problem Shecky.

The problem might be more something like some people forgot to save, but could of sworn they did and they blame the game and if like 5 guys say that or agree we all of a sudden have a huge problem, what a load of BS. Also, at most Nintendo will lose like 2 Mil off this a drop in the bucket to them. They have made at least 100 times that on the Wii already for sure and will only make more and more as it goes on.

Not to mention it's money well spent by Nintendo since now we don't have to hear about idiot's throwing their Wii Remote at their wall or TV anymore like a bunch of morons and then blaming the strap. Now if somebody throws their Wii Remote like a idiot they have nobody to blame but themselves for not wearing the strap.


Bill AurionDecember 15, 2006

The areas of trouble are really bizarre areas, like saving after bringing back the bridge to Kakariko Gorge and saving when you are in the cannon room with Shad blocking the doorway...(which IS beatable...Shad's avatar disappears, but you can still talk to him...)

couchmonkeyDecember 15, 2006

Free wrist straps? I may as well do it, although I've had no problems myself.

I wonder if the save issues for Zelda also occur in the Cube version?

ShyGuyDecember 15, 2006

I will stick with my original wrist straps in hopes they will become rare collectable items that I can sell for much dinero at some point in the future.

edit: Curses, the afro-man below has foiled my plans.

ThePermDecember 15, 2006

they send you a new one, doesnt mean you have to get rid of your old one.

CalibanDecember 15, 2006

I don't even use my 2 original wrist-strap, I toook them off, but I still requested 2 new wrist-straps because they will be for anyone else other than me, I trust myself well enough not to throw the controller at my HDTV.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusDecember 15, 2006

Yeah I ordered four even though I probably won't change them out until the originals start looking worn.

IceColdDecember 15, 2006

Haha I beat NWR by 17 minutes..

WindyManSteven Rodriguez, Staff AlumnusDecember 15, 2006

I ordered two!

(I only have one controller!)

CericDecember 15, 2006


Originally posted by: Caliban
I don't even use my 2 original wrist-strap, I toook them off, but I still requested 2 new wrist-straps because they will be for anyone else other than me, I trust myself well enough not to throw the controller at my HDTV.

Famous last words.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusDecember 15, 2006

I would have stuck with my existing straps, but when unpacking my extra controller using scissors, I accidentally cut through the strap right where it meets the controller. I didn't realize it was already connected. Stupid blister packs. I had been trying to decide whether or not I should bug Nintendo for a replacement when this came along. I went ahead and got two. I don't want some zealous non-gamer (and I am letter many people try my Wii) to hurt something or someone.

IceColdDecember 15, 2006

I just realised.. that NWR watermark on the picture looks downright ugly.. especially compared to the old PGC one.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusDecember 15, 2006

I like it a lot more, it just looks bad on that picture because of the blue table the wiimotes are sitting on.

CericDecember 15, 2006

The old PGC watermark was a work of art. This one is Serviceable and functional.

JonLeungDecember 15, 2006

Seems kind of wrong to request more free straps than you have Wii Remotes, doesn't it?

JonLeungDecember 15, 2006

EDIT: Oops. Seems kind of wrong to post twice within one minute, doesn't it?

FaithinchaosDecember 15, 2006

So, is this still considered a real problem? I mean, I get sweaty hands as bad as the next guy (if not worse), but I have no fear of flinging this thing around. If I've ever had a problem with controllers, it isn't sweat, its the death grip I have with the fingers that are holding the controller. When I take breaks from gaming, I'll rub wipe my hands off on my pants or something, but its really a break to give the backs of my hands a rest because of how intense my grip is on the damn thing.

Seriously, Mythbusters needs to get up on this BS and show what kind of velocity this strap can actually withstand. Its strong. Or just a video of people slinging these things around like wild would suffice. Grrr its so stupid that this is either A) Fake news perpetuated by Nintendo's competition or B) Real news that people actually have been screwing up so bad that even the strap is not saving their epic fail.

Really - Nintendo? Send replacement straps with matching helmets... there are obviously more people with "special" needs than maybe first thought.

TrueNerdDecember 15, 2006

I remain stunned that this issue has become what it is.

CalibanDecember 15, 2006


Originally posted by: Ceric

Originally posted by: Caliban
I don't even use my 2 original wrist-strap, I toook them off, but I still requested 2 new wrist-straps because they will be for anyone else other than me, I trust myself well enough not to throw the controller at my HDTV.

Famous last words.

hahahahahahahaha...that just cracked me up, I like to live on the edge...not really, but I really hate anything that goes around my wrists, fingers, or neck, I wear no jewellery or watch because it gives me the impression that I'm chained.

EasyCureDecember 15, 2006

Note: This post is meant for anyone who is actually concerned about this, for anyone else don't bother reading my long post (sorry)

I havent had the chance to post here in a long time but I feel I should post about this topic.

Some of you might recall that I got a job at the Nintendo World Store in NYC so I have first hand accounts of how wild people (no, not just children) get when playing Wii. Most of my work shifts are spend handling the three WiiSports stations on the main floor (hell all of my shifts really, but I'm not complaining).

Everyday there is a handfull of people, young and old alike, that smash our wiimotes against a wall behind them or next to them, against the plexiglass casing surrounding the demo wii system, or even one of our staff. The plexiglass cases have some nasty scuffs on them, and the wiimotes have their share of battlescars as well.. and only ONCE in my month of employment has a wiimote ever slipped from someones hand.

It was a young boy of about 6 years of age and while my back was turned he had taken the wrist strap off so he could take his coat off for more manueverability. He swung wildly and dropped the remote; sending it sliding a few feet across the floor behind him with the batteries flying out of the thing. He apologized and I thought I was going to get fired on the spot (I was still new) but the remote worked fine and he continued his game. Noticed that it slipped from his hand when NOT wearing the wriststrap, thats the only reason the incident was so bad.

The only other times it falls out of peoples hands are when they forget they are attached and they hand the controllers back to us. They turn to walk away and the controlls are yanked out of our hands but never come near hitting the floor because its still strapped to their wrist.

You'd have to purposely throw the remote with much force (while strapped on) to put so mush strain on it that it would just snap off. Sure people get sweaty hands while gripping it, trust me I know and not just because my hands sweat alot while gripping anything for extended periods. I have to handle a wiimote thats held by people of all ages, and body types; some sweat more than others. Sometimes it's really gross grabbing one after someone finished a game and I have to wipe it down on my shirt so it doesnt feel gross for the next person. Still, with all those people with sweaty hands not once has the wiimote accidentally been flung from their grip.

This whole recall is most likely just Nintendo giving in to pressure of what such bad publicity will do to its hot selling system. Was it something fabricated by their competitors? Maybe.. Who am I to say for sure? But I do deal with Wii's every day, its my job, and I deal with alot of people from all over the world who come to NYC to try it out. I'd say my opinion should count for something.

Today alone I had over a dozen people ask me personally about the wrist strap and if it is really faulty. I've told them everything I've told you guys here. To be honest I didn't know about the recall until a customer brought it to my attention today. Alot of people are concerned that they bought a deffective product because of this report. Thats what happens when you're put in a bad light by the media. Thats why Nintendo is caving in and replacing the straps. The systems are THE holiday gift item this year and people are camping out in NYC as we speak to get some at my store. If they didn't do something about this there would be many potential buyers that would be put off because they don't want to buy a "broken" gift for their families.

Theres nothing to worry about.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 15, 2006

So... can you get me cool free stuff?

EasyCureDecember 17, 2006

i could of gotten you cooler free* stuff at my other job (still can really, get a discount for two more weeks)

*new job discount isnt too great, old job discount was 40% so its almost free lol
i cant even count how much nintendo stuff i have now...

CericDecember 17, 2006

You know I'm sort of surprised that they don't just put the gloves on in the store. Actually to me a bigger problem is that the colored straps that come with the official controller gloves don't have the piece of plastic to secure it to your wrist.

Also me and my friend Jim got into a big argument over this. He's much older then me and his take was that even if the Wiimote went hurdling towards a TV that it would break the Wiimote first. Especially a CRT. I'll admit that CRT's are hardy but I mentioned the fact that many people are moving away from the technology and that those were the screens that were taking damage. Still didn't "win".

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 17, 2006


Originally posted by: EasyCure
i cant even count how much nintendo stuff i have now...

You say that like it's a bad thing... face-icon-small-wink.gif

EasyCureDecember 17, 2006

it is this time of year. i have an NES messenger bag, assorted zelda pins/lapels, zelda beanie, zelda wallet, and a few nintendo tshirts all on layaway at my old job that i have to pick up pretty soon (as well as other non-nintendo related stuff but who wants to hear about that) and i dont have enough money to get those as well as OTHER peoples gifts.

thats not mentioning the stuff i wanna get at the NWS (including a limited edition tshirt that goes for $60)

CericDecember 18, 2006

Whats on the shirt? An elusive picture of Miyamoto's daughters or something?

EasyCureDecember 19, 2006

no actually. they are for different shirts:

My favorite one is the zelda shirt that has "Life" and two lines of hearts underneath it.
it also has the game intro printed on the back exactly how it appeared in the game; with "gannon" and "link" in green (and in quotes). I believe it also says "King of Games" right under the collar.

The second is a white zelda shirt with a green triforce crest.

Another is a picture of the gameboy; showing all of its sides and pointing out all of its features with the words "ultimate handheld" towards the bottom.

i forget the last one face-icon-small-frown.gif

i'll try to snag a picture of them for you guys tho

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