Wii straps under investigation

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - Nintendo is investigating reports of faulty straps that attach to the Wii remote, causing some gamers to inadvertently toss the controller across the room while playing some of the console's more active games.

"Some people are getting a lot more excited than we'd expected. We need to better communicate to people how to deal with Wii as a new form of entertainment," said global president Satoru Iwata. "We are investigating" the strap issue, he assured, though according to a Nintendo spokesperson, no specific plans or revisions to the controller strap have been announced.

The strap which connects to the player's hand in case he or she accidentally lets go of the remote while playing bowling or some other game that involves overt physical use of the motion sensing in the controller. The claims allege that the strap can get accidentally detached from the controller.

Iwata does not foresee reports of the problem hampering the Wii's sales forecast, which is currently at 6 million units by the end of March 2007.

The Wii launch went very well for Nintendo in both the US last month and Japan last week, nearly selling out in both locations. An additional shipment of Wiis in North America also flew off store shelves, pushing the total unit sales to around one million.

The PS3, Nintendo's main competitor, had a rocky start because of production problems it announced several weeks before the console's debut. Although the system sold out, it was an overall disappointment for Sony due to lack of necessary supply. Only 500,000 PS3 consoles have reported to be shipped worldwide, and some analysts believe that number is even smaller.