Nintendo Plans Wii Strap Education

Nintendo Plans Wii Strap Education

With online reports of the Nintendo Wii remote strap breaking during play, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says the public needs to be educated.

"We are investigating. 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 Iwata at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo. "Of course before the launch of the Wii hardware Nintendo had a number of tests on the durability of everything, including the strap, but our understanding right now is that even beyond our expectations people are becoming more and more excited playing with the Wii."

The loop that Nintendo recommends the user put around his wrist is usually blamed for most Wii remote accidents. Users with sweaty palms and swinging their arms too enthusiastically are a sure way to test the limits of the thin strap.

Shigeru Miyamoto also chimed in on the issue. "We are encouraging people to understand that you really don't have to be so excited, but rather you need to understand the control and then you're going to be the best player. We are looking into the situation to see if there are additional methods to encourage people to kind of calm down so they would never throw away the controller itself."

During his speech, Iwata also suggested the Wii may break sales projections. "I'm not ruling that out entirely, but it's premature to say it now," he said.

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When thinking about people getting overexcited, I'm reminded of my younger sister when she first played Super Mario Brothers. She started out composed and calm, but as she progressed in the game, she got more and more excited. A simple press of the button to jump turned into moving the controller up and down. Her face became more strained and her instinct was to make the up and down motions even more forced and deliberate.

The scenario I described gives me some confidence in Nintendo's philosophy behind the remote control. Maybe it is more intuitive to move a controller rather than strictly pressing buttons. My sister's reaction to videogames tells me that Nintendo may be on to something and that the basic game-pad is a hurdle for novice and new gamers.

I'm just saying that I'm not surprised that gamers are overexerting themselves in the excitement. Have you ever swung a golf club and had it slip from your fingers in a momentary lapse in concentration? Though, I wonder if the straps are really breaking... or if the strap design is flawed. It could also be a bunch of embarrassed gamers blaming the strap for a fit of rage that resulted in them throwing the controller. It's tough to say, but it'll be interesting to see how Nintendo responds after further investigation.

I was watching a video of this guy playing Wii tennis. The ball came in high over the net, the kind of tantalizing floater even your grandmother would try to smash. He swung the controller in an overhead smash so hard the strap broke and the controller went slamming into the table. That move does nothing for your Wii tennis stroke, but it sure feels right at the time.

First, that sounds awesome and totally necessary. I know I'm going to break something when I finally get this thing.

What I don't understand is how people are losing their grip on the controller. Is it slippery or something? I've played racquet sports for years and I've never lost hold of one.

I can see how it'd be incredibly easy to lose one. It's slippery like an iPod.

I bet half these incidents of "broken straps" are really just people not wanting to admit they weren't wearing theirs.

Bongo Bill:
I bet half these incidents of "broken straps" are really just people not wanting to admit they weren't wearing theirs.

That reminds me of college for some reason. And some VERY sleepless nights.

Fletcher:

Bongo Bill:
I bet half these incidents of "broken straps" are really just people not wanting to admit they weren't wearing theirs.

That reminds me of college for some reason. And some VERY sleepless nights.

I'll second that.

Between the slippery control and sweaty hands I can see it getting tossed. But the strap should keep it from flying anywhere. And I don't see how the strap would break. I've never had the strap on a camera or anything else just snap, but then I wasn't swinging it like crazy either. I really do think you may be right about people not wearing the strap. Gamers also need to realize you really don't need to make out of control over the top motions, a nice flick of the controller will do. In the demos and commercials the motions are so exaggerated to make it look cool and put emphasis on the motion sensitivity.

You might not need to make exaggerated movements or anything, but really, getting into the feel of the game, it's just alot more fun to do the actual actions(that's what video games are for, right? fun?). Unfortunally, unlike real golf clubs, baseball bats, and tennis rackets, the Wii Remote doesn't have a grip to prevent slipping. That's what the wrist strap is supposed to be there for, but if it does break on a through that, there is a problem with the wrist strap.

Before anybody says that you should do "soft movements", doing soft movements doesn't give you very fast fast balls.

IF you guys don't know about it already, here's a link from people sending in reports of their "accidents".

http://wiihaveaproblem.com/

Sokaku:
IF you guys don't know about it already, here's a link from people sending in reports of their "accidents".

http://wiihaveaproblem.com/

Wow, that's a lot of broken stuff. I definitely see the need for a stronger strap or some sort of small grip on the controller itself. As I am definitely going to be one of those very excitable people (maybe even like that girl in the youtube video), I don't want to destroy anything but I still want to be able to be an excited, enthusiastic player.

The wiimote slipped out of my hands the other day for the first time. Was a smoking hot day and my hands got a little sweaty.
I honestly was a bit surprised by how many people were losing control of the thing and then it came out of my own hands and I realised how slippery it really is. Fortunately the strap stayed strong and it just ended up dangling from my arm, no damage done.

Goofonian:
The wiimote slipped out of my hands the other day for the first time. Was a smoking hot day and my hands got a little sweaty.
I honestly was a bit surprised by how many people were losing control of the thing and then it came out of my own hands and I realised how slippery it really is. Fortunately the strap stayed strong and it just ended up dangling from my arm, no damage done.

Yet.

The only two things that really surprises me about the Wiimote is that 1. there are no real grips on the thing, and 2. that the strap is weak enough to break.

This will probably be less of an issue as more people get their hands on the wiimote and figure out the most effective ways to use the motion sensing.

I recently got my grubby hands on a Wii of my own, and I can see how the little remotes could turn into white missles.

After I opened the box and got passed the obligatory "Holy freaking crap, I'm holding a brand new system in my hands for the first time" feelings, I was just toying around with the remote and the system. Playing a few sports games, surfing the options, you know... the regular stuff you do to break in something new.

However, as time went on I got more and more into the games and before I knew it I wound up and swung the remote like I was really at the World Series. I stopped after I did that because I didn't realize that I had actually done it until after I had hit the ball flying into the bleachers.

In my opinion I don't think it's about the gamers not knowing what to do... I just think that gamers aren't used to this sort of fun. After decades we've become used to sitting on the couch with a controller in our hand, or at most standing on a DDR pad or with a Fisher Price guitar in our hands. Now we have an entire system where we can flail around like maniacs? We don't know what to do with the new power.

I can't help but shake the feeling that something evil is behind all of these complaints...

Maybe the straps were weakened by some sort of rouge agent within Nintendo, or perhaps by a zealous fanboy from Microsoft or Sony ("Sony says it came up with motion sensing first, they must obviously tell the truth!")

In my opinion I don't think it's about the gamers not knowing what to do... I just think that gamers aren't used to this sort of fun. After decades we've become used to sitting on the couch with a controller in our hand, or at most standing on a DDR pad or with a Fisher Price guitar in our hands. Now we have an entire system where we can flail around like maniacs? We don't know what to do with the new power.

Good point. The link Sosaku posted was pretty cool too. I wonder if any of these issues came up at any meetings at the Nintendo offices during the development stage? If they did you would think that a grip of some kind would have been included on the controller. That's quite the oversight in my opinion.

In any sport where you swing a racket, they have nylon straps that are buried into the butt of the handle (where they're typically screwed in). Did the overpaid engineers at Nintendo put a simple digital camera strap design on the remote or something? If they did, I'm not surprised by the problems. It will be interesting to see if the straps broke the anchor on the remote... or if the strap itself broke. Either way, a strong strap is not rocket science, which is why I was giving Nintendo the benefit of the doubt at first. Now I'm thinking Nintendo screwed up.

Is it possible to sand down the gloss on the underside? That would probably help with the gripping situation. Either that, or get some of the grip tape people put on wooden racquettes and bats, and put it on the bottom. Making something you whip around iPod slippery just doesn't seem like a bright idea, especially since your hands are gonna sweat.

I can't find the articles right now but I believe that some 3rd party companies are developing some grip cases for the "wiimote" and some gloves as well. Too bad I don't remember the name of those companies but I saw it on my daily Games Press email a few weeks ago.

Those should help out people with sweaty hands.

 

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