The jacket, actually a silicon sleeve that fits around the controller, will be bundled with new Wii hardware shipments beginning today, but current Wii owners can also partake of the company's generosity by going to the Nintendo website or calling 1-866-431-8367. Customers requesting the free Jackets will be required to enter the serial number of their console, and can order up to four of the devices.
Nintendo will be shipping 20 million Wii Remote Jackets worldwide, at an estimated cost of $18 million, but Nintendo representatives say the expense won't affect the company's bottom line. The company has also announced that the Jackets will be available in Europe as well as North America, and will begin shipping to Wii owners during the week of October 15.
The Jacket is the latest move from Nintendo to add durability to the Wii Remote, following the redesign of the unit's wrist strap in late 2006. The device is popular for its interactive nature, but also resulted in some complaints from gamers after their controllers were damaged as the result of being accidentally flung across the room during heated gaming sessions.