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Nintendo probes Wii strap problems

December 08, 2006|From the Associated Press

TOKYO — The maker of the new Wii video game consoles, Nintendo Co., said Thursday that it was investigating reports of problems with a strap that secures the machines' wand-like remote controller to the player's wrist.

Players use the Wii's signature remote to mimic the motions of a tennis racket, a golf club or a sword, depending on the game.

At least two websites have been set up to collect photos that purportedly show damage -- such as broken glass and TVs -- resulting from the strap coming off players as they swing around the controller and causing the remote to fly out of their hands.

"Some people are getting a lot more excited than we'd expected," Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said. "We need to better communicate to people how to deal with Wii as a new form of entertainment."

Kyoto, Japan-based Nintendo is hoping the ease of the controls will draw a new generation of players. The maker of Pokemon and Super Mario games is locked in a three-way battle with Sony Corp., which makes PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Corp., which makes the Xbox 360.

Nintendo has not decided on any specific measures to change the strap, spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa said.

Iwata said Nintendo might raise its sales target for the Wii, which is selling out at retailers since it went on sale recently in the U.S. and Japan.

He said he first wanted to see how Christmas sales went before revising Nintendo's sales target of 6 million Wii consoles by the end of March.

Nintendo has shipped about 400,000 Wii machines in Japan and more than 600,000 in North America.

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