Sorry, this isn’t about an imminent retailer resupply.

Instead, it’s about the time last night when some of my friends came over. A buddy brought over his two Wiimotes, one of which was missing a strap because some people who had borrowed his Wii broke the strap and sent a Wiimote flying into the wall. Ha ha. We all had a good laugh about that, and mentioned the pictures on Something Awful and the IGN video.

Then we lined up in front of the TV to play some four-player Wii tennis.

Gordon Cameron, who is an actual tennis player, was on my team. We were kicking ass. Then it happened.

Gordon was doing some kind of actual overhead smash thing, like he probably learned from real tennis. But there was a sudden commotion to the right of the TV. Some games fell over, a glass was jostled, and something banged into the blinds that had been dropped in front of the window to keep the neighbors from seeing how ridiculous we all must have looked. It was a mysterious deadly white missile from nowhere.

Or maybe not from nowhere. Gordon was holding a wrist strap with two frayed strings at the end. His Wiimote hand was empty. He looked aghast, and not just because he’d blown the serve.

Sure enough, in the course of normal use, with the strap in place as per the pre-game nag, we had an errant Wiimote. The Wiimote itself flew apart into its four component parts: the Wiimote proper, the back cover, and the two batteries. We analyzed the scene like a CSI team while looking for where the pieces of the Wiimote had gotten to. The stack of games apparently slowed the Wiimote enough that it didn’t knock over the glass of water, which deflected it into the window, where the blinds kept anything from being cracked. And the television screen was cleared by at least two feet. But it happened.

And it was awesome!

Unfortunately, Gordon was too cowed to get his game back and we got our asses kicked. And now one of my Wiimotes is strapless, so it goes to the guy who gets the least sweaty hands.


It’s Gordon’s fault for not holding on well enough.

What broke? Was it the actual strap or the tiny little string that connects the strap to the remote? Because the former seems really sturdy. The latter, not so much.

Cue Dave Long! Time to say that only complete klutzes break wiimote straps, and so this is totally not a problem with the Wii, and only a risk for complete losers – it could never happen to you or anyone you know. That wispy little string by which the strap is attached is perfectly safe, it could only break by freak accident!

Seriously though, what was Nintendo thinking with that flimsy piece of string? Why not just have the actual strap connect to the wiimote?

The question that concerns me with this recall impending fatal Wii flaw is this: Can you replace the strap with something more sturdy BEFORE it breaks and kills grandma?

Gordon, why do you hate Tom?

That string in all the pics and videos I’ve seen looks astonishingly fragile, even compared to my digital camera strap which is designed for much less abuse.

I think I’ll be Wiiplacing it with some steel cable based on current reports.

I’ve only had a look at one down at the shop, and so haven’t had the scope to fiddle with it, but the design of the “strap attach point” doesn’t leave room for anything substantially thicker. Can you even fit a shoelace through the little gap? I suppose you could loop some tougher material through a few times, like fishing line or dental floss perhaps?

There’s more space for a tougher string. I have devices with smaller plastic holes witch more robust wrist straps. My camera, for example. The string is at least twice as thick as that on the Wiimote.

Honestly, those things look fucking thin. Like maybe the string machine failed to braid in two or three more cords.

Ok, I’m going to go crawl into a hole and die now. Thanks Tom!

Actually, I don’t think I needed to do quite such a “big” tennis swing with the wiimote. A light flick of the wrist would probably be the same as far as the controller can tell. But the game sorta lends itself to outsized motions, at least if you have played tennis in real life. Damn muscle memory.

I’m just thankful the remote didn’t fly about 12 inches to the left, in which case it would have gone right into the TV.

Isn’t Tom still way behind in terms of upgrading to HD anyway? He could have used it as an excuse to finally leave the stone age.

Also, has anyone checked to see if Wii-borne damage is available as a clause under your renter’s/home-owner’s insurance yet?

It was the strap that broke. I was impressed by the wii construction. The controller exploded, batteries, plastic back and all. Yet the Wii remote was put right back together and worked perfectly. I now understand why the controls are built so light.

PS Rich and I totally dominated. I think Gordo was worried and was literally throwing the game.


Don’t feel bad! Blaming you was my way of poking fun of Dave Long. It’s not your fault the Wii straps are to thin.

Mouselook, naw, I’m set with my current HDTV. It’s a plenty big enough Samsung that’s served me well.

Dude, it was a moment of glory! The only thing that would have made it more glorious would have been smacking the TV.

Seriously, though, the string clearly snapped in the course of normal use and no one but the big N should be blamed for an errant Wiimote. The Wii is built to let people cut loose and play however they want to play. Otherwise, why bother with a strap?

It’s just a shame that Nintendo didn’t seem to appreciate the maxim about a chain being as strong as its weakest link.


Darn, I thought this thread was going to be about a Wii port of Incoming.

My cellphone used to have a wrist-strap on it, and I got in the horrible habit of spinning it around on my finger. The inevitable eventually happened, and my cellphone went flying. The phone’s wrist strap isn’t made for that kind of thing.

The wiimote-strap, however, damn well should be. Even if you aren’t swinging the thing so damn hard, those things will eventually snap for EVERYONE. Wiipocalypse!

Let’s all be thankful then!

Finally, my dainty wrists are good for something!

The strap is never taut when I am using the wiimote, so there’s no occasion for it to snap.

I see an opportunity in after-market metal Wiimote straps. Either that, or someone is going to come up with some wacky game where you throw the Wiimote at other people on purpose.

  • Alan