No broken game control straps in Canada, Nintendo says
Nintendo of Canada Ltd. says it has received no reports ofwrist straps breaking oncontrollers for its new video game console despite an admission by its parent company's president there may be a problem.
"There have been a few consumer complaints in North America but nothing specific in Canada," Farjad Iravani, a marketing manager with Nintendo's Canadian arm, told CBC News Online on Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, the president of Nintendo Co. Ltd. of Japan admitted to the possibility of a problem withthewireless controller.
"We are investigating," Satoru Iwata said about the reports during a talk at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo.
The company's Wii (pronounced "we") console uses a motion-sensitive device to control movements in its games. Players can swing the controller like a sword or turn it like a steering wheel to control actions within the game world.
Wii owners have reported that the strap breaks, turning the remote control into a projectile. Some owners have reported that the remote shattered their television screens after the strap broke during normal use.
Websites report problems
About one in five respondents to a poll by the popular video games blog Kotaku said the strap broke on their Wii controllers after they lost their grip on it. By noon Thursday, 488 people (5.2 per cent) of the 9,421 people participating in the unscientific poll said they had experienced the problem.
The wrist strap question has given rise to a website that tracks problems with the Wii.
Wii Have A Problem publishes video clips, photographs and news about flaws in Nintendo's latest offering and counts 14 broken wrist straps among the problems reported by its readers. According to the site, property damage related to the controller includes eight broken television sets, two laptop computers and a window.
"We advise people to keep a firm grip on the controller when they play and to use the wrist strap," Iravani said.
"Some people are getting a lot more excited than we'd expected," Iwata said. "We need to better communicate to people how to deal with Wii as a new form of entertainment."
Nintendo has no specific plans to change the strap, spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa said.
Iwata said Nintendo might raise sales targets for the Wii, whose shipments have been selling out since the console launched in North America Nov. 19 and in Japan Dec. 2.
Iwata said he wants to see holiday sales results before he makes any decision on whether the company will increase its sales target of six million units for the end of March.
"I'm not ruling that out entirely, but it's premature to say it now," he said.
Nintendo says it has shipped more than 600,000 Wii consoles in North America and about 400,000 in Japan. It went on sale in Australia on Thursday and launches in Europe on Friday.
Nintendo projects an $845 million USprofit, largely on Wii sales in the second half of its fiscal year.
The Wii sells for $279.95.
With files from the Canadian Press