Nintendo Sued Over Wrist Straps

A Wii gamer in Austin, Texas has filed a lawsuit against Mario and company, claiming that Nintendo has violated a Consumer Protection Act by using "unfair or deceptive practices" in informing users that the Wiimote wrist strap prevents the controller from leaving the user’s hand if let go accidentally. News stories from around the nation have reported on free-flying controllers causing damage to electronic equipment and causing minor injuries when the strap broke and failed to secure the device to the gamer’s wrist.

The lawsuit states that, "As a result of the defective nature of the wrist strap on the Wii remote, plaintiff’s wrist strap broke on his remote causing damage to the Wii product plaintiff purchased. The controller is an essential component of any video game console, and so [the] plaintiff is unable to use the Nintendo Wii for its intended purposes as a result of the broken wrist band. Accordingly, it renders the Wii console, which retails in the United States for $250, useless."

Nintendo responded to the news of the lawsuit by stating, "We believe the lawsuit to be completely without merit. Nintendo has a long tradition of delivering high-quality products and excellent customer service, and we take all reports from our customers seriously. At the time we became aware of the lawsuit we had already taken appropriate steps to reinforce with consumers the proper use of the Wii Remote and had made stronger replacement wrist straps available. This suit has had no effect on those efforts."

In regards to the use of the Wiimote strap, the Wii instruction manual states, "CAUTION: Use the Wrist Strap. Wii gameplay with the Wii Remote can involve rapid or vigorous motion. Please use the wrist strap to prevent losing your grip on the remote and causing damage to the remote or surrounding objects, or injury to other people."

Whether the lawsuit will be successful or not is unclear at the moment, but Nintendo’s recent voluntary action to replace wrist straps is certainly an admission that there is, indeed, a problem. The real question on Nintendo’s mind, however, is just how widespread these incidents are, and how much the alleged defects will cost them.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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