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Nintendo investigates flying Wii controllers

Wrist-straps, TV screens breaking

Nintendo is taking a close look at the wrist-strap on the controller for its Wii console, after several reports on the internet about straps breaking, causing the controller to fly out of users' hands.

Within days of the Wii going on sale in North America last month, tales of broken wrist-straps began appearing online. Many were accompanied by photographs of damage caused by the flying controller, which in some cases included cracked television screens. Pictures have also begun appearing in Japan after the Wii launched there on 2 December.

One of the selling points of the Wii is its motion-sensitive controller. Users can swing it like a club when playing a golf game, or jab it like a fist in a boxing game.

"There have been reports, mainly on the internet, about the strap breaking when you play the games very hard," said Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president, at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan today.

Nintendo tested the durability of all the console's parts, but "people are becoming excited beyond our expectations" while playing the Wii, he said. The company is investigating the reports, he added.

The Wii went on sale today in Australia and will hit stores across Europe tomorrow. Nintendo has sold more than a million of the consoles in the past month, and has managed to do what Japanese rival Sony failed to pull off – launch a new games console worldwide within a month.

Iwata confirmed Nintendo's plan to ship four million consoles by the end of the year and six million by the end of March 2007.

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