Well, after about three weeks of waiting, my Nintendo Wii-mote jackets have finally arrived! Not bad for a bunch of free stuff! At the beginning of October it was revealed that Nintendo would be giving up to four free Wii-mote covers to each Wii owner, which apparently has cost them $18 million dollars. Seeing how Nintendo has sold over 13 million units, one could see how this could be the case; the shipping costs alone must’ve been pretty high, even with a bulk-order deal they probably got.
Ordering from the online store was easy, so as long as you waited until after the huge surge following the announcement from Nintendo. As a side note, their site (at least the online store) looks horribly out of date, like it’s been stuck in 2002 or something. (Note the Gamecube image in the banner)
There was some speculation that Nintendo offered the free jackets not only as a sign of customer appreciation, but also to reduce possible damage and lawsuits from flying, out of control Wii-motes. Previously, they had to offer free replacement straps for Wii-motes, which were thicker and stronger than the originals, after reports of breaking straps and flying Wii-motes surfaced on the Internet.
This is certainly reflected in the jacket’s design. Not only do they add more grip, but they add substantial cushioning around the end of the Wii-mote. (where the IR sensor is) This added padding would reduce the damage from a flying Wii-mote, since if you lost grip of it while playing the end would be the most likely impact area. The improved grip also feels nicer, as it makes the Wii-mote slightly larger in your hands, and also reduces sweat buildup, something that’s definitely a problem with action-packed Wii games.
While the jacket doesn’t block access to any buttons or impede your use of the controller, it does block/cover the battery pack on the underside. This makes it more troublesome to change batteries, and may be a problem if you use your Wii a lot. Furthermore, people using third-party rechargeable battery packs will likely be prevented from using the jackets since they’ll block access to the contacts necessary to charge the batteries. Lastly, the jackets include a cover for the nunchuk connector, while in my opinion, wasn’t necessary. It gets in the way when you’re trying to connect/disconnect the nunchuk.
However, these complaints are all moot; the jackets are free and a nice gift from Nintendo. If you have a Wii and haven’t ordered them, go do so right now!