Wii Remote

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Wii Remote
Manufacturer(s) Nintendo
Console(s) Wii
Release date USA November 19, 2006
Japan December 2, 2006
Australia December 7, 2006
Europe December 8, 2006
Storage 16 KiB EEPROM chip (16.3 kilobytes)
Connectivity Bluetooth
MSRP Japan ¥3,800[1]
USA $39.99[2]
Europe €39[citation needed]
UK £29[citation needed]

The Wii Remote (model number: RVL-003), also known colloquially as the Wiimote, is the main game controller used for the Wii. One of the Wii Remote's main capabilities is its motion sensing capability, which allows the user to interact with and manipulate items on screen via gesture recognition and pointing, using accelerometer and optical sensor technology. It is expandable by adding attachments. A Wii Remote comes bundled with every Wii console. There are several attachment peripherals, most notably the Nunchuk, which complements the Wii Remote by providing functions similar to those in gamepad controllers.

In late 2010, an upgrade was released, the Wii Remote Plus, which has the Wii MotionPlus technology built-in, allowing for a more enhanced gameplay experience, whereas the original Wii Remote require the Wii MotionPlus accessory to be attached to it itself.

The Wii's successor console, the Wii U, supports the Wii Remote and its peripherals in games where use of the features of the Wii U GamePad is not mandated.


Development of a motion-enabled controller began when development of the Wii console started in 2001. In that year, Nintendo licensed a number of motion-sensing patents from Gyration Inc., a company that produces wireless motion-sensing computer mice.[3] Gyration had previously pitched their idea and patents of a motion controller to Sony and Microsoft, who both declined.[4]

Nintendo then commissioned Gyration to create a one-handed controller for it, which eventually became the "Gyropod", a more traditional gamepad which allowed its right half to break away for motion-control.[3] At this point, Gyration brought in a separate design firm, Bridge Design, to help pitch its concept to Nintendo. Under requirement to "roughly preserve the existing Game Cube[sic] button layout", it experimented with different forms "through sketches, models and interviewing various hardcore gamers".[5] By "late 2004, early 2005", however, Nintendo had come up with the Wii Remote's less traditional "wand shape", and the design of the Nunchuk attachment. Nintendo had also decided upon using a motion sensor, infrared pointer, and the layout of the buttons, and by the end of 2005 the controller was ready for mass production.[6]

During development of the Wii Remote, Shigeru Miyamoto brought in mobile phones and controllers for automotive navigation systems for inspiration, eventually producing a prototype that resembled a cell phone. Another design featured both an analog stick and a touchscreen, but Nintendo rejected the idea of a touchscreen on the controller, citing that "the portable console and living-room console would have been exactly the same."[6] This idea would later be implemented for the Wii U GamePad and then the Nintendo Switch.

The Wii Remote was originally being developed as a controller for the Nintendo GameCube. Factor 5 stated that during development of Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, it had an early prototype of a motion-sensing controller.[7] Images of the GameCube prototype of the Wii Remote, including the Nunchuk, were found online in October 2018 when one of the prototypes was made available through an online auction.


The Wii Remote assumes a one-handed remote control-based design instead of the traditional gamepad controllers of previous gaming consoles. This was done to make motion sensitivity more intuitive, as a remote design is fitted perfectly for pointing, and in part to help the console appeal to a broader audience. The body of the Wii Remote is 148 mm (5.8 in) long, 36.2 mm (1.43 in) wide, and 30.8 mm (1.21 in) thick. The controller communicates wirelessly with the console via short-range Bluetooth radio, with which it is possible to operate up to four controllers at a distance of up to 10 meters (30 ft) from the console.[8] The Wii Remote communicates with the Sensor Bar by infrared, providing pointing functionality over a distance of up to 16 feet (5 meters) from the Wii Remote to the Sensor Bar.[9] The controller can be used in either hand; it can also be turned horizontally and used like a Nintendo Entertainment System controller, or in some cases a steering wheel, notably in Mario Kart Wii. It is also possible to play a single-player game with a Wii Remote in each hand, as in the Shooting Range game contained in Wii Play.

At E3 2006, a few minor changes were made to the controller from the design presented at the Game Developer's Conference. The controller was made slightly longer, and a speaker was added to the face beneath the center row of buttons. The B button became more curved resembling a trigger. The "Start" and "Select" buttons were changed to plus + and minus –, and the b and a buttons were changed to 1 and 2 to differentiate them from the A and B buttons, while also evoking the keypad of typical television remotes. Also, the symbol on the Home button was changed from a blue dot to a shape resembling a home/house, the shape of Power was made circular rather than rectangular, and the blue LEDs indicating player number are now labeled using 1 to 4 small raised dots instead of numbers 1 to 4, resembling the dots used to mark the four controller ports of the GameCube console. The Nintendo logo at the bottom of the controller face was replaced with the Wii logo. Also, the expansion port was redesigned, with expansion plugs featuring a smaller snap-on design.[10] The Wii Remote had the capability of turning the main console's power on or off remotely with a power button, further reinforcing the impression that it looks like a television remote.

The blue LEDs also indicate the battery's state: on pressing any button (other than the power button) while the controller is not being used to play games, four LEDs flash to indicate full battery, three for 75%, two for 50%, and one for 25% life remaining.

In the Red Steel trailer shown at E3 2006, the Wii Remote had a smaller circular shaped image sensor instead of the larger opaque IR filters shown on other versions. In the initial teaser video that revealed the controller at Tokyo Game Show 2005, the 1 and 2 buttons were labeled X and Y.


The Wii Remote has a wrist strap attached to the bottom to prevent it from flying away during game action if not held securely. The wrist strap is tied with a cow hitch knot. Every Wii game contains safety warnings concerning wrist strap use during its startup sequence and also at or near the beginning of its instruction booklet, even if the game does not use motion controls. The latter is a word-for-word reproduction of a standard wrist strap warning notice established by Nintendo. The wrist strap is also used to restrain the Nunchuk's connector by its hook, safely slowing any sudden movement of the Nunchuk's cord if the connector is forcibly disconnected. In spite of widespread wrist strap safety notices, there are certain Wii games, in whole or part, that are played by moving the Wii Remote in such a way that would be hindered by a wrist strap, such as Let's Tap, most House Party games in Wii Party and the Treasure Twirl game in Wii Play Motion. In such games or game modes, on-screen prompts, as well as instruction booklet text, will specifically state that they must be played without the wrist strap. WarioWare: Smooth Moves sometimes requires the Wii Remote to be dropped, which would cause problems if the strap breaks.

On December 8, 2006, units with thicker straps began to appear in some parts of the world.[11] The old strap had a 0.6 mm (0.024 in) diameter, and the newer one had a larger diameter of 1.0 mm (0.039 in). Nintendo's online "Wrist Strap Replacement Request Form" allows owners to receive up to four free straps when a Wii serial number and shipping details are provided.

On December 15, 2006, Nintendo denied reports of a Wii wrist strap recall. While Nintendo denied claims that three million straps had been recalled, it replaced broken wrist straps free of charge.[12] The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission became involved in the "replacement program".[13]

On August 3, 2007, a new wrist strap was found to be supplied, with a lock clip instead of a movable slide to prevent the strap from working loose during prolonged play.[14]

In 2012, with the launch of the Wii U, the wrist strap was once again updated to allow users to push the sync button through the new jackets and battery covers.


The Wii Remote Jacket was a free accessory for the Wii Remote that was announced by Nintendo on October 1, 2007.[15] The removable silicone sleeve wraps around the Wii Remote provide a better grip, and cushioning to protect the Wii Remote if dropped. Nintendo started including the jacket with the controller on October 15, 2007. The safety jacket included with every Wii Remote is usually translucent. However, for black Wii Remotes and red Wii Remote Plus controllers, the safety jacket would be of the same color. The original Wii MotionPlus accessory comes with a built-in safety jacket.


At E3 2006, Nintendo displayed white, black, and blue controllers. Press images released for the event featured white, red, silver, lime green, and black versions. The Wii console and controllers launched in only white versions, with Shigeru Miyamoto commenting that new hues would be provided when supplies became available.[16]

On June 4, 2009, Nintendo revealed that it would release black versions of the Wii, Wii Remote, Nunchuk, and Classic Controller Pro in Japan on August 1, 2009. Each black Wii Remote includes a matching solid-black Wii Remote Jacket.[17] In addition, Club Nintendo in Japan held a contest between June 25, 2009 and August 31, 2009 wherein members who purchased and registered a copy of Wii Sports Resort would be entered into a draw to win one of 5,000 blue controller sets. Each set included a Wii Remote, Wii MotionPlus, and Nunchuk, all in a sky blue color referred to as Mizuiro and distinct from other blue Wii Remotes.[18]

On September 1, 2009, Nintendo announced that black versions of the Wii Remote, Wii MotionPlus, and Nunchuk would be released in North America during the holiday season.[19] On November 16, 2009, the black Wii Remote and Wii MotionPlus was released as a bundle, and the black Nunchuk was released as a standalone purchase.[20]

Blue and pink Wii Remotes were released in Japan on December 3, 2009.[21] In North America, the blue and pink Wii Remotes were released February 14, 2010 in a bundle with a standard white Wii MotionPlus.[22] In Australia, the black, blue and pink versions of the Wii Remotes were released on February 25, 2010, along with the black Nunchuk and black Wii MotionPlus.[23]

When Nintendo released the Wii Remote Plus in late 2010, which featured built-in Wii MotionPlus technology, it would initially be available in the same four standard Wii Remote colors, plus a special red variant that was included in red Wii consoles manufactured to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Mario series. In the years that followed, Nintendo released more Wii Remote Plus color schemes based on its first-party game franchises.

Home Menu[edit]

Accessed with the Wii Remote's Home button, the Home Menu displays information about the controller(s) currently being used, and allows the user to configure certain options. At the bottom of the menu screen, the battery life of all connected controllers is displayed. Below that is a bar labeled Wii Remote Settings. Selecting it brings users to an options screen where they can control the audio output volume, rumble settings, and reconnect the controllers, for example to connect Wii Remotes through one-time synchronization. Depending on when the Home Menu is accessed, a different number of buttons are displayed.

Wii Menu: No matter when the menu is accessed, the Wii Menu button will always be present. Selecting this will exit a game or a Wii Menu channel and return the player to the Wii Menu, where users can choose another channel. When playing certain Virtual Console titles, with the exception of the Nintendo 64 and Neo Geo, this also creates a suspend point.

Reset: In applications and games (both retail and downloadable), the Reset button is available. This performs a soft reset of that particular application, for example returning a game to its title screen or the loading screen of a Wii Menu channel, the same as what would happen if the player were to press the console's physical reset button.

Operations Guide: On Wii Menu channels, including the News Channel, Forecast Channel, Internet Channel, Everybody Votes Channel, certain WiiWare titles and Virtual Console titles, the Operations Guide button appeared on the Home Menu. The guide accessed acts as an instruction manual for the game being played.

The Home Menu can be compared to the Xbox 360's in-game menu (accessed by pressing the "Xbox" button), or the PlayStation 3's mid-game XMB. It may be accessed under most circumstances during Wii operation, which pauses the on-screen action. Otherwise, a "home" symbol with a no symbol on it appears onscreen. It is also inaccessible during Nintendo GameCube play, as the Wii Remote cannot control Nintendo GameCube software.



The Wii Remote has the ability to sense acceleration along three axes through the use of Analog Devices MEMS-based three-dimensional accelerometers.[9]

The Wii Remote also has a PixArt optical sensor that allows it to determine where it is pointing.[24] Unlike a light gun, which senses light from a television screen, the Wii Remote senses light from the console's Sensor Bar (RVL-014), which allows consistent usage not influenced by the screen used. The Sensor Bar is about 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) long and has ten infrared LEDs, five at each end of the bar.[25] The LEDs furthest from the center are pointed slightly outwards, the LEDs closest to the center are pointed slightly inwards, while the rest are pointed straight forward. The Sensor Bar's cable is 11.7 feet (353 centimeters) in length. The bar may be placed above or below the television, centered horizontally, in line with the front of the television or the front of the surface the television is placed on. The Remote should be pointed approximately towards the Sensor Bar; precise pointing is not necessary so long as it is within the limited viewing angle of the Wii Remote.

Use of the Sensor Bar allows the Wii Remote to be used as an accurate pointing device up to 16 feet (5 meters) away from the bar. The Wii Remote's image sensor[24] is used to locate the Sensor Bar's points of light in the Wii Remote's field of view. The light emitted from each end of the Sensor Bar is focused onto the image sensor which sees the light as two bright dots separated by a distance "mi" on the image sensor. The second distance "m" between the two clusters of light emitters in the Sensor Bar is a fixed distance. From these two distances m and mi, the Wii CPU calculates the distance between the Wii Remote and the Sensor Bar using triangulation.[26] Rotation of the Wii Remote with respect to the ground can also be calculated from the relative angle of the two dots of light on the image sensor.[27] Games can be programmed to sense whether the image sensor is covered: one example is in a WarioWare: Smooth Moves microgame, where if the player does not uncover the sensor the champagne bottle that the Wii Remote represents will not open.

The Sensor Bar is required when the Wii Remote is controlling up-down, left-right motion of a cursor or reticle on the TV screen to point to menu options or objects such as enemies in first-person shooters. Some Wii games that depend on infrared pointing, such as The Conduit, allow the player to calibrate the Wii Remote's pointer in-game. Because the Sensor Bar allows the Wii Remote to calculate the distance between the Wii Remote and the Sensor Bar,[28] the Wii Remote can also control slow forward-backward motion of an object in a three-dimension game. Rapid forward-backward motion, such as punching in a boxing game, is controlled by the acceleration sensors. Using these acceleration sensors (acting as tilt sensors), the Wii Remote can also control rotation of a cursor or other objects.

The use of an infrared sensor to detect position can cause some detection problems in the presence of other infrared sources, such as incandescent light bulbs or candles. This can be alleviated by using fluorescent or LED lights, which emit little to no infrared light, around the Wii.[29] The LEDs can be seen by some digital cameras, phone cameras, and other devices with a wider visible spectrum than the human eye. Innovators have used other sources of infrared light, such as a pair of flashlights or a pair of candles, as Sensor Bar substitutes. The Wii Remote picks up traces of heat from the sensor, then transmits it to the Wii console to control the pointer on your screen. Such substitutes for the Sensor Bar illustrate the fact that a pair of non-moving lights provide continuous calibration of the direction that the Wii Remote is pointing and its physical location relative to the light sources. There is no way to calibrate the position of the cursor relative to where the user is pointing the controller without the two stable reference sources of light provided by the Sensor Bar or substitutes. Third-party wireless sensor bars have also been released, which have been popular with users of Wii emulators since the official Sensor Bar utilizes a proprietary connector to connect to the Wii console.

The position and motion tracking of the Wii Remote allows the player to mimic actual game actions, such as swinging a sword or aiming a gun, instead of simply pressing buttons. An early marketing video showed actors miming actions such as fishing, cooking, drumming, conducting a musical ensemble, shooting a gun, sword fighting, and performing dental surgery.

Controller feedback[edit]

The Wii Remote provides basic audio and rumble (vibration) functionality, but the Nunchuk does not. At E3 2006, it was revealed that the Wii Remote has its own independent speaker on the face of the unit. This was demonstrated by a developer as he strung and shot a bow in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The sound from both the Wii Remote and television was altered as the bow shot to give the impression of the arrow traveling away from the player. In addition to reproducing certain in-game sound effects that reflect the on-screen action, the Wii Remote speaker can also function as a voice receiver through which non-player characters can speak to the player with long-distance telecommunication, featured in games like Red Steel, Real Heroes: Firefighter, and GoldenEye 007. Some party games and hotseat multiplayer games also utilize the speaker to indicate changes between player turns. The volume can be changed or muted with the "Home" button and selecting the corresponding controller icon at the bottom of the screen; if the speaker is muted, any sounds intended to be emitted from the speaker will come from the television in most cases. The rumble feature can also be switched on or off using the Home Menu.


The Wii Remote contains a 16 KiB EEPROM chip of which a section of 6 kilobytes can be read and written to by the host.[29] Part of this memory is available to store up to ten Mii avatars, which can be transported to use with another Wii console (but it can be used to upload Miis to the Mii Parade and keep it on the console (by copying Mii to remote, moving Mii to parade from console, and then moving from remote to the console)). 4,000 bytes are available for game use before the Mii data. Pokémon Battle Revolution and Super Swing Golf also use this memory. This function is also used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, allowing the user to save controller configuration data to the Wii Remote. Monster Hunter Tri also uses this function by allowing players to save their profiles to the Wii Remote. Pokémon Rumble uses this section to store Pokémon. Club Penguin: Game Day! uses this to store the player's penguin avatar.

Power source[edit]

The Wii Remote uses two AA size alkaline batteries as a power source, which can power a Wii Remote for 60 hours using only the accelerometer functionality and 25 hours using both accelerometer and pointer functionality.[29] Various third-party manufacturers created charging solutions for the Wii Remote, such as the Nyko Charging Station. In May 2013, Nintendo announced a rechargeable battery and dock accessory. Their industrial designer Lance Barr said that the Wii Remote's expansion port is unsuitable for internal battery charging.[30] The only type of (externally charged) rechargeable battery supported is nickel-metal hydride (NiMH).[31] A 3300µF capacitor provides a temporary source of power during quick movements of the Wii Remote when connection to the batteries may be temporarily interrupted.[32] If the Wii Remote is not used for more than 5 minutes, such as when the player is using a GameCube controller, it will shut off, and can be re-activated by pressing any button (this was also the case when using a now discontinued video-on-demand service). Games are able to determine and react to the current battery life of Wii Remotes, and certain games use unique, extra-diegetic methods of alerting the player to low battery life, such as Fi in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.


The Wii Remote has an expansion port at the bottom which allows various functional attachments to be added. The connector, and any accessories that attach to it, use a 400 kHz I²C protocol. This expandability is similar to that available with the port on the Nintendo 64 controller. There is a female connector on Wii remotes, to which expansions with a male connector can be connected.

The multiple kinds of controllers that can connect to the Wii Remote make it into a more versatile controller, opening up new Wii controller configurations and likewise multiple control schemes. Various racing games such as Mario Kart Wii and a few Need for Speed video games, as well as some fighting games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars and the Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution trilogy take advantage of the versatility the expansion port confers to offer multiple control schemes to suit different kinds of players.


Main article: Nunchuk

The Nunchuk is a wired attachment for the Wii Remote, which it connects to via a cord. It features an analog stick and two trigger buttons: a rectangular Z button and a smaller circle-shaped C button.

The Nunchuk also has two trigger buttons (a last-minute modification changed the two triggers to one trigger and a C button, as described below). It works in tandem with the main controller in many games. Like the Wii Remote, the Nunchuk also provides a three-axis accelerometer for motion-sensing and tilting, but lacks the feedback features of a Wii Remote.

The presence of a motion sensor in the Nunchuk allows the Wii controller to recognize gestures from both of the player's hands independently, a feature that is leveraged to implement boxing controls for Wii Sports or dual wield combat in some hack and slash games, such as Prince of Persia: Rival Swords. Despite having fewer buttons, the Nunchuk can also be used as a controller itself, a feature that is leveraged by Opoona, Bust-A-Move Bash! and SpeedZone. This allows two players to share a single Wii controller, enabling the multiplayer modes of Bash! and SpeedZone to support five to eight players across the maximum four Wii controllers that can be synced to a single console.

Classic Controller[edit]

Main article: Classic Controller

The Classic Controller is reminiscent of the controller for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, being the same size and having the A, B X, Y, L and R buttons and directional pad in the same location. It also has two analog sticks and two extra shoulder buttons used to replicate additional components found on the Nintendo GameCube controller. The controller is primarily used for Virtual Console titles, with several titles requiring either a Classic Controller or a Nintendo GameCube Controller to play. Dozens of Wii titles are also compatible with the controller to allow for a more traditional control scheme.

Wii MotionPlus[edit]

Main article: Wii MotionPlus

The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device that allows the Wii Remote to more accurately capture complex motion. Incorporated with a custom version of the Wii Remote Jacket, the Wii MotionPlus affixes directly to the Wii Remote expansion port, extending the length of the controller body by approximately 1.6 inches (4 centimeters).[33] The Wii MotionPlus uses a tuning fork gyroscope which supplements the accelerometer and Sensor Bar capabilities of the Wii Remote, enabling controller motions to be rendered identically on the screen in real time.[34]

It is sold separately, and also included in bundles with some MotionPlus compatible games such as Wii Sports Resort and Red Steel 2. Black Wii Remotes bundled with the MotionPlus add-on were released in Europe in November 2009.[citation needed]

Wii Vitality Sensor[edit]

Main article: Wii Vitality Sensor

The Wii Vitality Sensor was a cancelled peripheral; a fingertip pulse oximeter sensor that connected through the Wii Remote. According to Nintendo, the device "will initially sense the user's pulse and a number of other signals being transmitted by their bodies, and will then provide information to the users about the body’s inner world." The Wii Vitality Sensor was announced by President and CEO Satoru Iwata at Nintendo's E3 2009 media briefing on June 2, 2009. No specific applications were revealed for the device, but when presenting the device Iwata suggested that video games may soon be used for relaxation.[35] According to Reggie Fils-Aime, more details concerning the Wii Vitality Sensor were to be revealed during E3 2010, although in the event the device was not mentioned.[36] In an interview with GameTrailers in 2010, Reggie said, "(E3) was not the kind of environment for a game based on relaxation", and said that they were saving news on the device for another time and place. At E3 2010, Ubisoft introduced their own pulse oximeter sensor named Innergy. At E3 2011, Nintendo announced more about the Wii Vitality Sensor. Shigeru Miyamoto said that the Wii Vitality Sensor has a difficult time performing consistently across a variety of situations but still mentioned a possibility of a release.[37]

On July 5, 2013, Satoru Iwata disclosed that the Wii Vitality Sensor project had been cancelled due to its lack of widespread compatibility, with Nintendo finding that the device failed to work with approximately 10% of people it was tested on, noting that the device was a narrower application than they had originally thought. Iwata also mentioned the possibility of returning to the project in the future, when the technology allows for at least a 99.9% success rate.[38]


Wii Zapper[edit]

Main article: Wii Zapper

The Wii Zapper is a gun-shaped shell accessory for the Wii Remote. As shown in the image, the shell holds both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and contains a trigger that actuates the Wii Remote's B button; all other buttons are still accessible while the remote and Nunchuk are in the shell. The name is a reference to the NES Zapper peripheral for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

According to an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, the idea of a Zapper-type expansion formed when the Wii Remote was first created. He expressed that "What we found is that the reason we wanted to have a Zapper is when you hold a Wii Remote, it can be difficult for some people to keep a steady hand. And holding your arm out like that can get your arm somewhat tired."[39] The Wii Zapper was created especially for games primarily involving both first-person shooters and third-person shooters.

Wii Wheel[edit]

Main article: Wii Wheel

The Wii Wheel accessory is designed for use in driving games: it is a steering wheel-shaped shell that a Wii Remote can be placed inside, enhancing driving games that allow for steering control by tilting the Wii Remote left and right. The Wii Wheel was first shipped alongside Mario Kart Wii.

Third-party development[edit]

Since the release of the Wii console, people have been exploring different ways of how to use the Wii Remote. Many third-party applications have been developed through Wii homebrew. One popular Windows program called GlovePIE allows the Wii Remote to be used on a personal computer to emulate a keyboard, mouse or joystick. Connecting the Wii Remote to a personal computer is done via a Bluetooth connection. The Bluetooth program BlueSoleil has been proven to successfully connect a Wii Remote to a PC. Still another program (like GlovePIE) is needed to utilize the Wii Remote's protocol and to use the data it offers.

The Wii Remote Bluetooth protocol can be implemented on other devices including cell phones, which often have poor usability with games. Two students have demonstrated this concept by creating driver software that has the capability to connect the Wii Remote to a Symbian smartphone. The idea behind this driver is that a mobile phone with a TV-out port can replace the game console.

Programmer Johnny Lee posted video demos and sample code at his website related to the use of the Wii Remote for finger tracking, low-cost multipoint interactive whiteboards, and head tracking for desktop VR displays. He demonstrated several such applications at a TED conference. The WiimoteProject forum became the discussion, support and sharing site for Lee's Wii Remote projects and other newer developments.

Studies have been conducted to use the Wii Remote as a practice method to fine-tune surgeons' hand motions.[40] Utilizing DarwiinRemote, researchers at the University of Memphis adapted the Wii Remote for data collection in cognitive psychology experiments.[41] Autodesk released a plugin that allows the Wii Remote to control orientation of 3D models in Autodesk Design Review.


Overall reception to the Wii Remote has changed over time. The control styles provided by the controller were met with praise at its first public exhibition at E3. Since then, comments have been noted by the press on its functionality. Matt Wales of IGN UK highlighted the aiming and precision of Red Steel and stated "Taking down swathes of enemies with nothing more than a twitch of the wrist proves immensely satisfying and, more importantly, incredibly involving."[42] Nintendo Power listed the Wii Remote as an innovative controller, citing it as innovative for several firsts, including the first use of motion control, the first built-in speaker, and the first Infrared Pointer.[43] This is incorrect,; the first video game controller to make use of motion sensitivity was Le Stick for the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, manufactured by Datasoft Inc, and released in 1981.

Other publications have noted specific complaints regarding control. GameSpot expressed that some motions in Cooking Mama: Cook Off failed to transmit or meet expectation during gameplay.[44] Similar observations were made on other titles made available during the Wii launch period. ComputerAndVideoGames.com reported that "Most prominent is the first batch of games, many of which do a better job at exposing the obstacles of full motion control, rather than the benefits... Need For Speed...is near unplayable, Far Cry got it all wrong, and the motion control in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance just feels tacked on."[45]

Later-released titles have seen mixed reactions in terms of control. A Game Informer review of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 stated that the Wii Remote has difficulty detecting a backswing.[46] A GamePro review for Medal of Honor: Vanguard said that the title "is an encouraging sign that developers are finally starting to work out the kinks and quirks of the Wii Remote."[47]

Both first-party and second-party titles have produced more favorable utilization of the Wii Remote's unique capabilities. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was nearly universally praised for its unique control scheme.[48] The game utilizes the Nunchuk for strafing and the infrared pointing capability of the Wii Remote for turning and special "gestures", which are used to select visors. Other Nintendo titles take a more minimalist approach, using mostly the pointer and buttons only, as with Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree or use the controller in a sideways configuration to resemble a Nintendo Entertainment System controller while de-emphasizing more advanced capabilities as featured in Super Paper Mario.

The Wii Remote and Nunchuk combined to sell over 8.5 million units in the United States, and took the top two spots in video game accessories sales in 2006.[49]

According to Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi, player feedback for the Wii Remote, particularly on reducing its form-factor, led into the development of the Nintendo Switch, a console small enough and with smaller controllers to also be a portable unit.[50]

Legal issues[edit]

The Wii Remote has come under a number of lawsuits from several different companies.

Interlink Electronics filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Nintendo in December 2006 over the pointing functionality of the Wii Remote, claiming "loss of reasonable royalties, reduced sales and/or lost profits as a result of the infringing activities" of Nintendo. The lawsuit was terminated in March 2007.[51]

On August 19, 2008, Hillcrest Laboratories Inc. filed a complaint against Nintendo with the U.S International Trade Commission, alleging that the Wii Remote infringed on three of its patents. A fourth Hillcrest patent (for graphical interfaces displayed on television screens) was also allegedly violated. Hillcrest sought a ban on Wii consoles imported to the United States.[52] On August 24, 2009 Nintendo and Hillcrest reached a settlement, although the terms were not publicly disclosed.[53]

In September 2011, ThinkOptics Inc. filed a lawsuit against Nintendo in United States District Court of the Eastern District of Texas over their controller, the Wavit Remote, claiming that the Wii violated its patent for a "handheld vision based absolute pointing system", a "Handheld Device for Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System", and a "Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System", which make up the basis for the Wavit Remote. They also said that the Wii U infringes on their patents as well and claims that Nintendo was aware of the fact that the Wii allegedly violates ThinkOptics' patents. The lawsuit sought an injunction against violating products, royalties, attorney’s fees, and damages for lost profits.[54] On August 28, 2014, the lawsuit was dismissed by ThinkOptics.[55]

Starting in December 2012, iLife Technologies sued several large companies over patent infringement over a set of patents they held related to "systems and methods for evaluating movement of a body relative to an environment", principally aimed at the medical field; Nintendo was sued by iLife in December 2013 for the Wii Remote's infringement on their patents, with the lawsuit seeking $144 million in damages, based on a $4 fine for the Wii units it had sold to date. A jury trial was heard in August 2017, and the jury ruled in favor of iLife Technologies and Nintendo was forced to pay US$10.1 million in damages.[56] While Nintendo attempted to appeal this ruling, the United States Court of Appeals upheld the jury's decision in December 2017.[57] However, in January 2020, a federal court overturned the judgement and ruled that iLife's patent was too broad.[58]

Wrist strap issues[edit]

In mid-December 2006, the law firm Green Welling LLP filed a class action lawsuit against Nintendo for its "defective wrist straps". A few days later, Nintendo issued a product recall for the wrist straps and issued a new version of the strap with an improved securing mechanism for the wrist, leading to the lawsuit to be dropped sometime thereafter.[59]

A second class-action lawsuit was filed by a mother in Colorado in December 2008, claiming the updated wrist straps were still ineffective.[60] This suit was dismissed by September 2010, finding for Nintendo that the wrist straps were not knowingly faulty under Colorado consumer protection laws.[61]

Trademark issues[edit]

In 2000, the term "Weemote" was trademarked by Miami based TV remote manufacturer Fobis Technologies and was later used as the name of their remote designed for young children.[62] While spelled differently, the term "Weemote" is phonetically identical to "Wiimote," the unofficial term for the Wii Remote. Sales of the Weemote, which totaled less than one million as of 2008 had fallen due to confusion with the Wiimote. Fobis Technologies claims this to be trademark infringement, however Nintendo does not actually use the term "Wiimote" in official promotional materials; but many retailers that sell the Wii Remote do use the term. Fobis sent out up to 100 cease and desist letters to retailers and have made offers to Nintendo for them to purchase the trademark.[62] Nintendo declined the offer, stating that it "does not use and does not plan to use the Weemote trademark."[63]

The trademark application for the Wii Remote was initially rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office after the trademark was filed in March 2008. The USPTO claimed that the word "remote" is commonly used, and therefore should not be trademarked. The USPTO said they would accept Nintendo's trademark filing if the company disclaims exclusive rights to the word "remote" in the term and if the word “Wii” would always precede the word “remote” in marketing and manuals. The USPTO accepted the “Wii Remote” trademark in July 2012.[64]


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