Wiimote plus: genuine vs chinese

Aug 15, 2011

If a brand is unbeatable for selling the same thing over and over again,  it's well Nintendo (Zelda for GameCube, Zelda for Wii, Zelda for DS, 3DS, ...). The Wii controllers are not forgotten in this game.
Just once you bought enough extra Wiimotes for the whole family, the Motion Plus dongle came out. Now that you eventually equipped all your Wiimotes with this add-on, the integrated version is there...


So do you feel like spending once more a third of the console price in another round of controllers ?

The first Wii MotionPlus Remote can be acquired bundled with the game Wii Motion Play, kind of justifying the price of ~ €45. Then it's about €35.- for each additional unit.
So the low cost alternative is tempting ... but it is a lottery as well!
Anyway let's find out...

I made a random pick on eBay for a red Chinese-mote at €15.- delivered (The red choice is to match the only color that was available for the genuine unit bundled with Wii Motion Play).

The fake remote is visually identical to the Nintendo, too identical...with the same "Wii MotionPlus INSIDE", Nintendo and RVL-003 imprints. This is my biggest problem with this unit: producing a Wii compatible controller is not illegal (see Datel, Bigben, Hubb, Venom...) but copying the brand name and model is, and  stupid: who's seriously thinking it comes from Nintendo when buying at such a low price?

The quality difference is immediately obvious with the plastic. The battery cover in particular is expected to be short lived! The remote looked so cheap that I started to wonder if it would actually contain a Motion plus, IR camera, rumble and speaker.

Well, the first test seemed to confirm my expectations...with the pointer going all over the places and no way to target anything accurately!... until I did some adjustments:

- I went to the Wii settings to changed the Sensor bar sensitivity to a lower value. Obviously the camera in those Chinese remotes has a different sensitivity than the originals. This simple step mostly did the trick for me and the remote became stable and accurate (tested with Wii Sport Resort and Wii Motion Play).

- My "sensor bar" was sitting on top of the TV, so I tried moving it below (adjusting the corresponding setting in the Wii setup of course). Some forum suggest that changing the position of the LED bar can help. While it didn't change much for me, it didn't make things any worse. As a third option, most non-Nintendo replacement "sensor bar" on the market are said to increase the accuracy to the remotes, mostly due to brighter LEDs.

Once the remote accuracy was resolved, I tested the compatibility with the official Nunchuck and it also worked properly.



So it seem that some non-official remotes for Wii can be a good alternative once you don't expect the same build quality for the price difference. Beside the obscure Chinese non-brand remotes, there are alternatives from more renowned manufacturers like Datel Wildfire FX, Bigben LX, Hubb, Venom V-mote, with prices in-between if you don't feel too adventurous.



More:
http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/wii/en_na/settingsSensorBar.jsp

http://www.davidhawley.co.uk/WiiSensorBar.aspx

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