Wii U GamePad will let you change the battery yourself

Nintendo has designed the back of the Wii U GamePad (that's the one with the power-sapping screen) with regular screws, allowing Joe Public the ability to access the rechargable battery and change it. Sounds like a small concession, but it's not the norm for such devices, as mobile electronics such as phones, iPads and DualShock 3s all feature sealed batteries that you aren't meant to be able to change yourself. 

It's more necessary for Wii U than with these devices, as the Wii U GamePad's estimated battery life from a single charge is between 3-5 hours. Forget to put it back on charge even once and you're in danger of it running out during your next play session, forcing you to play while connected to the base unit with a cable. The solution? Have a spare battery on standby.

The replacement batteries will be available directly from Nintendo itself but prices haven't been announced yet. We should point out that nobody is being forced to spend extra money on spare batteries, although Nintendo does estimate battery life in the unit will be reduced to 70% performance after 500 charges. That's still thousands of hours in, but close enough that it may happen during the console's lifetime.

Source: ShackNews via CVG



1 comment

  • osaka35 - December 24, 2012 5:59 p.m.

    Reasons why the battery life is a headache and can easily be a huge pain. 1) Parties. Playing Wii U games with your mates or throwing a party with a lot of games going on? My Wii U pad only seems to be working for hour and a half to two hours, which means a lot of plugging in a wireless controller. Extremely annoying and can easily put a stop to things if you can't pass the controller around (cord length and all that). 2) Extended playing. I personally put in 2-3 hours when I decided to sit down and play a game, and if it's a really awesome game, I can stay up all night. However, as I have to keep my Wii U controller plugged in for extended playing, it really defeats the purpose of having a wireless controller. Cord gets in the way/pulls you out of the experience. 3) Electrical Outlets It would be ideal if you had electrical outlets exactly where you need them when playing your games. But not everyone does. Part of the draw of it being wireless, ya know? There's only one part of my couch I can sit and have the gamepad plugged in and still be playing, and it's not a very comfortable position. I have the charger right by the TV, so I have to unplug the cord from the charging base, then plug it into my controller, then try and sit down. Headaches galore. Yes, power extensions could make things ever so slightly easier, but I have a girlfriend and she doesn't like wires that show. 4) Playing on the highest settings. If you want to conserve your battery charge, the advice is to lower the brightness setting and quality. Personally, playing on the highest settings makes the experience that much better, and if I'm going to sit down and play, I want to get the most out of it. 5) Movies/games with the TV off Watching a movie from bed or on the couch and you have to get up/stop watching to go plug in the power adapter. You could plug in the power before you starts, but that's insane for a wireless controller to feel like you have to plug it in before you do anything substantial with it. 6) Playing/watching from different locations You may want to watch/play on the gamepad from the kitchen, or a different room. But you can't. Because your power adapter only reaches from behind the TV. Which completely defeats the purpose of having a wireless controller that's portable. Ludicrous battery life. Yes, the game-pad is doing a lot, but an hour and a half to 2 hours is just not gamer friendly. Casual friendly, but not friendly for any kind of extended play. Even if none of these situations apply to you, they apply to many people. All of these situations apply to me and it is infuriating.

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