Official battery extends Wii U GamePad life to 5-8 hours

The Wii U GamePad is the centerpiece of Nintendo's touch-enabled console, but only as long as its battery holds out. Soon Japanese owners will be able to extend the GamePad's shortlived three-to-five hour battery with an official battery pack (via Ars Technica).

The optional pack provides five to eight hours of life away from the charging cradle, Nintendo claims. It fits in flush with the pad, so there's no extra bulk, but we wouldn't be surprised if it adds some mass to the surprisingly light GamePad.

The pack retails for 3,000 yen, or about $30 or £20, and will start shipping on July 25. We asked Nintendo of America if it has any plans to bring the juiced up batteries and some of the other new accessories (like an official Wii Remote charging dock, finally) overseas, but it had nothing to announce.

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.