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Topic: Wii U is finally becoming portable

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shani

Hi everyone,

a few days ago my Switch arrived and I was somewhat excited when I opened the package, but after playing around with it for a while, I was really disappointed. Between the lack of games and the Joycons sometimes not responding or having a delay and generally the buttons being to small and not feeling high-quality, the whole device feels a bit unfinished to me.

But that's not what this thread is about. Since I don't travel that often, the portability of the Switch is not a selling point to me, but of course on these rare occasions it would be nice to be able to play my favourite games. Since I saw this video a few years ago, I always wanted to use my Wii U in the train or during flights. Because even if it's not portable, I usually take it with me whenever I go visit friends or family in a different city, because the console is just so compact. So I always thought, there must be some kind of portable power supply, something like a power bank but for devices with an AC adaptor.

Well guess what, there is! Apparently, back in 2014 a start-up called ChargeTech developed exactly that. And in 2016, they made an improved version too. Nowadays it can be bought on their website, but I ordered mine from a UK ebay seller because it was less expensive (100£ including shipping).

During my research I also noticed that other companies have effectively copied that same device with minor adjustments. There are devices like the RAVPower 27000mAH (which was successfully tested with a Wii U on Youtube), the MixMart 24000mAh powerbank, the LifePower A2 (25.600 mAh) and the Xtorm AL390 (18.000 mAh). I also found the ChargeAll 18,000mAh Powerbank, but only on Ebay US.

Oh, and there is also this guy who built his own Wii U Laptop back in 2015. He partly documented what he did in this thread.

So there you have it: if you want, you can use the Wii U as a portable device. You can leave everything but the Gamepad in a backpack and play where ever you want.
Sadly none of the videos on Youtube did perform a proper test to determine how long the Wii U can be powered with the 27.000 mAh powerbank, but since it's said to charge a Macbook 12" ~ 3,5 times, it should last quite a while. As soon as my unit arrives, I will do a full test and post my results.

If I could somehow get my hands on the Chargetech Plug, it would probably even produce better results since it offers double the capacity (54.000 mAh). Maybe someone from the US can get it somewhere and try it out.
Well I found it on Ebay US, but that would cost me 340€ + taxes, that's more than buying two of those 27000mAh powerbanks. ^^
I also found other powerbanks with ~50.000 mAh on Amazon, but sadly they only offer specific adaptors for Laptops, not an AC input.

Just to be clear, this is not meant to replace the Switch or anything, but for now the Switch is just not a viable option for me due to the lack of significant games. Meanwhile, I have a huge unfinished game library on my Wii U (+ I can use it to watch Netflix etc) which will probably last for a few years.
So for anyone else in a similar situation, this might be a viable solution for now.

Let me know if you know of other powerbanks/products or if you have made your own experiences with such devices and the Wii U or other consoles.

Best regards

Edited on by shani

My GOTY? Legend Of Zelda: Splat of the child. Ah no, I meant LoZ: Breath of the SPLATOOOON!

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Octane

@shani Based on a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation, it should last for around four hours, but that's just for the system itself (in optimal conditions of course), and not the GamePad. Also assuming you got the 27,000 mAh battery. Don't know the exact voltage it runs on, but it seems to be 2.2 V, based on one of their higher-end products.

Octane

shani

@Octane Well four hours would be okay, as long as I pre-charge my Gamepad (got the extended battery) before I travel. Although the Gamepad can just be charged via USB, so I can use the conventional powerbank I already got (15000mah) for that.
Oh and on their site it says 100-240V.

@subpopz Well I thought it was relevant because that's what made me research the possibility of using the Wii U on the go in the first place. If I hadn't been so disappointed by the Switch, I never would've found out about the existence of these powerbanks.
That doesn't mean others with lower technical expectations can't enjoy the Switch - just as I could never enjoy using an iPhone or any Android Smartphone without a hardware keyboard - it just means that it is not good enough for me personally (but I will still buy and use a Switch as soon as there are more unique games to play on it). So in that regard, I wasn't trying to advertise anything, just sharing my experience (for those who might think alike).

Edited on by shani

My GOTY? Legend Of Zelda: Splat of the child. Ah no, I meant LoZ: Breath of the SPLATOOOON!

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ThatNyteDaez

Why would you willingly buy a Switch now, knowing the current lineup of games doesn't interest you, sell it, then buy it later on? Wouldn't it save you time, effort and possibly money if you just kept the thing and waited out the few months it will take for the games to come? You know exactly when Splatoon 2 and Arms are coming after all. That said, I personally don't get why you didn't just wait it out in the first place if you weren't even 100% sure you would enjoy it.

Never take anything I say seriously. S'all you buddy. ;)
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Grumblevolcano

@shani I don't really get why you'd sell and rebuy rather than keep and just not using the console much for 2-3 months. The price isn't going to drop in that time, in fact given how unreliable Nintendo stock is maybe it'll be more expensive.

Grumblevolcano

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shani

@ThatNyteDaez Well I was curious to try it out and besides, I ordered it on Amazon Warehouse Deals for only 260€. That's an unbeatable price right now, I wouldn't have ordered it otherwise.
When I ordered it, they said it would arrive at May 4th. So I told myself, 'that's only about a month until ARMS is released, I can wait that long'.
But surprisingly, it already arrived on April 18th. I played a bit of Snipperclips, World of Goo, FAST Rmx (which I already have on Wii U) and Snake Pass (which feels pretty unpolished regarding the controls - or it was just the Joycon not working properly - and was rather boring so far), but none of those really motivated me to play for more than a short session and sadly there's nothing else you can do with the Switch.
So I'd rather send it back to Amazon and use the money for something else. Otherwise it's just a waste of money for two months. I can wait until July, when Splatoon 2 is released and hopefully my financial situtation/work contract has improved.
But even then there would only those two games on the Switch, while there are BotW and a lot of other unfinished games on my Wii U, so I might even consider carrying both devices with me in the foreseeable future.

@Grumblevolcano: Basically just out of financial reasons. If I had the spare money, I would probably keep the Switch. But since I know that I will make a trip to my former city in early May - and because the Switch put that idea back in my head - I'd like to make my Wii U portable.
After all, the powerbank costs less than half of what I paid for the Switch and I can use it for other devices too. This might especially come in handy for festivals, maybe to hook up a small fridge, display or something else.
Apart from that, I will just continue to monitor Warehouse Deals prices until July. I never paid the full price for any device, so I'm optimistic that I can find another bargain then (e.g. I got my Wii U for 199€ from Warehouse Deals back in 2013 when it still cost 299€).

Edited on by shani

My GOTY? Legend Of Zelda: Splat of the child. Ah no, I meant LoZ: Breath of the SPLATOOOON!

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faint

@shani I'm going to get a potable supply for my pc and take with everywhere. I'll just sell this ole iPad. My pc does the same thing anyway. Time to drag my now portable pc to the park, on planes, coffee shops. Heck I'll even use it in the passenger seat during long car rides. Great idea.

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shani

@faint I realize you mean it ironically, but that actually makes sense to me. ^^
Back in the days I traveled with Shuttle gaming PCs in my backpack. But for those, I would probably need something like this, this or at least this (yes, I have considered these briefly, but they're just too expensive).

Edited on by shani

My GOTY? Legend Of Zelda: Splat of the child. Ah no, I meant LoZ: Breath of the SPLATOOOON!

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skywake

Ignoring the obvious bulky nature of this idea and the questionable "cost savings" involved. There's still one reason why I think this is a bad idea. The image the Wii U displays on the GamePad is garbage compared to the Switch.

I say this as someone who was a huge defender of the Wii U. When the Wii U was the only way to easily get AAA games on a semi-portable screen? Living with 480p and the compression from a wireless signal was fine. My 3DS didn't even come close to running a game like Bayonetta 2 or Mario Kart 8. So what if it was a bit soft? Sure with indie games like Shovel Knight I'd rather play on my 3DS than the Wii U GamePad. The 3DS looked better for games that weren't pushing the spec. But for games that did use the spec the Wii U GamePad was better.

Now that the Switch is out the Wii U doesn't have that advantage anymore. In terms of hardware the Switch does everything the Wii U did that I cared about and does them better. It's portable like the Wii U but without having to be in the same room. You get AAA games on a portable device but without the loss of video quality. So as of the Switch launch the idea of taking your Wii U on a train has become a bit of a joke. Why do that when the Switch can do the same thing out of the box AND do it better.

Hell, the one thing the Switch can't do yet is run all the games the Wii U had. But the way I see it I already have Smash Bros on 3DS, I can get Bayonetta on PC if I wanted, I have Zelda:BotW on Switch and Mario Kart 8 is coming to Switch this week. I finished my Wii U backlog and all upcoming Nintendo games are either on Switch or 3DS. Therefore my Wii U is now in a box.

Edited on by skywake

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shani

subpopz wrote:

This is either worded wrong, I'm reading it wrong or it's condescending, I can't figure out which. But, from a technical standpoint, the Switch is more powerful than the Wii U.

No, this was not meant to be condescending in any way. And I wasn't referring to its power either. As mentioned before, I was referring to the controls. Sometimes they're delayed, sometimes they don't respond at all, sometimes the Switch randomly changes the control mode (Joycons attached, Joycons in the grip, Joycons separate) without me doing anything or sometimes only one of the Joycons is connected. Also, the buttons are really small.
The Switch has more power and looks more sleek/modern than the Wii U, that's true, but the controls are just lacking the quality Nintendo provided for the past two or three decades. It feels like some cheao random manufacturer built this and put the name 'Nintendo' on it, but it surely doesn't feel like the quality products that brand stood for in the past.

Still, I don't get why we're even discussing that, already in my first post I made it clear that this was not the topic of this thread - I even repeatedly stated that I will still be playing on the Switch in the future because of the unique games Nintendo is known to produce. For me to abandon Nintendo completely would require their software standards to also get lowered significantly but frankly I don't fear that will happen since I trust their software engineers to continue producing brilliant games. But that doesn't mean I can't criticize the other things Nintendo recently screwed up in my opinion.
But again, that was not the point of this thread, it was only the starting point or the inspiration. This was only meant for those who still have their Wii U and have always wondered how they could make it portable.

skywake wrote:

You get AAA games on a portable device but without the loss of video quality. So as of the Switch launch the idea of taking your Wii U on a train has become a bit of a joke. Why do that when the Switch can do the same thing out of the box AND do it better.

That's exactly the point! You don't get AAA (or any significant) games right now, so currently it is absolutely not true that the Switch can do the same thing out of the box.
Maybe in 2 years with a proper catalogue, but surely not right now or in the next few months. For someone who is already playing BotW on his Wii U (and already has MK8), the Switch offers almost nothing right now because its catalogue has to grow to a reasonable size first.
These things just take some time, time that I will use to finish games like BotW, XCX, SF0, Yoshi, Majora's Mask, WWHD, DKTP, + several third party/indie games. Maybe I'll even start playing TPHD and Mario 3D World at some point. I'll still play Splatoon 2, ARMS, Mario Odyssey and a few others, but in the foreseeable future my main gaming device will still be the Wii U.

And sure, the Gamepad's resolution and touchscreen technology is vastly inferior. But it's still better than nothing and I won't use it that often, so it's fine. Maybe in two years, the Switch will be my favoured portable gaming device for these rare occasions.
But until then, what use is the superior screen of the Switch to me? You can't even watch videos on it (something that would benefit even more from the 720p display) or read something, otherwise there would be more reason to use it.
Hell, we wouldn't even have this discussion if the Switch was backwards-compatible and offered crossbuy and crosssave features! That would be awesome. But sadly that's not possible because it's running on an ARM platform, so the old games aren't compatible.

Edited on by shani

My GOTY? Legend Of Zelda: Splat of the child. Ah no, I meant LoZ: Breath of the SPLATOOOON!

NLInklings Discord server | My Youtube channel

Switch Friend Code: SW-3298-8343-1900 | Nintendo Network ID: shani_ace | Twitter:

skywake

shani wrote:

That's exactly the point! You don't get AAA (or any significant) games right now, so currently it is absolutely not true that the Switch can do the same thing out of the box.

If you read further you'd see that I actually covered this point. Yes, 100%, the Wii U currently has more games than the Switch. No question about that. That's the one thing the Wii U has over the Switch. But as I said I've finished my Wii U backlog which wasn't that hard to do given the last game I got for it was Twilight Princess HD. Towards the end there the only reason I had the Wii U still plugged in was for Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. There is nothing on the horizon for Wii U.

I get it, you're trying to justify this decision you made here. And on this one point you have somewhat of an argument. All I'm saying is that I don't think it's as big a deal as you're making it out to be. If someone asked me whether or not they should get a Switch or a Wii U for portable gaming? The fact that the Wii U has more games would not even some into it. The Switch is better for this use case.

shani wrote:

And sure, the Gamepad's resolution and touchscreen technology is vastly inferior. But it's still better than nothing and I won't use it that often, so it's fine. Maybe in two years, the Switch will be my favoured portable gaming device for these rare occasions.

It's not so much the quality of the screen and the resolution I'm talking about. It's the fact that on the Wii U that video signal had to be compressed before the GamePad displayed it. For example much is made of the fact that games on Wii U and Switch look about the same on the TV. But on the GamePad vs Portable mode? This is an approximation of the difference between the two:
Untitled

Even accounting for the fact that the Wii U as of today has a bigger library of games. Even ignoring the extra complications of getting the Wii U portable vs the Switch. Even if you want to argue that the Wii U can deliver the same level of visual quality for largely the same games. Even then.... I'd rather play games without the compression and reduction in resolution involved with using GamePad. Especially considering the only Wii U game I was still playing was Mario Kart 8.

When there was no other option? Sure, it was great. But now there is another option.

Edited on by skywake

Some good Aussie musics: King Gizzard, Pond, TFS
"Don't stir the pot" is a nice way of saying "they're too dumb to reason with"

FX102A

The fact that I wouldn't be able to play Xenoblade Chronicles X due to the lack of off-tv play as its permanently required for the map makes this a non-starter for me.

That and I like to have my portable entertainment in a nice form factor I can quickly slide into and out of my bag instead of having to set up multiple items and ensure I was given 10 minutes notice for repacking.

I'd hardly call this portable, its like dubbing my toaster as being portable just cos it can fit into my backpack.

FX102A

blaisedinsd

shani wrote:

That's exactly the point! You don't get AAA (or any significant) games right now, so currently it is absolutely not true that the Switch can do the same thing out of the box.
Maybe in 2 years with a proper catalogue, but surely not right now or in the next few months. For someone who is already playing BotW on his Wii U (and already has MK8), the Switch offers almost nothing right now because its catalogue has to grow to a reasonable size first.

I agree and this is why I haven't felt the need to jump on the switch yet either. I also am worried about the feel of the controls and the lack of a Dpad. But you are right clearly as you stated in first post this is not the topic.

Unfortunately here at Nintendolife forums you find many people who get buttt hurt if have a hint of criticism of the Nintendo Company in any way. The mere mention of anything negative about the current darling Switch is called out as somethine that de-legitimizes your thread. What a joke.

I have a hard time seeing my Wii U getting put in a box anytime soon even when I do get a switch. Too much easy access to too many great games and that remote control function is super convenient. I have well over a 1000 hours of youtube logged on the machine with my kids watching videos on the thing.

It's all about the games for me, not an early adopter. I got the Wii U the March after it came out because I really wanted to play New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendoland.

My kids want 1-2 switch but I don't care for it and have my Wii U for Zelda (Wii U best zelda machine ever made to date) and Mario Kart. Switch needs more exclusive AAA games before I am compelled to buy it.

Edited on by blaisedinsd

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dumedum

FX102A wrote:

The fact that I wouldn't be able to play Xenoblade Chronicles X due to the lack of off-tv play as its permanently required for the map makes this a non-starter for me.

That and I like to have my portable entertainment in a nice form factor I can quickly slide into and out of my bag instead of having to set up multiple items and ensure I was given 10 minutes notice for repacking.

I'd hardly call this portable, its like dubbing my toaster as being portable just cos it can fit into my backpack.

True, and I think it also misses the point of the Wii U. The Wii U I find to be amazing console and I still use it, but the beautiful thing in it is the two-screens. That is what the Switch cannot do and what is so cool in those games that use it, and when you want to just cruise youtube for the TV and visit other websites on the GamePad at the same time...

For portability, there is no contest. Switch is a millions times ahead, more beautiful, more responsive, sleek, and it really has an amazing battery. People talked about only getting a few hours of gameplay, but its sleep mode is astounding. I can leave it untouched for WEEKS and it still has battery left and within a millisecond and 3 clicks the game is back on. Unbelievable.

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shani

skywake wrote:

If someone asked me whether or not they should get a Switch or a Wii U for portable gaming? The fact that the Wii U has more games would not even some into it. The Switch is better for this use case.

Oh no, don't get me wrong - if someone asked me that question, I would definitely recommend the Switch to them. Because it's just made for that purpose. But I also would tell them to wait a bit longer, at least a few months (unless they haven't Botw yet, of course).
What I was proposing was rather targeted at people who already own a Wii U and - like me - have always dreamed of using it during a 3-4 hours train ride, for example.
I really wish this option would've presented itself to me a few years earlier (especially since these powerbanks seem to have been available since 2014/2015), because in the past I traveled to other cities quite regularly with the Wii U stuffed in my backpack. Or to be more precise, I never travelled anywhere without taking my Wii U with me.
I would've loved to play on the Gamepad instead of staring on my smartphone with no stable internet connection. Nowadays I don't travel that much anymore, so I won't use it that often as I could've in the past. But I still take my Wii U with me whenever I go visit friends in a different city.

About the other things you wrote:
Sure, if you've already finished your backlog, the Wii U isn't that useful anymore, I can see that. But in my case, I have such huge backlog that it will keep me busy for quite a while. I never found the time to finish all the games that I really like and another factor was probably Splatoon (~630h of playtime), as it always came first for a long time whenever I turned on my Wii U. ^^
What, the video signal was compressed? Now that you mention it, it makes total sense, but that never occured to me - because from my experience it's not noticeable. I've never seen any artifacts (or any other kind of quality loss) that usually are caused by video compression.

FX102A wrote:

The fact that I wouldn't be able to play Xenoblade Chronicles X due to the lack of off-tv play as its permanently required for the map makes this a non-starter for me.

That and I like to have my portable entertainment in a nice form factor I can quickly slide into and out of my bag instead of having to set up multiple items and ensure I was given 10 minutes notice for repacking.

I'd hardly call this portable, its like dubbing my toaster as being portable just cos it can fit into my backpack.

Oh you're right about the second screen for XCX, hadn't thought about that. Although I don't really use the map that often anymore, so I guess I could live without it for a few hours.
Well actually, this would make for a nice form factor that you can quickly slide into and out of your bag. Because obviously, before I leave the house, I would pack the Wii U and the powerbank in a way that they stay connected in the backpack (probably even strap them together). Then I just turn on the powerbank (probably won't even have to open the backpack for that), grab the Gamepad and turn on the console.
For me, that would be really convenient and takes no setting up or repacking since (in contrast to a toaster ) I would take the Wii U with me anyway.

dumedum wrote:

True, and I think it also misses the point of the Wii U. The Wii U I find to be amazing console and I still use it, but the beautiful thing in it is the two-screens. That is what the Switch cannot do and what is so cool in those games that use it, and when you want to just cruise youtube for the TV and visit other websites on the GamePad at the same time...

That's what I really love about the Wii U and what makes it such an intelligently designed device for me. It's still baffling to me how they could leave this ingenious feature out of the Switch (although it does have two screens!).

blaisedinsd wrote:

Unfortunately here at Nintendolife forums you find many people who get buttt hurt if have a hint of criticism of the Nintendo Company in any way. The mere mention of anything negative about the current darling Switch is called out as somethine that de-legitimizes your thread.

Honestly, I had the same sentiment, but I didn't want to write it because I don't want to insult anyone. Especially since my first post in this thread showed me that just stating some facts or sharing my views - without having any negative agenda - was interpreted as insulting or at least condescending or as if I wanted to bad-mouth the Switch. No, that wasn't my intention at all.
But it's true: the Switch has a lot of shortcomings in my opinion and Nintendo did screw up a lot of things they did well before (they also improved things they were bad at before). And although some people on NL have criticised those things, the vast majority seems to just overlook them and instead blindly love the Switch.
And I can even understand that. I felt the same about the Wii U (and still do) and - despite a few shortcomings - I always defended Nintendo against haters in the past. But that has changed with the Switch, because in my opinion it goes into the wrong direction.


Anyway, to get back on topic: the powerbank will be shipped tomorrow, it'll probably arrive next week. It might not interest anyone at all, but I will post my results here anyway.

Edited on by shani

My GOTY? Legend Of Zelda: Splat of the child. Ah no, I meant LoZ: Breath of the SPLATOOOON!

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shani

Well to wrap this up, I didn't really get to make a proper battery test to determine how long the console can run on the powerbank, but I did tried a few times for a rather short amount of time. Maybe I'll do a proper test the next time I play BotW (already finished the main story and most quests + just got into ARMS).

My GOTY? Legend Of Zelda: Splat of the child. Ah no, I meant LoZ: Breath of the SPLATOOOON!

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Switch Friend Code: SW-3298-8343-1900 | Nintendo Network ID: shani_ace | Twitter:

Anti-Matter

@shani
Interesting !
Btw, can you recommend the best Powerbank for Wii U as Power source to Turn On my Wii U ? Maybe I can start to search for that item.
Oh, the Gamepad also that need power to charge the battery inside.

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shani

@Anti-Matter Sure.
I already mentioned several models in my original post, basically everything from ChargeTech seems to be good. You can probably find those on Ebay.
There are also "clones" from RAVPower, Mixmart, LifePowr and XStorm.
All of them have one or two AC inputs + several USB inputs. It basically comes down to their capacity and the price. I tried to get 27000mah for as little money as possible (paid 100pounds in the end).

You can also charge the Gamepad via USB.

My GOTY? Legend Of Zelda: Splat of the child. Ah no, I meant LoZ: Breath of the SPLATOOOON!

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