News Article

Reggie Fils-Aime Plays it Cool Over Wii U GamePad Battery

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Does share good news on Miiverse moderation

As those who follow the company know, Nintendo doesn't enthusiastically reveal the detailed technical specifications of its consoles and handhelds, beyond basics. One issue on that front that came out of E3 was the Wii U GamePad's battery life — a feature that dominated the early days of 3DS — and in his interview with Kotaku it seems that Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime wasn't keen on being drawn into rumours of three to five hours life in a single charge.

I have to say that, as a company, we are amazingly conservative when it comes to giving guidance on things like battery life. If you go back to the 3DS discussion on battery life, the numbers we gave before launch vs. the reality of launch were very different. So what I would tell you is that Nintendo is absolutely committed to making sure that the battery life for the Wii U will not get in the way of the gaming experience.

This was part of the same interview where Fils-Aime admitted that friend codes would return on Wii U, albeit in a less irritating form. He also addressed the issue of Miiverse moderation, explaining the levels of protection before looking at an example of a simple help request being submitted, suggesting that it's possible for some messages to be almost instantaneous with an immediate 'technical scan'.

The way to think about how we will ensure a positive consumer experience with MiiVerse… first, there are parental controls. As a parent you can choose for your child not to have any MiiVerse conversation. You can do it only with friends. You can do it with everyone.

The second level is going to be essentially a technology-driven scan to make sure that inappropriate words and inappropriate pictures don't make it onto MiiVerse. The third level is going to be the community that will police and flag items. The fourth level is for a human review at Nintendo.

Let's take that example. I need help with level so-and-so. The technical scan happens. There's no bad words. It happens.

So Miiverse may not be as delayed as we thought, though it may be an idea to keep a charger handy for that Wii U GamePad just in case.


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User Comments (38)



ajcismo said:

I think the general public has an easier time with the battery life on a tablet than a handheld. Being able to play it plugged in and having a cradle helps too.



HanuKwanzMasBif said:

Wait, didn't we already know about the Miiverse thing?
Anyway, I don't plan on gaming for more than 5 hours at a time...



BenAV said:

I don't really care about the Wii U GamePad's battery life.
It was a slight issue with the 3DS as I take that out and around with me, but it usually lasts me all day.
With this though, I'll only be using it at home so I can just plug in the charger when it's running low and continue playing.
If I recall correctly, it uses the same charger as the DSi/3DS.
I already have one of those and assuming the system comes with another, I'll keep one in the lounge next to my couch and one in my bedroom.
Pretty sure I'll be able to play in bed (on the GamePad screen) considering my bed is right against the wall of my lounge room and probably about 4-5 metres away from where my Wii is.



Burning_Spear said:

There is no way he can paint this to obscure the fact that the battery life sucks. I can't even believe he's bringing up the 3DS' battery. He can come sit with me on the train when my red light is flashing six stops from home.



Chunky_Droid said:

"The second level is going to be essentially a technology-driven scan to make sure that inappropriate words and inappropriate pictures don't make it onto MiiVerse"

Hate to be the guy who programs a computer to recognise a penis.



Koos said:

Well, he got a point. My 3DS battery is vastly superior to the one I have on my Samsung phone. For example, if it sleeps, it can go on for two days. My cellphone will deplete regardless.



ThomasBW84 said:

@Jumbif Reggie's order for Miiverse moderation is different. Iwata's quotes seemed to suggest that the human checks came immediately after the system scan, with an implication that any message would be subject to a minor delay. The way Reggie tells it, basic messages may go through the system scan and then go live, which could be within seconds, and would only go to human checks if reported by users. The over-arching parental controls are a big safeguard, too.



Chunky_Droid said:

@Koos: My Samsung phone did the same, then I turned the data network off, now it lasts FOREVAAAHHHHH!!!

I also have never had any issues with my 3DS battery life



Wheels2050 said:

It annoys me when he seems to feel like he has to deflect questions like that. People are going to find out right away what the battery life is like - why not just come right out and say it?

I'd have more respect if he just said, "Yeah it's a 3-5 hour battery life but that has been found to be sufficient in testing - remember, the tablet can be recharging during play" rather than skipping around the answer like he has.

I've noticed it in other interviews as well. PR spin only works if it's not completely obvious that it's spin.



KaiserGX said:

What Iwata said was that 30min of wait time AT MOST would be acceptable. He didn't mean you would have to wait more then 30min for each post.



madgear said:

I wish my Wii remotes didn't run out of power so fast. The amount of times I've wanted to watch something on Netflix and had to wait ten minutes to give it enough power to be able to select something from the menu.



Silvervisiona said:

I hope you can charge while comfortably playing. If you need a charge station, that would be obnoxious.



grumblegrumble said:

I don't plan on getting a Wii U since I barely have enough time with life n stuff going on to play my 3DS, but I love my 3DS! As far as battery life goes on the Wii U GamePad, if 5 hours isn't enough for someone before it needs to be plugged in I would say you are gaming way too much.



rjejr said:

Reggie Reggie Reggie. I like the guy, but maybe not the best person to give specific answers to questions.

I don't see 5 hours as a problem, but I could see hitting the wall on 3 between me and my 2 kids. They better include a long wire if they expect us to play with it plugged in, the PS3 one was about 24". First thing I did was buy a 10' one from NewEgg. Though I'm still hoping it's meant to be kept in the cradle as a Mario clock.



pixelman said:

Heh, the "bad words" filter is easily gotten around by using special characters, spaces, no spaces, misspellings, stuff like that. You see it everywhere a content filter is in place. Unless every comment is moderated, stuff is going to get through.



k8sMum said:

i have no idea why that comment posted 2x...and no edit/delete buttons are showing.



Shworange said:

I really am sick of friend codes! If we get a WiiU, we should be allowed user names so that my information (game rewards, friends ect) can be diferent from other family members. I dont need a password system per say, but at least let me pick my mii and it will act as my log in. If my son picks his mii, that acts as his log on. Not too difficult I think. Reggie, I know youre reading this!!!



AVahne said:

I'm thinking a 3-5 hour estimate is pretty good for this kind of controller. Remember, it may not have to process the Wii U games itself, but it does have to decode and push a high definition stream to a big high resolution screen continuously while having to process not only button inputs, but also touchscreen inputs. It also has to process motion inputs from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and geomagnetic sensor. And then there's NFC. And then there's also the stereo speakers, and infrared in addition to bluetooth. Of course you won't be using all of these things at once, but that's why there's an estimate.



AVahne said:

Read the articles, friends codes are staying but not the kind that you're thinking. Nintendo already confirmed that there will be accounts and most likely usernames. Seems to me that Friend Codes this time around are SOLELY for core identification. Basically, think of it as your driver's license number, or your genetic code.



MeloMan said:

3-5 sounds about right, and that's about my limit anyway for one gaming session a day considering my life schedule. With the ability to connect it to the system and charge, this becomes even less of an issue. As far as the 3DS, I've been conserving power alot better since I've been shutting off wireless when there's nothing or no one wireless to connect to and further, just shutting the system off altogether when no of it's functions are needed.



Rapadash6 said:

The battery life is what kind of turned me off to the Gamepad, of which I was very excited to use before hearing that information. The fact that I can use my Wii Remotes, as well as a non-screened controller option for more complex games, keeps me happy with the overall system though. I couldn't imagine playing a New Super Mario Bros. game with anything other than the remote anyway.



Gold_Ranger said:

Dont forget, running at 30 FPS will affect battery life differently than running at 60FPS.

What i want to know is this:
Can you choose, much like the 3DS, whether to run at 30 or 60 FPS?



HADAA said:

@Wheels2050 @rjejr The thing is Reggie is not allowed to say whatever he likes, he's still under the scrutiny of the parent company - Nintendo of Japan. He can get himself into trouble by revealing specifics without permission from "the top". It's also a common business practice to keep things under wraps as close to launch as possible in order to keep the investors and gamers hanging in anticipation. The sooner you tell people, the more likely they lose interest over something they don't like sooner. The later the revelation, the less likely people will withdraw from it since they've already spent so much time investing/anticipating it. I wouldn't have bought my 3DS at launch had I known beforehand it would take months for the eShop to arrive, for example. Psychology 101.



Token_Girl said:

I'm not too worried about it. I was worried about the 3DS's battery life, but I've found it to last much closer to the 5 hour than the 3 hour mark for me when playing - and much longer if I'm playing a DS game. It can sit in sleep mode for pretty much forever as well. Nintendo does give pretty accurate/conservative battery life assessments, unlike some other companies I use (I'm looking at you Apple).



Game0ver_Gavin said:

Awesome! The 3DS's battery life was about 4 hours for me so i always have to lower the brightness and put it on power saving mode....



New_3DaSh_XL said:

I really hope that whoever is making the auto-filter isn't as much of an idiot as the guy who made the 3DS's filter. I can't say the simplest of words sometimes. "Organizing", "Bad word(just bad word, not actually a bad word)" and other stuff... Seriously? But I can say Organ or even Organize. There are other words of which I have forgotten currently...
As for the battery life...
The 3DS's is ok, I got a better battery but have yet to put it in my system.
I think that the Wii U's will be fine because it won't be a portable system. It is SO annoying when it runs out of battery when I'm bored... Whereas I can always play a Wii U if it's plugged in, and not have to wait.
And if it does run out, I hope that while the Wii U GamePad is dying, it tells the Wii U. It is so annoying playing Brawl. If you run out of battery playing Brawl, Brawl won't stop.
Yeah, I'm not going to worry too much about the battery. Plus, if I usually play with one remote, then one can always be charged. I don't remember if it was ever here on NL, forgot, but the GamePad resolution drops with 2 GamePads on at once.

And finally, if I'm playing for hours on end, I may want a Wii U Controller Pro, which I'm SURE has better battery life.



grimbldoo said:

@pixelman #20
Seeing as it's Nintendo, they will probably actively update the system to recognize all of the ways that people are getting around the filters.

@Red_Kinetic #30
I don't see a reason for the Gamepad to run over 30fps (Most third party developers will only put non important info on the pad anyway, so you won't be staring at it constantly)

3-5 hours should be fine, if you are playing over that, you need some new activities and some sunlight.



tweet75 said:

this is a good reason not to buy a wii u at launch wait and see what the reports are of pad life



ATDI said:

It's kinda nice that I only have to plug in my PS3 controller about once a month. The USB cable it came with is short and all the other ones I own are even shorter. I have a bad feeling that the cord for Wii U will be too short too.



DrCruse said:

Remember when Gamecube Wavebird controllers got 100+ hours? Good times...

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