News Article

Rest Easy, You Can Replace The Wii U GamePad Battery Yourself

Posted by Damien McFerran

Thank The Maker

Anyone who has owned an Apple product will know that the company doesn't believe in user-serviceable power cells. Apple's reasoning is that by the time your iPod or iPhone's battery stops holding a charge, you'll be considering an replacement, or will have made the upgrade already. If you do insist on getting a new battery, you have to send your device back to Apple and pay a hefty fee.

However, with the Wii U GamePad reportedly having a stamina of around 3-5 hours and Nintendo's admission that after around 500 charges the battery will only hold approximately 70% of its original juice, you might be worrying about how you're going to bring new life to your GamePad in years to come. Mercifully, Nintendo has answered your prayers: the Wii U GamePad has a battery which can be replaced by you, the end user. The only tool you need is a screwdriver.

There's no indication of how much these fresh batteries will cost, but you'll be able to request them directly through Nintendo's own support site. The battery inside the Wii U Pro Controller is also user-serviceable, because Nintendo loves you.


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User Comments (41)



Hokori said:

Ohh I think that's what's happening to my iPad, it's been clunky latley



Auracle said:

This is good news. The battery won't last long once I get a hold of that Game Pad, so being able to replace it is perfect.



HandheldGuru97 said:

Speaking of batteries I need to replace mine in my 3DS, this one looks easy to replace so I really hope the price isn't high. A 3DS battery costs $15 so maybe around there?



Cranky said:

Good Stuff!
Replace your own battery, backwards compatibility with games, backwards compatibility with peripherals and you can use your own usb/hard drive, loving it.



LavaTwilight said:

You misspelt "because Apple are money-grabbing rip-offs whose only reasoning for doing anything is to make the customer pay more money"



TruenoGT said:

Very cool. Nintendo has always had the best battery strategy with AAs for their regular controllers and user replaceable units for their handhelds and now the Wii U setup. Wish the battery life was longer, but it's rare that I play in a session for more than a 2-3 hours anyway. There's an AC adapter, so you can always plug it in for marathon sessions.



Skotski said:

You need to get that one. Lasts DAYS while the 3DS is shut and lasts 10 hours when the 3D and sound is on max. It adds bulk and weight to the 3DS (and removes chances of using the Pro attachment), but it is absolutely a GODSEND for traveling about and never having to worry about charging.

The company recently made a 3DS XL battery... so there's a good chance they'll make a Wii U battery.
If they do, I know where I'm getting my battery from.



Ren said:

It's not that hard to replace apple batteries. smaller stuff, but still pretty easy if you're careful. They actually last a few days on a charge, at least. 3-5 hours is pretty sad. I'll be all over any 3rd party chunky batteries, the extra weight should be just about right; they're very light now, which is nice and leaves it ripe for some good add-ons. I'm sure there'll be some dopey looking covers released immediately too.



ei8htbit said:

2,500: Total Full Capacity Charge Life Expectancy (In Hours)
To put things in perspective, assuming you can squeeze out 5 hours per charge, here's how long you can expect the Gamepad to last before it drops to 70% capacity based on your weekly average usage (it's not that bad actually):

1hr/day (7hrs/week) = 6 Years, 10 Months, 2 Weeks and 2 Days (battery Life) **
2hr/day (14hr/week) = 3 Years, 5 Months, 1 Week, 1 Day (battery Life)
3hr/day (21hr/week) = 2 Years, 3 Months, 2 Weeks, 1 Day (battery Life)
4hr/day (28hr/week) = 1 Year, 8 Months, 3 Weeks (battery Life)
5hr/day (35hr/week) = 1 Year, 4 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days (battery Life) ***
24hr/day (168hr/week) = 3 Months, 2 Weeks ****

** = if you charge it once to twice a week (give or take)
*** = if you charge it once EVERY day (or 7 times EVERY week)
**** = (technically this is flawed because it is impossible to have the unit on for 24 hours without taking into account the hours required to charge it each time within that 24-hour period)
NOTE: I took the liberty of allocating an average of 4 weeks per month in the life expectancy calculation (which is based off of hours).



Wheels2050 said:

That's good, for the countries where Nintendo has a parts store you can order from. Not quite so helpful for those that don't.



Zombie_Barioth said:

3-5 hours is rather short but considering what it does and being a home console I'm not disappointed.

My concern is that so far it sounds like they're doing the same thing as with the Wii's sensor bar and making it only available from them directly. Doesn't make sense when there are replacement chargers but not anything else and only inconveniences consumers, who like to play around with customer service when they can just run to the store? At least companies like Nyko make good accessories and obviously battery paks can't eat through AA batteries like the wireless sensor bars.




Great news. We will get to reduced battery capacity within 2 years so having the ability to change it myself is only a plus. Gotta love Nintendo for this.



perkoff said:

You could also play with the controller plugged into a power outlet. So if you're playing a game and the battery is about to die just plug it into the wall.



DarkNinja9 said:

wow rly good to know

but yeah im sure later(least i hope) we wont have to use there website to buy it instead i hope to buy it on amazon or even get a better long lasting battery then the original



ToxieDogg said:

Only 3-5 hours?

Unless I can continue to use the GamePad and play whilst it's plugged into the charger (and I've been led to believe so far that you can't), then this is really going to be an inconvinience during my lengthier weekend gaming sessions where I tend to sit up until early hours in the morning.



MetroidMasher17 said:

Well, it isn't like the GamePad is a portable console on its own. 3-5 hours for a home console controller really isn't that bad.



lovelessrapture said:

Actually in fairness to Apple, Macbooks come with a free life time battery replacement, when it stop being able to hold a charge.

Also the amount of time the gamepad survives I don't think is going to much of an issue to begin with for the launch window. Most of those games seem to run mainly using the wiimotes with the gamepad as a token piece for extras.

And as people have pointed out, it's not like you're taking the gamepad outside or anything. So they'll be a plug socket nearby.



Jono97 said:

would that mean we could replace the given battery with a bigger battery ?



onlyaman said:

This is great news. Third parties (or even Nintendo itself in a few years) will likely come out with replacement batteries that last longer, and all we will have to do is swap them in.



Sean_Aaron said:

I'm pretty sure the reason for Apple not permitting user serviceability re: batteries is that they use lithium-ion batteries which can be quite volatile. The bad press implications for exploding batteries vs. not being able to replace them yourself makes that seem pretty reasonable.

3-5 hours for a charge seems good enough. I can't say I game for more than a couple of hours in one go any more.



Magi said:

Are Nintendo owners qualified to operate a screwdriver?




warvad said:


But can you easily replace the joysticks?

Probably not!

It's worthless to have such an expensive controller.



aaronsullivan said:

Is your iPads storage capacity close to full? The originals especially get a bit "clunky" if your running close to the full line. I'd remove a big app or two and reboot.



Varia01 said:

Nintendo once again shows true potential in gaming. One of those aspects to vaporize the limits most iOS devices have.



UnseatingKDawg said:

Well, that's good to know.

However, if Nintendo of America loves us so much, then WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE VIRTUAL CONSOLE ON 3DS?!?!?!?

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