Oh Dear, The Wii U's Controller Battery Only Lasts For 3-5 Hours

Here's some E3 buzzkill for you: it seems the battery in Nintendo's Wii U control pad only lasts for 3-5 hours.

That's...wow. That's less than a lot of you would spend during a serious session with a game.

This is going to be a problem given the nature of the controller; it's one thing to have a pad plugged in while it's sitting in your lap and charging. If you're tilting it and moving it around the room, it's going to create problems.

Those aren't rumoured specs, either; they're official figures supplied by Nintendo. Bummer. Even worse is that they're estimates, with Nintendo saying that the screen brightness and "usage" may decrease it even further.


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    I may have missed it in the flood of E3 articles but have they spoken about how much the WiiU will retail for at all?

      Unfortunately no pricing or release date has or will be announced during E3. Seems a bit stupid considering they only have six months to get their act together. Still I'm massively excited and will be getting a Wii U day one.

      I'd like to know this as well. Eb Games has it for $598 but thats an estimated price and I wouldn't recommend buying from them anyway.

        Oh let's do what THIS GUY recommends! Don't kid yourself into thinking launch prices would be vastly different anywhere and honestly, Eb don't do that bad for consoles. They have a one month guarantee on all hardware when everywhere else is rather vague about their in store warranty.

      Given the volatility of the global economy, they won't be able to set a price until basically release.

      Nintendo have announced that they won't be announcing the price at E3 =[

      I think the official Japanese price as 40,000 Yen, they're estimating ~$400 USD
      EB / DSE have is up for preorder at $599, so take that as the absolute max price.

      I'm going to put my estimate in at $470 AUD for the cheapest option.

      Ah right, didn't realise they had already said they weren't going to release a price at E3.
      Thanks everyone.

      There is no way on God's Green Earth that this WITH a control pad will retail for under $AU500, at which time you will be able to get a PS3 or 360 for half that. I give Nintendo 12 months to carve out a market. When the 360-2 and PS4 come out, people are amazed at the fidelity and trade their WiiU in for one of those. That Square Enix demo just made the Wii U redundant and it's not even out....

    The Wii U tablet controller sounds awesome and very well suited to recapturing the core gamer. After all it is heavy (500 g), large, non-ergonomic with a short battery life and a long recharge time.

    What is there no to like about it.

    Come on people, its not a portable device we're talking about here, it doesn't need to have battery life of upwards of 10 hours, and the majority of gamers don't have time to sit down for 6 hour stints of gaming due the chaos that we call life. Not a big deal

      It the 4WD effect - I want the option for longer gaming sessions, even though they are infrequent.

      It doesn't need it, but it's nice to have. My issue is with the 3-5 hour mark, this is straight out of the box brand new. After a few years of use, that 3-5 could likely become 1-2 hours as the battery begins to deteriorate.

      In an extreme example, imagine playing an MGS type game later in the life cycle, the controller would conk out before you get to actual gameplay!

    "That’s less than a lot of you would spend during a serious session with a game"

    I know there's people that do game for long periods of time, but is 3-5 hours really not enough for 90% of the Wii U's audience? I never game for more than 2 hours or so, because I have work and responsibilities, but even when I was young I didn't game for much longer. If you want to play for 5+ hours then plug it in, not a big deal.

    Tesla wouldn't have stood for this though.

      My point exactly, its a lot of unwarranted hate for it, the 3DS i understood. But this? complaining about this just shows how much you really need to get outside if the prospect of less than 5 hours gaming horrifies you

      "screen brightness and “usage” may decrease it even further" is where things get interesting.

    In fairness, I never spent more than 3 hours on a Wii game.

    Well I guess the controllers will be spending time tethered to the system more often then I realised but meh. I work around the battery life for vita and 3DS and those are portable. This much like my other 'wireless' controllers requires a usb charge while playing every now and again. Hell after a year or two MS rechargeable batteries last less than that :p

      After a year or two the xbox rechargeable batteries dont work... period.

    I think nintendo are going to have problems with families. Sure, one person may not play for 5 hours, but what if there's 3 kids or something who all want a go? I sure wouldnt want kids tugging on it while plugged in, and you shouldn't have to buy a second one for when the other one's charging.

      First world problems hey. I don't know how we all survived as kids with NES, SNES and 64 controllers plugged in...

        The difference is though, that those controllers didn't have motion sensing and didn't make you shake and move it around everywhere.

      I wouldn't want kids tugging on it either.

    From that video with the zombie dork the other day it looks like it has some sort of stand, which hopefully serves as a charging dock too when its not in use.

    Otherwise I guess if you're having a long gaming session you'll have to get used to a cable.

    It's not long sessions that concern me. Its the fact that I'll never remember to plug thr controller back in after I use it for a couple of hours. Every second session will be one with the cord in.

      Cool story bro

    It's a convenience problem but nothing that would kill you. For games like Batman AC, having to use it to scan objects and whatnot while being tethered will be a pain, but as you aren't going anywhere, I don't see a problem of being tethered for other games where you just sit down and play unless of course they decide to make the cable 30cm long. Any idea on if it runs on batteries or a more permanent inhoused one?

    It seems battery life is not where it needs to be yet, and that's hardly Nintendo's fault. I'd prefer a longer battery life too, but if this is the best value-for-money solution Nintendo can come up with, then that's what we're stuck with. I very rarely play the same game straight for more than four or five hours, but the main exceptions this gen have been on Wii.
    If they make it a swappable battery, where you can use one in the tablet while the other one charges, then I'm fine with it.

      Yea, I have no issues with that solution. Same with the XBOX battery pack. Just swap and go.

    Only going to buy the Pro Controller anyway.

      Well, get used to brain implosions, because you're going to have to buy a WiiU without the tablet even though it includes the tablet.

    Is Luke the same guy that kept making all those anti-nintendo articles around the time the 3DS was released?

    Wow, there are so many blind Nintendo Defenders. You people actually think this is acceptable? Just goes to show how bloody stupid blind loyalty is. Nintendo keep pushing half assed products because you guys bend over and take it in the ass like Russian pornstars.

      Just like Call of Duty and Modern Warfare fans :3

      Three to five hours is completely fine in my opinion. I'd rarely use a console for longer than three hours as it is, and if it comes to a point where it needs to charge when I want to game, I have a PC with hundreds of games to pas the time.

    If they had a bigger battery, the already huge controller would be even bigger and heavier. If they include a docking station like the 3DS one, I'll be happy enough. What do you expect with a five inch touchscreen?

    Do people actually think that this is a bad time frame? Are you going to be without a corded charger for a 3-5 hour stretch? I can't imagine myself in a situation where it would ever end up running out of battery.

      So you play a game for a few hours then have to recharge... you want to do something else o you WiiU, oh wait you can't it's charging. Please, people had a go at Sony 6 years a go because the controllers "only" lasted 20-30 hours.

    Should have spent more time in bed with Apple.

    Why do we have wireless at all!? I have probably paid for my consoles and games 2-3 times over just with buying replacement batteries. Even rechargeable batteries die eventually. We had numerous consoles in the 80's and early 90's that NEVER NEEDED BATTERIES. Never had to stop to recharge, never lost connection. And the only good reason to go wireless I ever heard was because a few idiots kept tripping over the cords. If you have kids that don't have brains in their heads then fine wireless might be a safer option for you but you will be under siege with complaints about the batteries being dead again and again and again.

    BRING BACK THE CORD!!!

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