As the Wii U itself is basically seeing its life flash before its eyes, maybe I should feel bad about trashing any aspect of it right now. After all, Nintendo's less-than-normal-lifespan console is clearly too weak to defend itself.
Yet this has been bothering me for years, and it's noticeably been getting worse and worse. My Wii U GamePad basically has a lifespan of about half an hour at this point. It has less energy than JEB! Bush. It used to be an hour a few weeks ago, and when I got it over three and a half years ago it had a normal battery life.
According to Nintendo, the normal battery life for a Wii U GamePad is supposed to last 3–5 hours:
|Here is the source article.|
That's already abysmal, and now I'm at an extremely small fraction of that. It basically turns the GamePad into a wired controller, since it needs to constantly be recharging. That's definitely a problem, since one of the selling points of the GamePad was that it's wireless. That's an even bigger selling point for the Nintendo Switch, and if that thing doesn't have an amazing battery life, then it's going to be a complete failure.
Let's talk more about my GamePad, though. Maybe we can talk about yours, too. So, here's how my Wii U GamePad lives:
|The GamePad sits on top of its Cradle, with the AC Adapter for the GamePad plugged into the Cradle at all times.|
Nintendo suggests low brightness settings. I got that. I got Power-Saving Move on, too. Yet... still unacceptably terrible results. Am I the only one with this problem? I asked a prominent Facebook group about their own GamePads:
|Most people answering are within Nintendo's minimum range.|
There is a solution, which is the Wii U GamePad High Capacity Battery. But I said it didn't make financial sense to buy a Wii U a few months ago... does it make financial sense to spend $40 on a replacement battery when I won't be using the Wii U in 3 months when the Nintendo Switch is released in March? (...I think I won't, anyway?)
I just want to also note the frustration that the GamePad HAS to be on and displaying while playing something like Super Smash Bros. For The Wii U. I play that exclusively with an actually-wired controller, the GameCube controller. The Wii U GamePad is on and displaying something whatever is on the TV during that time. You can go to the Wii U settings by going to the HOME menu and turning the Display Off... but you can't leave that screen to return to gameplay without using the GamePad. Touching it turns the GamePad back on. So it's a totally useless feature.
Most of my GamePad usage is to use Miiverse, and that's actually very extensive, since I've logged literally thousands of hours into Miiverse. (Nothing else on the Wii U even comes close.) Is that enough to completely wear out the GamePad? I thought Miiverse would actually be less-intensive than an actual game, but I could be wrong.
If you own a Wii U, what is the battery life of your GamePad? Are you satisfied with it? Are you nervous about how long the Nintendo Switch will last, and if its battery life will fade away quickly? Do you have any suggestions for Ludwig or the Internet at large about how to best preserve battery life while using the GamePad, and also the maximum capacity of the battery?
The Nintendo Switch's battery life figures have been announced. They're pretty bad, too.