Wii U Countdown: 26 days and only slightly fewer batteries

Sections: Columns, Consoles, Controllers, Features, Gear, Originals, Wii U

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When Thomas Dolby released his album The Golden Age of Wireless in 1982 (and again in 1983), I just considered the title ironic, considering how many wires he surely needed to make that quintessential synth-pop album.

Golden Age of Wireless

Considering where we’re out now, though, I have to figure it was a forward-thinking title. We’re losing wires again. Commands get beamed between devices in an instant and no one has to trip over anything as a result.

Convenient? Sure. Good for the environment? Hell no. All those batteries have to get dumped somewhere, and even if you’re using rechargeables, they’ll still eventually dies whereas the wire they replaced was technically already dead and worked just fine.

I’ve already got four Wii Remotes with two rechargeable batteries in each. I’ve also still got a GameCube Wavebird with two AAs that may or may not be leaking acid as we speak, a Wii Balance Board with maybe four batteries in it, and whatever’s dying in the Rock Band guitars and drums I’m having a hell of a time trying to sell.

Now, Nintendo wants me to add more batteries to the mix. Thankfully, I won’t be messing around AAs this time. The Wii U GamePad has a built-in rechargeable battery that isn’t even replaceable by the user. As an Apple guy, I’m used to this. And honestly, I welcome it. I don’t want to be buying and replacing anymore batteries. I don’t even want to have to think about it. If the time comes when I need to have Nintendo replace the battery, I consider that the cost of saving myself from the hassle and the environment from the waste (assuming Nintendo recycles them properly).

Wii U GamePad Battery

The bigger news, though, is that inside the Wii U Pro Controller is a battery that gives you 80 hours of playtime before it needs recharged. 80 hours! By comparison, the Wii U GamePad will reportedly get you 5 hours. Can you even imagine 80 hours? That’s like two-thirds of Xenoblade Chronicles!

So, it’s good to know I’m not going to have to add new batteries to my list of purchases come November 18th. There’s enough to buy and manage without having to worry about whether my controllers are ready to go. And because I pre-ordered the 32GB Deluxe Set, I’ll get the Wii U GamePad Cradle so I’ll know the GamePad battery—whatever size it is—is safely charging up in this golden age of wireless while I’m off doing other things.

Like maybe becoming the pirate twins again.

And look, I know I’m dating myself with these ’80s references, but when you people (or your parents) are blowing $650 on the Rolling Stones some 30 years past their prime, Thomas is actually looking pretty relevant by comparison.

Read all entries in the Wii-U Countdown.

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