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Extra Wii U GamePads won’t be sold initially in North America

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Yes, eventually Nintendo will have Wii U games that use more than one GamePad, but none of those games will be available at launch. So since people will only need one GamePad with the system at the very start, Nintendo’s decided it doesn’t have to sell GamePads separately. You better take good care of your Wii U GamePads, because it looks like you’ll have to wait a while to buy a replacement or spare.

This is actually unexpected news. See, spare GamePads will be available immediately in Japan when the Wii U launches there on December 8, 2012. People will be able to pick up a white or black one for ¥13,440 (~$173).

The Wii U GamePad will eventually be sold alone in North America. Nintendo just wants to wait until it has games out that will actually require two of them. It’s understandable, but also a little unusual to not be able to buy spare controllers immediate. Perhaps Nintendo knows the $299.99 and $349.99 prices on the Wii U bundles will cause some sticker shock and doesn’t want to scare consumers away by revealing the GamePad alone will likely cost over $100.

If you’re desperate for two GamePads, I’d advise waiting and not importing. While controllers and peripherals are typically region-free, the GamePad is going to be a lot more advanced than say, a Wii remote or nunchuk. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on something you won’t be able to use.

Read [The Verge]

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