The Wii U is a pretty neat system. I like that it feels different when compared to the PC, PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One. The exclusive library has a more family-oriented vibe and has a strong focus on local multi-player and “couch co-op”. The graphics might not be as powerful as the competition, but when you play games like Mario Kart 8, you will quickly forget what the fuss was all about. Nintendo is an expert at making the most out of “weaker” hardware, and they have pulled off some very impressive visuals. The only “weak” piece of hardware that drives me crazy though is the battery life in the Wii U tablet controller. It seems like you can barely play for a few hours before having to charge it all over again. I recently found out that Nintendo sells an officially licensed battery upgrade for the Wii U controller, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I removed the battery cover and compared the two batteries side-by-side. I mean, come on, look at the size difference! Are you friggin kidding me?!
Nintendo obviously wanted to cut corners to save a few bucks here. The original battery is 1500 mAh and the replacement battery they are selling is almost double at 2550 mAh. When you swap out the battery, you will definitely notice the difference. If your battery was getting low after 3 hours, expect to be playing for at least 6 hours between charges. The battery is a little bit on the pricey side, but to me it was worth it. Swapping it out is fairly easy as well. There are just 2 tiny screws to remove the battery cover. Once the screws are removed, you simply just unplug the existing battery, plug in the new one, and screw the cover back on. You will have to re-sync the controller when you replace the battery by pushing the tiny red button, but the process is extremely easy and well worth it.
Now whenever my kids are playing, I don’t have to hear them complain about the controller being dead and begging for me to find a cable to plug into the wall. I like to just charge the controller on the docking cradle that came with the system when it’s not in use. If you are a casual gamer that only plays for an hour or two at most, this upgrade might not be that necessary, but if you like to play for extended periods of time, I can’t recommend this enough. You can order these batteries from Nintendo’s website and also on Amazon. When I compared prices between Amazon and Nintendo’s site, they worked out to be roughly the same. The battery itself is cheaper on Nintendo’s site, but they charge much more for shipping.
This definitely makes me want to look into upgrading the batteries for all of my other wireless console controllers. I’m looking at you, DualShock 4…