Why Hasn’t Battery Technology Gotten Better –
You know what sucks? The battery life on the Wii U’s Gamepad.
Depending on use, the average gameplay time on a full charge is probably around 3, max 4 hours. This time will obviously be cut shorter if the screen brightness is jacked up, the volume cranked and if playing a rumble-intensive game. But really?! 3 hours? I doubt I am the only one that thinks this is pretty unacceptable especially when diving into Pikmin 3 or Wind Waker HD. What makes this short battery life even worse is that it just loses it charge even when sitting idle. I fully charged my Gamepad about two weeks ago and didn’t touch my Gamepad during that time. When I went to go test out my new Toad amiibo with Treasure Tracker, my Gamepad was completely dead. The PSP battery was like this too, dying even when not in use. However, my 3DS doesn’t have this problem. You can even keep that thing in sleep mode for days without concern. So why does the Wii U Gamepad suck so much?
I am sure Nintendo looked at other battery options. Maybe if a different battery was used it would have made the Gamepad too heavy, or too hot, or too pricey. While this question will probably go unanswered, I guess I will give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt as Nintendo isn’t in the battery business. Some 3rd party companies and even Nintendo offer an extended battery option, but the increased cost isn’t fully justifiable. But this leads to a bigger question – why hasn’t battery life gotten better?
My smart phone battery doesn’t even last a day even with minimal use. Because battery life is so terrible, most smart phone users go through daily anxiety by managing power consumption. Constantly being tethered to a wall for some extra juice is also a major inconvenience and time consuming task. Not only do users often have to carry around an extra charge cable, some being proprietary, remembering to charge your phone, handheld gaming system, PS4 controller or Wii U Gamepad is a chore. Have you ever forgotten to plug your phone in over night only to wake with 16% battery left to get through the next day? We have all been there and it sucks pretty hard.
The person or company who invents a cheap battery that can last a week of heavy use in a mobile device on a single charge will basically become a gajillionare over night. Until that day comes, you’ll find me tethered to my wall outlet, waiting to charge my Gamepad so I can scan some amiibos.
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com