Nintendo of America has stopped selling battery replacements for the Wii U GamePad.
Reddit user DaylonS broke the news via a post on r/nintendo in which they detail their attempts to get a replacement battery for their GamePad. According to DaylonS, the batteries were in stock on the Nintendo of America website last month but have been quietly dropped from the listing. DaylonS says they also called Nintendo tech support and found no luck there either. Looks like if you're still a diehard Wii U aficionado (or just need a battery for your dead GamePad) then you might be out of luck.
This news isn't entirely unexpected. Nintendo ceased production of the Wii U back in January 2017, around two months before the Nintendo Switch was due for release. Only two versions of Wii U hardware were available - Japanese and American models - which were both discontinued at the same time. As such, it's perhaps to be expected that Nintendo would slowly start to phase out replacement components for the console. Still, it's very sad news for those whose GamePads are starting to give out. The GamePad can't be used without a battery either since it simply won't switch on if the battery's dead, even if it's connected to an AC outlet via the charger.
As DaylonS points out in the above post, the secondary market for GamePad batteries still exists, but it's "loaded with lousy counterfeits and knock-offs". It's possible that a dedicated enough fanbase could engineer solutions to the lack of first-party GamePad battery availability, including modding certain other peripherals or devices to work with the console, but that's all speculation. For now, it looks like the sad twilight of the Wii U continues to wane.
TechRaptor has reached out to Nintendo of America for official comment on this story.
How do you feel about Nintendo ceasing sales of Wii U GamePad battery replacements? Let us know in the comments below!