For the last six years, Wii users have had to rely on disposable AA batteries or third-party battery packs to keep their Wii Remotes powered. That may change soon, as a recent online survey posted by Nintendo hints that the company may finally offer an official, rechargeable battery add-on soon.
Nintendo’s latest survey asks customers if they would be interested in purchasing a product that Nintendo is calling the “Fast Battery Charger Set,” which would reportedly include multiple rechargeable batteries for Wii Remotes, a charging cradle, and an AC adapter, for the suggested price of $40. The product sounds very similar to the “Charge and Play” kits that Microsoft has been releasing for Xbox 360 controllers for years.
It’s about time that Nintendo released an official Wii-mote charger, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to pay $40 for the “Fast Battery Charger Set;” in the six years since the Wii originally launched, plenty of third-party accessory manufacturers have released rechargeable power solutions for the Wii, and nowadays you can buy most of those accessories for far less than $40. I bought an Energizer set that’s similar to the product that Nintendo’s describing at Target years ago for $20, and I haven’t had any problems with it so far.
Then again, Nintendo’s survey seems to suggest that their rechargeable batteries would last longer and charge faster than most of the third-party options out there: according to the product info from the survey, Nintendo’s batteries feature a charge that lasts for 13 hours and can recharge completely within half-an-hour.
There’s a lot of Wii U games that make extensive use of the Wii-mote, so it makes sense that Nintendo would still want to release peripherals for the controller, but it’s still strange that Nintendo took this long to release a peripheral that should have launched alongside the original Wii. Then again, considering the amount of time it took Nintendo to jump on the online bandwagon, perhaps we should have expected this from them.