According to Reggie “My Body Is Ready” Fils-Aime, the Wii U GamePad controller battery life estimate is very conservative. We’ve heard at E3 that the battery lasts about for 3-5 hours, but that now seems to be a at the very low end, and real life performance is likely to be better.
“As a company, we’re amazingly conservative when it comes to giving guidance on things like battery life”, Reggie said in an interview, adding “If you go back to the 3DS discussion on battery life, the numbers we gave before launch vs the reality of launch were very different”. Reggie refers to the official battery life estimate Nintendo gave for the 3DS portable console. In the real world however, the 3DS battery lasted much longer than Nintendo said it would.
Hopefully we’ll see something similar, where the Wii U GamePad battery lasts longer than the official specs suggest. A Nintendo representative revealed at E3 that battery life would be 3-5 hours, and that it would take around 2 hours to charge the controller. Of course, players can charge as they play a game. The battery is non-replaceable and the Wii U comes with a USB charging cable that’s connected to the front of the console.