Nintendo has revealed that it will replace any broken Wii U GamePads for a fee (that’s fee, not free), in case unfortunate players manage to break their controller. Although the specific Wii U warranty details are yet to be unveiled, a Nintendo spokesperson confirmed that it will be possible to replace the tablet controllers, since they won’t be sold separately in stores in the US or Europe.
Nintendo won’t be selling the Wii U GamePad separately in the US (but will in Japan), so what happens when players break their GamePad? That was the question Gimme Gimme Games asked Nintendo, and the reply was that the controller can be replaced. A Nintendo rep said, “individual replacement Wii U GamePad controllers will be available from Nintendo Consumer Service for a fee”.
He didn’t mention what the “fee” was, but it could be considerable, considering the Wii U GamePad will be sold separately in Japan for a hefty $170. The Nintendo rep added that “Nintendo warranties do not cover physical damage”. So don’t expect a free replacement of your GamePad should you abuse it. Like letting your dog play with it.
Nintendo will start selling the GamePad individually in North America and Europe at some point in the future. The Wii U supports up to two tablet controllers at the same time, although when both are used, the game frame rate drops to 30fps.