Considering how integral the Wii U GamePad is to the the console’s general operation and user experience, it’s somewhat surprising how inconvenient it has been to get your hands on a new one. Yes, broken units could be repaired by Nintendo and you could even buy new ones through the company’s service department (for $140 USD), but there wasn’t a way to pick up another one easily. Thankfully, that has changed, at least in Japan.
For the first time, Nintendo is offering new GamePads directly through its website, for 12,800 Yen, which comes out to $104.65, €98.07, or £69.28. Unfortunately, no plans have been announced for releasing individual GamePads in other markets yet, nor is there any indication that this is somehow a sign of imminent plans to launch support for multiple GamePads on a single Wii U.
The market for purchasing new GamePads is likely rather limited, though it would be quite nice for Nintendo to make it an easier, more convenient option for gamers around the world.