The Wii U's release is just over a month away now, on November 18th. (44 days, 4 hours, 15 minutes 30 seconds away as of typing this!) Each Wii U console, whether the Deluxe Set or Basic Set, will come with a Wii U GamePad and apparently a Wii U GamePad AC Adapter. From the only pictures I have seen of it, the Wii U GamePad AC Adapter requires an AC outlet; meaning it must be plugged in a wall outlet or power strip.
While the Wii U GamePad can be charged with a cable that has to be plugged in a power outlet for it to charge the GamePad, I was curious if the Wii U GamePad can be charged with just a USB port on the console itself. After some searching and not finding any direct answer to the question, I contacted Nintendo to find out.
I asked, "Can the Wii U GamePad be charged using a USB port on the Wii U console, just with a separate cable; or, can it only be charged with a wall AC outlet?" Brew yourself some coffee, and see how Nintendo responded below!
My first statement I sent to Nintendo on the Wii U GamePad charging issue was, "The Wii U GamePad can be charged via a cable that has to be plugged in a power outlet for it to charge the GamePad. Can the Wii U GamePad be charged using a USB port on the Wii U console, just with a separate cable; or, can it only be charged with a wall AC outlet?"
Nintendo responded, "The GamePad can also be charged using the charging cradle, which comes with the Deluxe Set."
Good enough? Well, the response didn't really address if the GamePad can charge using a USB port on the console, because it didn't specify if the Wii U GamePad Cradle uses a USB port for charging purposes. I didn't want to assume the Wii U GamePad Cradle uses a USB console port to charge, because the only images I had seen didn't make it really clear.
So to be thorough and to clarify my original question, I sent over a follow-up question. I asked, "Does the Charging Cradle require an AC outlet, or can it be plugged into a USB port on the system? The only picture of the Deluxe System items shows the cable requires an AC outlet, no cable directly for a USB port."
Nintendo then responded with, "We don't have any information to share at this time."
We have just over a month before the Wii U releases, and I'm finding it odd that Nintendo is having problems answering what I think should be simple questions about the console (and some games). I would assume the Wii U GamePad can be charged using a console USB port, but I don't know that for sure.
If the GamePad can be charged using a USB port, why wouldn't Nintendo just throw in a USB cable with each console, instead of producing a special Wii U GamePad AC Adapter for it? Wouldn't a cable be cheaper and easier to mass produce, than a special Wii U GamePad AC Adapter?
You can see the Wii U GamePad AC Adapter in the image below, and also notice the Wii U Deluxe Set does not show an extra USB cable of any sort that would be used with the Cradle, just the standard AC Adapter cable.
If you are getting the Wii U Basic Set and are interested in the Wii U GamePad Cradle and Stand, you will be able to purchase it separately for $19.99.
Do any of you know from perhaps a Wii U Experience event, or hands-on perhaps at E3, if anybody specifically mentioned the Wii U GamePad being able to charge from just the console?
If the Wii U GamePad requires an additional AC outlet to charge, will that be an issue for anybody?
If you are interested in the Wii U, but haven't pre-ordered one yet, you might want to keep an eye on the Amazon.com links below. Amazon.com is the last major online retailer to not open up pre-orders on the console, though some are expecting it not to happen at this point now: