Nintendo now selling standalone Wii U Gamepads

Wii U owners are finally able to buy the Wii U Gamepad separately from the console.

Kotaku reports that Nintendo Japan has confirmed that the Gamepad can be bought for 12,800 (70) from today in Japan, There’s no word yet of standalone availability in other regions.

Prior to the Wii U’s launch Nintendo had stated that the console would support up to two Gamepads on one machine, although the feature was not ready for the machine’s arrival.

"Games need to be built that can take advantage of the two GamePad controllers," Nintendo America boss Reggie Fils-Aime said at the time. "It’s going to be well after launch for those game experiences to come to life.

"Asymmetric gameplay is going to be the next major step forward, just like active play was when we launched the Wii. We think that’s where developers will focus first, then there will be multiple experiences that have two GamePads."

It was subsequently predicted that twin-Gamepad titles would arrive the following year, but last year the company changed its mind and said that the functionality would likely never arrive.

The need to buy Gamepads on their own, therefore, is minimal, although those who break their controller would likely welcome the option to buy one without having to buy a whole new system.

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