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Wii Controllers: No Recharging Yet

by The Wiire Staff (2006-05-11)

The Wiire had a chance to speak with Lance Barr, a Nintendo industrial designer and the case designer for the American versions of the NES and Super NES, concerning Nintendo Wii's controllers. According to Barr, at this time, the batteries powering the Wii controller are not internally rechargable.

Barr said that the Wii controllers currently operate on AA batteries, either standard alkaline, lithium ion batteries, or  rechargable batteries. Barr stated that, at launch "It's would be cheaper for us to provide AA batteries," and mentioned that a rechargeable battery pack sold separately might be an option. Barr also mentioned that due to the limitations of the adapter port on the bottom of the Wii controller, there are no plans for an internally chargable battery like the Apple iPod or Nintendo DS.

The Wiire asked Barr if the Wii controller battery life will be similar to that of the GameCube's WaveBird. "Absolutely not," said Barr, further explaining the amount of information sent with the Wii controller is substantially greater than the WaveBird's data transfer.

The Nintendo WaveBird lasts for approximately 100 hours when using standard alkaline batteries, so the Wii controllers can be expected to have a shorter battery life than this. The Wiire was not able to receive an estimate as to how long the controller's battery life will last.

In regards to colors, Barr said it would be nice if Nintendo could launch four controller variations at launch, however they have not finalized nor confirmed a fourth color. When asked whether these colors would appear in Japan, Barr stated that they were looking at the reactions to Japanese attendees and developers from the colors that are on display. Nintendo is currently displaying white, blue and black controllers in a glass case in the Wii section of their E3 booth.

The Wiire will keep you updated live from the E3 show floor.