Wii U Preservation After Gamepad Death

Discussion in 'Wii U - Hacking & Backup Loaders' started by oxitran, May 31, 2018.

  1. oxitran
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    oxitran GBAtemp Regular

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    Oct 30, 2012
    Initially, I never worried about the idea of what would happen to my Wii u in a decades time. After all, it is a robust piece of hardware. However, I have started to have some concerns start to seep into my mind over the over-intrusive implementation of the gamepad into vital aspects of the console's design. For starters, the Wii U gamepad has a shit battery. This means that 90% of the time when you want to use the console you must plan to use it beforehand and charge the goddamn gamepad. But it has also proved to be the number one point of failure on all Wii U consoles (from personal observations). The concerning aspect of this is that without access to a gamepad one cannot access such necessities as the options menu, let alone the fact that the DS game used to launch haxchi will not boot without a gamepad (or .xml modification). So I have started to wonder, for all the good the gamepad allowed, from the easy inventory access in the WW and TWLP, and the oh so glorious gamepad only missions in Super Mario 3d Worlds (Fuck that shit), do I now have to start future proofing my Wii U for a gamepad free future to not only enable haxchi but to use the goddamn options menu? Is this going to be the final nail in the coffin for those of us who own and want to preserve our Wii Us? are those who don't future proof the Wii U going to suddenly have a useless piece of plastic and metal because of the gamepad dying?

    The gamepad was arguably the biggest reason the Wii U died. It was too expensive, it had limited development use for a gimmick to sell hardware, it had a crap battery life, it was big and ugly, etc. But now the bitch keeps on bitting?

    I hope I have just overlooked something obvious about the Wii U scene, but is this a legitimate concern? If so, how do we start completely unshackling our Wii U's from the gamepad?

    Edit:
    I have decided to start compiling a few steps that can help others uncouple their Wii U from their gamepad as much as possible if they so choose.

    1: Grab the fork of the HBL that supports controllers other than the gamepad. Pretty sure it's the one on this page.
    2: Edit the meta.xml for your Haxchi DS game to make it work without a gamepad. Or install Haxchi Direct. Alternatively, just install CBHC which does not require a gamepad.
    3: Edit the meta.xml of some Wii U games that require the gamepad when launched, even though the games can be played partially or even fully without the gamepad.
    Wii U games that require the gamepad when launched

    Wishlist:
    4:
    Allow for the system settings menu to display gamepad info on the Tv screen by default, or without gamepad only button combo like swapdrc/swapdrclite.
    5: Allow for the system settings menu to be controlled by the Wii U pro controller, Wiimote, and classic controller. Similar to the Homebrew launcher controller mod.

    As far as things stand now, swapdrc will allow those with a broken gamepad screen to access the system settings menu on the TV screen, so long as the gamepad controls still work.

    Credit:
    -Peninsula
     
    Last edited by oxitran, Jun 4, 2018
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  2. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Alola
    It's not a problem with the battery, the gamepad is just constantly pinging the console for data even when it's off causing it to drain in a matter of weeks instead of years.
    The battery life isn't great either, it's kind of undersized considering the screen size, but that's not why it's draining when off.
     
    Last edited by The Real Jdbye, May 31, 2018
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  3. oxitran
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    oxitran GBAtemp Regular

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    Oct 30, 2012
    Any chance we can tell it not to do that, and to start and stop pinging with a certain button combo?
     
  4. fatsquirrel

    fatsquirrel GBAtemp Addict

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    Nov 11, 2013
    Buy a new big battery? I did and lifetimes great!
     
  5. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    I don't know, the firmware is updatable so maybe.
     
  6. comput3rus3r

    comput3rus3r GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Aug 20, 2016
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    you can buy an official nintendo wiiu battery for $20 if your old one goes bad.
    You can also just buy a replacement gamepad.
    As far as I can tell the gamepad is very durable. Mine is still going strong for about 3 years of use/abuse from a 5/3/1 year olds.
     
  7. oxitran
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    oxitran GBAtemp Regular

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    Oct 30, 2012
    Was that the ridiculously expensive official one? or a knockoff? If it was a knock-off can I have a link?

    Well, that was not one of my concerns, to begin with. But it is an issue that I'm sure a lot of people would be very happy to have remedied. Will have to look into it.

    Mine is too. But I have friends who have had theirs just randomly decide to stop working (one stopped taking touch inputs which wasn't too bad, the other had a full-screen death). Buying a new one would be an option, but for how much longer are we going to be able to do that?
     
    Last edited by oxitran, May 31, 2018
  8. fatsquirrel

    fatsquirrel GBAtemp Addict

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    Nov 11, 2013
    I paid 1.500 yen for the official one. If thats ridiculously expensive, OK then
     
  9. oxitran
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    oxitran GBAtemp Regular

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    Haha, that must have been back in 2015. I had already left Japan when they started to sell 'em, and importing one is well above 50+, unless you have a link to share?? :)
     
  10. Peninsula

    Peninsula Advanced Member

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    May 7, 2014
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    There are a few things you can do to mitigate your losses in the event of a dead gamepad. This is assuming you can't get purchase another or borrow one from somebody:

    1. Grab the fork of the HBL that supports controllers other than the gamepad. Pretty sure it's the one on this page.
    2. As you said, edit the meta.xml for your Haxchi DS game to make it work without a gamepad. Alternatively, just install CBHC which does not require a gamepad.
    3. Edit the meta.xml of some Wii U games (e.g. Super Mario Maker) that require the gamepad when launched, even though the games can be played partially or even fully without the gamepad.

    That's all you can really do right now, and that's likely as good as it's going to get. If you want a true gamepadless experience you'll have to use Cemu.
     
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  11. Opoth

    Opoth Advanced Member

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    Nov 9, 2006
    I bought the big battery, and a spare big battery, and leave it on the charger most of the time. The Switch's battery will also slowly drain when it's in sleep mode, fwiw.
     
  12. Glyptofane

    Glyptofane GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Feb 12, 2009
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    Maybe it's not ideal, but you can also continue playing with the charging cable plugged into the gamepad. So either keep it near where you sit or buy an extra to do so. There are Chinese USB chargers on eBay as well if you want to put your trust in that option.
     
  13. tbb043

    tbb043 Member

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    Jan 30, 2008
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    Unplug the battery when you're turning the system off for a long period.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    I turn it off completely instead of "sleep mode" and it still drains, system battery, joycon batteries, pro controller battery, all do it. and unilke the wii u's pad, there's no easy way to "pull the plug" on the batteries. least not that I've found. My screwdrivers won't even open the thing for some reason...
     
  14. godreborn

    godreborn GBAtemp Guru

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    I actually bought a charging cable for the gamepad and my laptop. I've had it for quite a while. it works very well, but I don't typically use the gamepad (afraid of setting it down somewhere and it getting cracked or broken). I'm usually near my laptop, so it works out well when I do use it.
     
  15. oxitran
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    oxitran GBAtemp Regular

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    Oct 30, 2012
    Are you sure about the pro controller? I have never had the pro controller drain itself on me. Or do you mean the Switch pro controller?

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Some good suggestions. Some more of these would be great. I don't think we will ever get the options menu to boot without a gamepad, but it sure would be amazing.
     
  16. GBA rocks

    GBA rocks GBAtemp Fan

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    Jan 4, 2013
    One additional minor gripe I have is the gamepad being region-locked so I won’t be able to check “whole world” on ebay when shopping for spare gamepads.
     
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  17. oxitran
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    oxitran GBAtemp Regular

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    Oct 30, 2012
    There was talk of removing that when the gamepad firmware was dumped and drxtools got released, but I don't think it went anywhere. http://taraftartekstil.com/threads/release-drxtool-gamepad-drh-firmware-hacking-utility.453143/
    I would imagine that it is either very difficult/impossible, or nobody has really tried to look into it and also removing the gamepads pinging, due to a lack of interest in the Wii U scene since the Switch launch.
     
  18. Nimrod-002

    Nimrod-002 GBAtemp Regular

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    wii u production may come back the way of the snes and nes 20 years from now, so take good care till then.
     
  19. TheTechGenius

    TheTechGenius </Web Dev>

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    Apr 7, 2017
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    Honestly, I like my gamepad. I don't even have my WiiU connected to a TV. My son can be watching TV, and I can be relaxing playing Zelda at the same time on the gamepad.

    As for battery life, mine gets about 2 to 3 hours (maybe +1 hour) from a 100% charge. And since is a console, not a handheld mobile console, you should be very close to a power outlet to plug in the charger.

    Don't get me wrong, I wish the charger was more like the PS4 Controller charger, and not a Nintendo proprietary charger. That way you can charge the Gamepad with any modern android charger.
     
  20. tbb043

    tbb043 Member

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    Jan 30, 2008
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    I left it fully charged and came back to find it not fully charged, and no one else had access to it so unless some gremlins or gnomes are hiding in my room... *shrug* This is a switch I'm speaking of, Wii U pro controllers last so long you'd never notice anyway..
     
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