We already know that Nintendo isn't planning to offer standalone Wii U GamePads at launch here in the US, because the company isn't expecting to have games that support multiple GamePads available until sometime next year. That's fair enough, but that raises a pretty significant question for some gamers: what happens if the GamePad that comes packed with your Wii U gets damaged? Will you just be out of luck until Nintendo decides to start offering standalone GamePads? Thankfully, the answer to that question is "no," as Nintendo will be offering replacement GamePads for the more clumsy gamers out there.
However, while Nintendo will replace your damaged GamePad, it's going to cost you some cold hard cash. A Nintendo spokesperson told Polygon that replacements will be offered "for a fee," but didn't elaborate on what the fee will be. Don't expect it to be cheap though, because standalone GamePads will be available in Japan with a price tag of ¥13,400. That translates to roughly $172, so be prepared to open your wallet.
Of course, it seems unlikely that Nintendo will charge full price to replace your GamePad, but it could. Even if it doesn't, the cost to replace a broken tablet controller has a good chance of crossing the $100 mark, so it's safe to say that you should treat your GamePad gently unless you want to pay a significant fee to get a new one. We should be getting some more solid details about the replacement process and this elusive fee once we get closer to the Wii U's November 18th launch date, so keep an eye out for those.
Even though the Wii U won't have any games that support dual GamePads when it launches here in the US, it still has a pretty excellent launch library lined up. Within the Wii U's launch window, Nintendo expects titles like Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Darksiders 2 to ship for the console. Nintendo will also be adding some games of its own to the mix, with titles like New Super Mario Bros. U launching alongside the console and the long-awaited Pikmin 3 coming sometime early next year. The are certainly a lot of cool Wii U games on the way, but to be honest, we're just excited that Pikmin 3 will finally get the see the light of day.