Hands On at E3: Wii U Pro Controller

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

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Nearly all of the games on the show floor at E3 2012 made use of the Wii U GamePad as the primary controller with traditional Wii Remotes used for additional players. However, one game on the show floor did have the new Wii U Pro Controller available for play, and that was Rayman Legends.

The game itself is fundamentally the same as Rayman Origins, so this provided an excellent opportunity to compare the new controller with my own experience with the current Classic Controller Pro and Rayman Origins.

Wii Classic Controller Pro (For Comparison)


The first thing you will notice is the redesigned shape of the controller (which is somewhat similar to the Xbox 360 controller in its ergonomic design). The new shape feels very comfortable and is well suited to extended play sessions. The current Classic Controller Pro relied on a short wire that must be plugged into a Wii Remote; the Wii U Controller Pro will wirelessly communicate with the console and has a slot for what looks like it will allow for charging the controller via a charge cable, similar to the Xbox 360 controller.

Xbox 360 Controller (Also for comparison)


The controller felt a bit lighter than an Xbox 360 controller. It did feel a bit off when reaching up for the right analog stick when compared to the 360 controller and current Classic Controller Pro; however the d-pad on Nintendo’s controller felt much more precise than Microsoft’s.

It seems a bit weird that Nintendo would so blatantly copy the design of Microsoft’s controller, but then again, I personally don’t have much to complain about as it addresses nearly all of the concerns people had with the original Classic Controller Pro, and the handles on this new controller are arguable more comfortable.

The reps we spoke to were unsure which launch window titles would allow use of the controller pro, and the only ones that were confirmed to us were ZombiU, Rayman Legends, and New Super Mario Bros. U. The Wii U Pro Controller will be available at Wii U launch, Holiday 2012.

Surprise! Also available in White!

  • Looks gaw-jus!

  • It’s not really “copying”… it’s a pretty bog standard controller design. Also, I thought ZombiU could also use the Pro for multiplayer?

  • It doesn’t look that much like the XBox 360 controller.  There are considerable differences between the two.

  • Trey Leuenberger

    Glad this got announced, was worried about having to play smash brothers 4 without a gamecube-like controller.

  • RyanOPR

    I’ll be happy if all the games allow this controller. Yes, all of them.

    • Given how a lot of third-party games are ports of pre-existing games, I’m sure most of them will allow this kind of controller to be used. But even if they don’t, the Gamepad has the same kind of controller input, so I think we’ll be fine.

  • SecretX

    too bad you guys dont have a real picture from the booth at E3 because it really does look different. i hope is not expensive 🙁

  • Rock Volnutt

    If anything, it resembles a cross between the Wii U controller minus the screen and the GameCube controller The right analog stick is now above the face buttons, like the Wii U tablet controller, and it resembles the GameCube controller in just about every other way. It also has the second shoulder buttons of a Wii U, 3DS Circle Pad Pro, and Classic Controller/Pro, which is one more additional shoulder button than the GameCube had. To paraphrase, it’s a slightly modified GameCube controller.

    Blatant copying would be the Playstation’s standard controllers in comparison to the Super Nintendo controller. Both popularized the design, which is reused in modern handhelds in addition to console controllers. The 360 controller continued that trend with slight modifications, as, well, every other controller did. Nintendo is planning on releasing a Wii U Pro controller that largely follows the design of a GameCube controller, which predated the 360. Calling it a copy is obviously biased and far fetched.