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.
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.
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.