Feature | Tech Up! – Nintendo's Wii U Pro Controller

By Shane Jury 05.12.2012 5

Way back in the early months of 2011, Nintendo unveiled the main draw for its next console, a new control pad that mimicked the popular dual analogue stick and diamond face button setup whilst slapping a dirty great touch screen right in the middle of them. Even back then when details were sketchy at best, very few believed that this pad would be cost effective for a multiplayer setup, and it wasn't until earlier this year that Nintendo showed off a traditional alternative with the Pro Controller for Wii U. Would it be a worthy addition to any new machine setup?

Image for Feature | Tech Up! – Nintendo

Firstly, inspirations for the shape of the controller are immediately apparent. Yes, it mimics the form and grip of an Xbox 360 controller almost exactly, although with said pad being regarded as one of the finest ever built Nintendo cannot really be blamed for taking some cues in that respect, and one could say the 360 controller stemmed from Nintendo designs in the past anyway. This certainly isn't to say the Pro is a direct clone. In fact, it offers up more than a few quirks of its own to challenge the 360's podium spot.

Looking at a Pro Pad taken straight from the box immediately alerts you to its glossy finish on the front, not unlike that of the GamePad and Wii U console themselves. Also like them, fingerprints will inevitably turn up in view from time-to-time, though seemingly only with a direct source of light shone on it. The back of the Pro has a matte finish, mostly to help secure a better grip for the fingers and whatever surface the Pro is left on when not in use. The Pro also borrows the four-light indication pattern from the Wii Remotes to let players know which player position they're in and roughly how much power is left in the pad. 

Like the GamePad, the Pro has the buttons and analogue stick on the right-hand side swapped from usual conventional control, making for a slight adjustment in the way it is used. At first, thumbs may slightly nudge against the stick when using the buttons, but it does soon become second nature. The buttons, triggers and sticks feel equally as clicky and reactive as on the GamePad, but the D-Pad is even better, giving an even more mushy and satisfying response than on the already decent equivalent of the main controller, and being in a better position for thumbs to glide straight over to it from the main analogue stick.

Image for Feature | Tech Up! – Nintendo


Again, the GamePad's control setup is in no way a bad one, but for more intense games that demand quick reactions and responsive button combinations, the Pro is difficult to beat. Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition is a joy to play with the Pro, offering instant movement and countering opportunities whenever needed. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed reacts equally as well as on the GamePad, letting the Pro melt into hands while dominating the races.

Functionality-wise, the Pro can be used on the Wii U's main menu, through the Friends List function, and of course any game that supports it with an instant and hassle-free syncing setup. In the Pro Controller box, there is also a USB-to-Mini USB cable that lets the Pad get charged using a Wii U USB port or any other such port nearby, providing up to an immense 80 hour battery life at full power. The rumble feature does cut into this a little, but regardless that is an impressive number. The length of the cable itself is vast; longer than many previously tethered controller cables, and instantly useful should there be a requirement for re-juicing immediately from the built-in rechargeable battery.

Interestingly enough, connecting the Pro to a computer via this method does allow it to be recognized as an input device (though not yet a working one); it may only be a matter of time before skilled programmers get the pad working with PC games like with the Xbox and PlayStation controllers.

Tech Up! Final Thoughts

The Wii U Pro Controller only has one main drawback aside from the adjustment phase and the lack of tilt sensors, in that support for it is limited only to Wii U games both retail and downloadable, and not extended to regular Wii and Virtual Console stuff through Wii Mode. Although chances are you already have a Wii Classic Controller for all those games you've bought before, it would have been super convenient to have an all-in-one device.  It is a shame to see this functionality missing, but even without it the Wii U Pro Controller is still easily a contender as one of the best console game pads yet.

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Comments

"Wii U Pro Controller Plus (Now with Rumble) - Coming Winter 2013 to a retailer near you!"

Come on Nintendo, don't pull a DualShock 3 on us. Smilie


( Edited 05.12.2012 01:23 by ~phil )

The Classic Controller Pro is probably my second favourite controller after the Gamecube controller and I've never missed rumble when using it. I've been using it a lot on my PC with a special adapter too, works like a charm.  Correct me if I'm wrong but I think games that are supporting the Wii U Pro Controller still support the old CC Pro? If so, I don't think I have a reason to get one in the near future as I was never bothered by having it connected to a Wiimote to work.

Our member of the week

SirLink said:
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think games that are supporting the Wii U Pro Controller still support the old CC Pro?
ZombiU sure doesn't.

EDIT: Connecting it to my PC, it's recognized by Windows as a USB input device, but unfortunately not as a game controller... too bad.

( Edited 05.12.2012 10:45 by RudyC3 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Josh (guest) 05.12.2012#4

I got a pro controller with my zombiu console bundle last week and sorry to burst your bubble
but the pro controller does in fact have rumble..Smilie

Josh (guest) said:
I got a pro controller with my zombiu console bundle last week and sorry to burst your bubble
but the pro controller does in fact have rumble..Smilie

Really? Strange, I couldn't feel anything with the games I tried with it. It must be a fairly weak rumble then. :/

Edit; Wow, so there is rumble! Doesn't seem to work with Sonic Racing and Tekken's rumble timing is so subtle I never noticed it before. Updating article, thanks for making me check again. Smilie

( Edited 06.12.2012 07:41 by Phoenom )

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