Price and Details on Wii U GameCube Controller; Nintendo Still Pushing GamePad

Published 11 months ago by

Wii U Gamecube controller and adapter

Regarded as something of a failure relatively to the sales precedents set by Nintendo’s other consoles (the Virtual Boy an exception), the Nintendo GameCube actually has a lot in common with the company’s more recent Wii U. Both are faced with stiff competition against consoles that are regarded as better and stronger for ‘hardcore’ gamers, and both include unusual control schemes that might take a bit of getting used to.

Despite some players finding the GameCube’s controller lacking since it didn’t feature dual analogue sticks like its competitors, it ultimately garnered cult status (like its odd three-pronged N64 predecessor did) that Nintendo would surely like the Wii U’s GamePad to achieve in the future. In fact, for the Nintendo purist, it’s very much considered the only way to play classic GameCube franchises so with Super Smash Bros. set to launch later this year Nintendo has announced a Wii U compatible GameCube controller to commemorate the game’s release.

Priced at $19.99, the GameCube controller adapter is the first (and cheapest) of Nintendo’s three compatible options and will presumably allow for the use of any dusty GameCube controllers that you already have lying around. Secondly, there’s the brand new $29.99 GameCube controller which will be branded with Super Smash Bros. markers “to honor devoted loyalty to a classic way to play,” according to Nintendo. Alternatively, dedicated Smash Bros. fans can get all three parts to the puzzle in a bundle of the GameCube controller, the adapter and a copy of Super Smash Bros. too (the game is currently the only announced title to work with the controller) for the price of $99.99.

Star Fox on Wii U

However, despite Nintendo’s decision to bring back the GameCube’s controller, that doesn’t mean GamePad support is being reduced. In fact it’s quite the opposite with Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto announcing two GamePad enabled products (along with the new Star Fox game) at a pre-E3 event earlier this week.

The GamePad controls in Miyamoto’s new Star Fox are reportedly a bit fiddly to use and that has been an on-going gripe with the controller thus far, but since it provides a cockpit view of Fox’s Arwing starfighter and allows players to use motion control to tilt, aim and shoot, it could actually be quite useful too. However, as the game is regarded as unpolished and far from finished, these things can be alleviated before the game’s release.

The first of Miyamoto’s other games, Project Giant Robot, is comical in nature as players take control of a painfully slow, customizable robot who is as tall as a skyscraper. The analogue sticks control the robot’s arms and tilting the GamePad moves its torso in that direction while the screen displays the view from the robot’s eyes, allowing players to shoot lasers and missiles at robot opponents or explosive objects in order to defeat them.

Project Guard screenshot

Screen shot from ‘Project Guard’

Project Guard, the final of Miyamoto’s GamePad projects is also robot related. Putting the player in charge of 12 security cameras and a base to defend from waves of robots which you can do by looking from GamePad to TV screen for oncoming threats to shoot at and thwart. Again, Project Guard’s implementation of the GamePad does sound slightly uncomfortable and even Miyamoto himself says that the games “started off as an experiment” so they’re still very much works in progress. Works in progress aren’t going to sell the GamePad and its uses though, especially not when smartphones and their tilt-supporting accelerometers and touchscreens are already offering us gameplay akin to what the GamePad, in theory, could do. Neither are unfamiliar gameplay experiences such as encouraging backseat gamers (Project Guard is said to work best when other players help you out) and consistently having to switch viewpoints between screens.

Miyamoto is one of the most well respected names in game development (he’s responsible for Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros. and Wii Sports) but his next projects will certainly have to be some of his best if Nintendo want to prove that the GamePad is a worthy reason to shell out on the poorly selling Wii U. Super Smash Bros. on 3DS will arrive on the Nintendo 3DS on October 3, 2014, while the Wii U version will arrive in Winter 2014.

Game Rant E3 2014 Live Coverage

Sources: joystiq, Polygon

TAGS: 3DS, Gamecube, Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto, Star Fox, Super Smash Bros., Wii U

  • creep

    How about no an let me play it how i want

  • Josh Calkins

    I could use some clarity on that new controller. Does it only work with a cable, AND the adapter? Does it work the same or at all with the GameCube? Is it identical aside from the symbol?

    Also, the controller did have two sticks, of course, they just weren’t equal in size.

    • SirPrimalform

      The sockets on that adaptor look to me like standard GC sockets, so I’m thinking we can use the controllers we already own and they’re just reissuing a Smash Bros GC controller so people can buy new ones.

      After all, if they were going to make the controller pictured different from an actual GC controller then what would be the point? If they were going to make a ‘new’ controller that only worked with the Wii U they might as well make it connect directly like the Pro controller.

      • SirPrimalform

        What I mean is that I hope they let me use the GC controllers I already own.

        • Josh Calkins

          Yeah, it definitely looks as though the adapter is completely intended for old GC controllers. I guess I should state my confusion thusly: is the “new” controller identical to the old ones in every functional sense? Meaning it will work with the GC, and with the new adapter (like any other GC controller), but provide no additional functionality such as wireless or Pro Controller functionality. That would suggest that it can’t be used for anything WII U except this one game. Weird. It would be good to gain some clarity on this.

  • roxysdaddio

    Where in the world can I get the smash Bros bundle, give me a link someone

  • SirPrimalform

    “since it didn’t feature dual analogue sticks”

    Have you actually used a Gamecube controller? In fact, have you even looked at a picture of one? It has two analogue sticks.

  • leprof

    Uh, yeah, there are most definitely two analog sticks on the GameCube controller. And I think I can safely say that no one like the N64 controller. They liked the games that came with the N64, but everyone more or less hated the controller. The stick and d-pad layout of the GC controller is identical to the Xbox controller, as are the placement of the triggers and the general positions of the A, B, X, Y buttons. So nothing strange there either. Also, the GameCube itself stands as one of their most popular consoles in the hearts of fans. Yes, it only sold about 21 million, but considering it’s relatively high price when it first released, and the fact that other consoles of its generation (like the Xbox) sold roughly the same amount, this is pretty good.

    • SirPrimalform

      Sorry to break it to you, but I really liked the N64 controller and prefer it to the GC controller in a few respects.

      It has a bigger and more accessible d-pad and more face buttons (enough to play SF properly!). I also find the stick easier to be accurate with when it’s in good shape. I recognise that the stick wore out easily, but when they were good they were really good. I also really like the 3 prongs and felt it gave a lot of control options. Playing Goldeneye with the d-pad for walking and the stick for aiming was dual analogue before dual analogue.

      It had flaws, but I still really like it.