Last year’s E3 saw Nintendo show off a more slightly-more-primitive version of their next-generation console, the Wii U. However, after another year under the hood – and just months from its Winter 2012 launch – the new system now looks ready to appear in final form.
The company revealed the final design of the Wii U’s Tablet controller during their pre- E3 Nintendo Direct video earlier tonight. And while the controller is still without an official name, it does boast some impressive changes.
The finalized Wii U controller contains changes from previously leaked images – including two analog sticks, as opposed to the “nubs” that were present in the prototype version. These sticks can be clicked in to act like buttons, much like those in most modern day controllers. The buttons have also been moved around to enhance comfort – the d-pad and face buttons are no longer directly below the analog sticks. Nintendo’s Saruto Iwata says the new placement, plus the addition of rounded grips on the back of the controller should help gamers who plan to play for long periods of time.
The new controller also boasts some new features – the most impressive of which is a TV button. Users can press this button to switch to their TV and use the Wii U Tablet Controller as a remote control. The controller will also feature NFC technology use in Skylanders.
Nintendo also unveiled the Wii U Pro Controller – offering a more traditional design for those who would rather not use the Tablet. The Pro Controller uses a design similar to that of the Xbox 360 controller, though the analog sticks are placed symmetrically like the PlayStation 3’s DualShock 3. It looks like Nintendo found the “best of both worlds”, so to speak. The controller also has USB port, opening up the ability to do away with batteries. This could also allow gamers to plug the controller into a PC, though a third party would probably have to make software to support that.
With the Wii U, Nintendo is doing something really special – it’s giving players choice. Those who prefer a traditional controller can use the Pro controller, while those who want to make use of the Tablet’s features can still do so. The Classic Controller was also available for the Wii, however few games used it, forcing many to play with the Wiimote. Both controllers look very comfortable nonetheless, but it’s still great to give gamers options.
What do you think of the controller redesign?
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Source: Nintendo Direct