A Closer Look At The Wii U’s Xbox-Like Pro Controller

A Closer Look At The Wii U’s Xbox-Like Pro Controller

On the latest episode of Nintendo Can’t Win For Trying*, we’ve got the Wii U Pro Controller, which has been criticised for both being too similar to the Xbox 360 controller (well, to be fair, it does) and for having one major difference from the Xbox 360 controller. (They put the right stick where?)

I’ll be your host for this instalment, which was shot by our Tina Amini at a Wii U showcase event in New York.

Plot summary: We like the controller. Total run time: 2 minutes, 52 seconds.

*Not a real show.


  • Criticised for being modeled after arguably the best controller design ever? I’m sure Nintendo wont mind. And the Wii U tablet might be a good gimmick but i’d get a headache trying to concentrate on the tablet and my tv screen at the same time.

    • If you’ve played enough Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure on the GameCube (with friends), then looking up and down from the two different screens won’t be much of a problem.

      Though I do wish I had a GBA:SP at the time…finding the right light was a hassle.

    • Best controller design ever? Lol? The 360 controller has a number of bad design elements IMO. Reaching the bumpers feels like I’m really stretching my fingers and moving my hands off their natural position. The B button’s position actually sits on the slope on the side of the controller, so it’s not sitting flat like the other face buttons are. And the d-pad is terrible, MS can’t seem to be able to design a decent d-pad at all because the original xbox’s d-pads (on both controllers) sucked too. Plus the positioning of the two analogue sticks, with one being up and one being down, never felt natural to me and always felt weird, but I may be in the minority on that one.

      Personally I like the PS3’s controller, though I do need to agree that the Gamecube’s controller was about the best designed. The only problem with the GC’s controller was that the d-pad was probably a little too small.

      • Thats cool, we can’t all have man hands. I do agree the directional pad is terrible but honestly, i can’t remember the last time i had to use outside selecting equipment.

        • sick burn, but TBH I’ve always felt this way. The xbox controller has always been more suitable for someone with large hands. I’ve always put it down to (without getting racial) the asian markets.
          But I’ve also never understood this pissing contest around fan boys of all the consoles, I don’t know anyone that has just one platform, usually it’s at least 2 if not all of the latest gen consoles.

  • I really don’t understand the uproar that Nintendo have copied the 360 controller. The Microsoft fanboys seem to have conveniently forgotten that the 360 controller copied the SNES’s button layout in the first place.

    • This is the first time I’ve heard the 360 controller to be likened to the SNES controller, ever. Unless you meant to say Dreamcast?

      • Exactly the original Xbox was pretty much the Dreamcast “2” in my eyes. MS pulled alot of ideas from the Dreamcast including the controller design. Never have I seen a compariosn to the SNES controller.

        Sony ripped off the SNES controller, literally put 2 arms on it and wala, new controller. Having said this the PSX was a collaboration between Nintendo and Sony as a CD addon for the SNES, until Nintendo got cold feet, so Sony went it alone, the rest is gaming history…

        • Nope, I didn’t mean Dreamcast. I specifically said button layout. The four face buttons on a 360 controller are positioned in that diamond shape the same way the as SNES. And yes Sony have done this too, as did Sega with the Dreamcast. You obviously don’t pay too much attention to the face buttons layouts if you can’t see the resemblance.

          Yes it’s the common thought that the Xbox was the “Dreamcast 2” and that it borrowed the design of the controller from the Dreamcast. What’s interesting though is that Microsoft didn’t adopt that 4 button “diamond” SNES-style face button layout until it redesigned the Xbox controller as the Controller S. The original Xbox controller had a more unique button layout that didn’t look anything like the Dreamcast: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Fi1VkzcboNQ/TvOGCsOg9SI/AAAAAAAAAV4/4JAFtkC_Jag/s1600/xbox+comparison.jpg

          Nintendo were the first to create a controller with that face button layout, now it’s basically accepted as standard and just about every controller (apart from motion controllers) uses it. So what if they’ve designed a controller that sort of resembles another one? It’s different enough to not mistake it for a 360 controller.

  • There some really stupid xboxfanboys here. The 2 top gaming controllers of all time are the Nintendo 64 controller and the Playstation Series of controllers then the Joystick. Go on every Top 20 controller list on the web and the xbox controller will never be ahead of those three. And the biggest complaint about the xbox controller is Hand Cramps, pretty painful.

    And now Nintendo are copying xbox, is playstation 3 the only console that isn’t stealing ideas with every new idea, they still some, but nintendo and microsoft really are starting to hurt themselves.

    The Kinect copied Sony’s playstation eye which was released at the start of the PS2 lifecycle but sony just didnt build on it.

    The Wii’s controller was a copy of a motion controller being prototyped for years by sony, and good thing Wii used the tech first on the market cause it was crap and very, very inaccurate.

    And now this wii u controller copying the xbox. Wtf is this industry doing.

    • Thats funny, i just googled “Top 10 controllers” and it was – 1. NES – 2. Xbox 360. – 3. Dualshock. Of course thats just opinion, just like everybody’s here.

  • hdjk is right! BURN THE INFIDELS!!! I love My PS3 and she loves me back, can you say the same over the *noise of your nagging Xbox 360 *(disk drive)

    • Have you ever noticed the people who usually complain about the 360 disk drive complain because the noise keeps their parents awake in the next room ? I never hear it over my surround sound system… And if it’s really late and my gal is sleeping she is more likely to hear the thumbsticks and buttons over the drive and I don’t notice with headphones anyway. Alternatively you can install the game to the HDD if it really bothers you that much?

      • The main reason I find the Xbox better than the PS3 is because you can install the games to the HDD.

        It baffles me that they don’t let you do this with the PS3.

  • Every modern controller is based off of older designs invented by Nintendo. So I say they can make it look like the love child of the Dualshock and the 360 controller and get away with it.
    Come on, Nintendo invented the Dpad, thumbstick, ABXY, shoulder buttons, trigger buttons, eveything.

  • There’s not much variation in how you can make a comfortable control pad. You guys just need to relax about who copied who. The best controller is a matter of opinion anyway and depends on each person.

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