Goodbye, GameCube Controller. It's Been Fun.

Like any Smash Bros. fan, I've taken in the news of a Wii U iteration with great joy. Look at the awesome new characters! No tripping? Hooray! It'll find a sweet spot between casual and hardcore play? Excellent! And yet, there's a tinge of melancholy about it all: the Wii U doesn't have a GameCube controller port.

If someone is a hardcore Smash Bros. fan, I'm willing to bet that they likely play Super Smash Bros. Brawl with a GameCube controller. That's because the Wii Remote and Nunchuck don't make the cut when it comes to serious play, nor does the Classic controller. Of course, I don't doubt there are some players who are fiends with those controllers, in the same way there are excellent fighting game fans who don't use a fighting stick, but on the whole, I'd say the Smash community has a preference for the GameCube controller's ergonomic design. In fact, I'm guessing that most sales of GameCube controllers in the last few years are largely coming from Smash fans who refuse to play with anything else. Based on anecdotal experience, Smash, more than any other franchise out there, feels like the last thing keeping the GameCube controller alive.

Here's the thing: the GameCube controller came out in 2001. Nearly 12 years ago. (Holy shit...) To expect Nintendo to keep supporting it, especially when they're trying to sell systems on the novelty of the new controllers, is absurd. Their reluctance to include the port is, in a way, a sign to move on — no? And yet I suspect that many of us can't help but anxiously think about what Smash Bros. is like without a GameCube controller. Smash Bros without the GameCube controller seems...wrong, somehow. And playing with the GamePad on the Wii U seems way too cumbersome; I can't see myself enjoying that.

I'm guessing that some of you will want to keep the past alive and will rush out to buy GameCube controller adapters with your copies of of Smash Bros. for the Wii U. They exist, and they're pretty affordable. I wouldn't blame you for going that route.

As for me...maybe it's just that I feel that I'm in a stage of transition — wanting to move away from pining to sit in my college dorm with my friends, all hoping to not come in fourth in Brawl because that meant giving up the controller — but I think it's time for me to let go of the GameCube controller. I'll still remember it fondly, of course — the awe of using the Wavebird for the first time; playing Smash until the rubber on the control stick wore off; buying and destroying enough GameCube controllers to fill up a closet; becoming a filthy, filthy C-Sticker in Smash. But it's 2013 now — so, hey, Wii U Pro controller. How's it going? I think it's your time to shine.

Image via Wikipedia Commons


    Wii U Pro is a bit useless. Not many ganes support it, seems like it will be tossed in the 'useless accessories' pile :-/

      It's probably supported by more games than you realise. I'd say a lot of the so called "hardcore" games would definitely support it, especially the cross-platform stuff.

      Also, Mario Kart, Smash, Donkey Kong Country, probably the new Super Mario Bros game would support it. The new game from Monolithsoft will no doubt support it (considering Xenoblade supported the pro Wii controller). If a new Monster Hunter game hits the console it would use it, and of course pretty much all Virtual Console games would no doubt make use of it too.

      I got a lot of use out of my classic and pro controllers on the Wii, so I'm suspecting that'll be the same story with the Wii U.

        super mario doesnt have pro controller support yet. its getting patched in. only took them a year >_>

        If a new Monster Hunter game hits the console it would use it,

        Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate uses it, it's all good, although I think it plays better on the Gamepad - you have a lot of easy access to menu items from it.

        Last edited 19/06/13 4:55 pm

      Yep. Only good for VC for me at this point. They might come in handy more for multiplayer bouts with Rayman later this year at least.


    GC controller is still the best controller ever made. I love it dearly.

      I'd agree with you except for one point: The D-pad was too small. If it was just a little larger it would have been perfect, but as it was the size of it did make it difficult to use at times.

      I'd say the SNES is number 1, closely followed by the GC and PS3.

        Something about the SNES controller, I swear.

        The way you can kind of throw it between your thumbs, tilting it side to side. That's a very poor description, but it's the best one I can think of.

        Last edited 19/06/13 4:57 pm

      Luckily you can still use the Gamecube controller with the Wii U! You can pick up a GameCube Controller Adapter for Wii & Wii U

        Yeah but thats a third party product. Considering the Wii U games aren't 'officially' made with the GC controller in mind, will the new smash bros be configured to work with the Gamecube controller? Probably not. Point of the writer i believe

        Last edited 19/06/13 6:01 pm

      I love it. If it had a better c-stick I would have said it was perfect.

    Economics wins again:

    Demand dictates supply.

    Absolutely could not get used to this controller.

    Haven't yet used my Pro controller, but it's ready to go once there's a game that calls for it. And Smash will almost definitely be one of those.

    It's never "time" to abandon the Gamecube controller. Nintendo may have made a decision to cease support, I understand that. It doesn't mean I can't still be in love with it. I may not play new games with it any more, but I guarantee you, when Windwaker comes out for Wii U later this year, I'll miss using that zippy little C-stick for camera control.

    If Nintendo were smart, they'd test the water with a WiiU release of the Gamecube controller.

    This is the only negative issue regarding the next Smash Bros! I have 4 gamecube controllers ready and waiting for the new smash but... no love. I might chase up these adapters though :-)

    The Pro Controller is one of the most comfortable controllers I've ever held so should be the next best option to the Gamecube controller.

    I did the system transfer so can't play Brawl with the GC controller anymore. At least with my save.

    Any details on the adaptors? Which ones are best, good prices etc?

    you can get gc to 'X system' adapters - maybe someone will make one for the wii u? unless there is one for the wii already?

    I never used the GameCube controllers for Smash Bros Brawl because I didn't own one. The Wiimote and Nunchuck configuration worked great for me.

      Imperfect - it doesn't have any rumble!

        Sacrificed for longer battery life.

          Yeah, but to me that's too great a sacrifice for too little benefit.

    See above.

    Last edited 19/06/13 8:11 pm

    I reckon you can't go past this controller - And with much more Wii remote compatible games coming out real soon; it further reinforces its value.

      That controller isnt a wii u pro controller, only a wii pro controller. It's too modes are wii remote mode and wii pro controller mode. Thats how its compatible with the first wii.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now