I Wish GameCube Controllers Worked With More Wii U Games

I Wish GameCube Controllers Worked With More Wii U games

If you were looking forward to using the GameCube controller with any Wii U game other than the new Super Smash Bros., Nintendo had some bad news for you today: the forthcoming adaptor will only be compatible with the new fighting game when the two come out next month.

The company's explanation today answers a question that had been left strangely open ever since Nintendo first announced that it was making one of its most beloved controllers from console generations past compatible with the Wii U: what about using it to play other great games like Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, or Pikmin 3? Even the way that gamers and game journalists finally arrived at a straight answer speaks to how their expectations have been a bit... muddled over the past few months.

Nintendo offered a definitive answer by releasing a statement in response to reports from several gaming sites claiming that the GameCube controller would work with other Wii U games in addition to the new Super Smash Bros. These reports drew from Nintendo's product description for the GameCube controller adaptor for the Wii U as it was listed on Nintendo UK's website. According to Eurogamer, the relevant section of the product description originally said that the new adaptor "will allow you to connect your GameCube controller to the Nintendo Wii U," and this it would be "compatible with all games supported by the Wii U Pro Controller."

Nintendo has now removed those details from the product description. In a statement given to several gaming outlets, a Nintendo UK spokesperson clarified that the "GameCube Controller Adaptor for Wii U is compatible with Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U specifically - it is not compatible with any other Wii U software." The spokesperson also noted that the adaptor is not compatible with the Wii console.

I Wish GameCube Controllers Worked With More Wii U games

Well, there you have it. This news might not be disappointing, or even surprising, for Smash fans in particular. Adapting the GameCube controller for the upcoming Wii U game was always seen as a welcome bit of fan service on one level — one that would offer veteran Smash players an easy way to play the new game the way they have preferred to for nearly 13 years at this point (the GameCube's version of Smash, Super Smash Bros. Melee, first came out in December 2001).

On one level. Today's clarifying will probably leave some other Wii U owners feeling a bit let down. By what, exactly? Well, that obviously varies from gamer to gamer. Personally, I was looking forward to getting the new GameCube controllers becauseI figured they were essentially putting a new coat of paint on a classic controller. As a result, I was holding out on purchasing additional Wii U Pro controllers to better play Mario Kart 8 with. Well, that and just looking forward to playing excellent games like Pikmin 3 and Super Mario 3D World with a controller that, again, is pretty classic as far as console controllers go.

I currently own two standard remotes and one Pro controller in addition to the Wii U GamePad. This combination always seems to result in people jockeying over who's gonna get stuck with the remotes whenever friends come over to play Mario Kart. I guess now I'm just gonna have to get another Pro controller or two. Which is fine. But the Wii U Pro controller just doesn't measure up to the GameCube one no matter how I look at it. The prospect of using one of my all-time favourite controllers to play one of my current favourite games was, well, very exciting. And speaking more generally, I love the idea that a game company would bring something successful from previous console generation into the present to see how it might complement new games in turn. Not being able to use the GameCube controllers in this way, and therefore having to spend a lot more money to buy a bunch of extra peripherals just to play two fairly standard games on the same console in the best possible way, doesn't sit well me.

I Wish GameCube Controllers Worked With More Wii U games

For what it's worth, my boss and Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo said that my opinion here is "bananas," and "possibly absurd," since the Wii U doesn't support any GameCube games at this point anyway. I don't think that a game titled Super Smash Bros. for Wii U should count as a GameCube game either, technically, but OK. As I acknowledged above, Nintendo never said that the adaptor would work with other Wii U games, so being disappointed by them failing to deliver something that they never actually said they'd deliver might indeed sound bananas. But am I really the only one who feels this way?

Given how quickly a small detail on a region-specific product page was picked up by the gaming-friendly internet, I'm willing to bet that today's news has sent some other gamers and Nintendo fans on an emotional roller-coaster of sorts as well. Because while Nintendo never actually said anything about the GameCube controller's additional compatibility, failing to explicitly deny it gave people ample opportunity to indulge their hopes and expectations.

Let me give one admittedly small example of this. I've been keeping my ear to the streets in Mario Kart 8 ever since the game came out. Those streets have been getting a bit quieter lately, but I can tell that there are still a lot of people who care about this game on many different levels. Here's how a few fans on the Mario Kart subreddit responded when someone cross-posted a story originally claiming that the GameCube adaptor would work for Mario Kart 8.

(You can find similar reactions, and a much larger and healthier debate, at other Mario Kart 8 forums like the ones over at GameFAQs)

I Wish GameCube Controllers Worked With More Wii U games

"My life is complete now," one person wrote. "I always had hope," another said, "I can't wait for this to come out!"

Then someone came in to break the news. "Wow, what a disappointment," the original poster responded. "Sorry about misinforming everyone!"

I'm sorry too.


    Personally not a huge fan of the Wii-U pro controller, feels like a low quality lovechild of the Xbox controller. I'd much rather a wireless Gamecube controller, felt much higher quality.

    I'm more hoping that it can/will be made PC compatible. Might actually get around to having Dolphin running if that happens.

    They really need to get their shit together with the controller situation. I have a Pro Controller, a Classic Controller Pro, 2 original Classic controllers, a snes Classic Controller, 4 remotes and 4 nunchuks, but every game has a variety of compatiability. I think the most ridiculous part is that the Gamepad can't be used as a classic controller in Wii mode for VC games

    Now we're going to have a Gamecube controller that only works on one game, plus we have those 3rd party Gamecube-shaped classic controllers which don't work as Pro Controllers.

      Well, there's a potential silver lining in that they havent said it wont work with future titles, just existing titles wont be patched to work with the controller

    I never understood the love for gamecube controller then or now. I dealt with it at the time but I was glad to say goodbye to the thing.

      I didn't hate it but it certainly had it's flaws. The C-Stick isn't great, there's only one bumper, for some reason it only has a Start button and no select. The A, B, X, Y layout isn't the most flexible. The triggers were great though. I wish other consoles adopted soft/hard trigger points.
      I think a big part of it is that it's tailored to Nintendo GameCube games. Luigi's Mansion plays way better on the GameCube controller than anything else, and I remember the GameCube for those sorts of games rather than the dozens of games where the GameCube controller didn't work well.

    Eh, I've got 3 GCN controllers still so I'm set. Will pick up the bundle with the extra controller for a complete set!

    Do the new controllers work with the GC?

    You've also been able to buy adapters that let you use GCN controllers as a classic controller, so I never understood what all the hype was about.

      Wait, are you saying that I can already use my cube controllers to play mk8??

    I actually like the Wii U Pro Controller... :P

      I like it too - it's comfy, lightweight and the battery lasts FOREVER. The only downside is the build quality isn't great, and it feels like a big lump of plastic. Still, it's nice to use :)

    The GCN controller maybe that damn nice, as I remember. However I just can't see how damn desirable it in comparison to the WiiU Gamepad and Pro Controller beyond cheap and easy Smash multiplayer. Unlike the previous generation with just Wii Remotes, a controller with 2 thumbsticks, four face buttons, a d-pad and four shoulder buttons is standard with the machine, and more comfy units added easily.

    Move on people!

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