Wii Hardware Shots

Nintendo isn’t abandoning the traditional control pad. Here is a picture of the “Classic Pad” controller for the Wii:


Wii Classic Controller

It has dual analogue sticks and what appear to be four shoulder buttons. It’s a wired controller, though I can’t tell whether the wire comes out of the top and they’ve pictured it trailing behind the pad and hanging down, or whether the wire comes out of the bottom. If the wire comes out of the bottom, then what is that little protrusion at the top?

EDIT: Apparently the Wii-mote connects to the Classic Pad via that cord sticking out of the bottom. So the Classic Pad is wireless, sort of. It seems cumbersome. Are we expected to have the Wii-mote portion held between our knees and pointed at the console, or perhaps sitting next to us, when we use the Classic Pad?

Why have they abandoned the pseudo handlebar style design of the GameCube controller? The GameCube controller is very comfortable to hold. I didn’t like the placement of the analogue sticks in the GameCube controller, nor did I like the fact that the sticks were not uniform in design. The Wii Classic Pad places the analogue sticks in the centre, like the PlayStation controller, and I think this is better.

Here’s a shot of the Wii console with a Wii disc alongside a GameCube disc:


Wii Disc Compared to GameCube Disc

This is the new prototype Wii-mote controller with the attachment, as revealed at the Nintendo press conference yesterday:


Wii Nunchuck

They’re actually calling it the “nunchuck” in the Nintendo data sheets. The Wii-mote is a little bit longer than the original prototype, to incorporate the speaker in the centre of the unit. Also, I think the button labels are different from the Wii-mote we saw some months ago.

  17 comments for “Wii Hardware Shots

  1. 10 May 2006 at 08:21

    The thing about the analog sticks is that you use the one on the left more often than the one on the right. That’s the reason for the odd placement by Nintendo. It looks weird, but I think it works pretty well.

    But you know, I was playing Dreamcast while everyone else got used to the Dual Shock, and I’ve never liked Sony’s controllers. So I’m probably not the best person to judge.

  2. 10 May 2006 at 09:13

    The Dreamcast is still one of my fave controllers of all time, actually. The VMU? Brilliant.

    I think they’ve pic’d the classic controller with the cord being pulled behind the unit. I wondered the same when I first saw it. I kinda wish it was wireless, but I’m sure some smart cat will figure that out when the time comes.

    When my dad and I did a nightfest of Timesplitters, I found myself liking the feel of the GameCube controller, so hopefully they keep it up with this “classic” version.

  3. 10 May 2006 at 09:51

    Thomas: That’s a good point about the analogue stick placement… Hm… Now that I think about it, playing Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes on the GameCube was a joy, and getting used to the feel of the GC controller for a MGS game ddn’t take long. I find the GC controller more comfortable than the PS controller, but the GC controller is horrible for fighting games, IMO. Capcom vs. SNK is terrible if you opt for using the non-cheating manual control mode.

    I never had many opportunities to use a Dreamcast controller long enough to get used to it. It always felt odd. The face buttons on the right side seemed too close together, but maybe that was because I wasn’t used to it.

  4. 10 May 2006 at 10:38

    Well, yeah, you can’t play a fighting game on the Cube without an arcade stick. But really, that’s true of all the consoles, it’s just more true of the GC versions. I mean, the PS2 d-pad is a nightmare. The xBox is probably the best of the bunch, and even it’s not great.

    I used to obsessively play Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and Mark of the Wolves on the Dreamcast. To this day, I can knock out obscenely-damaging combos on the DC pad. But put me in front of an arcade machine, it’s like a brain-damaged cocker spaniel.

  5. 10 May 2006 at 11:01

    Street Fighter on the SNES controller wasn’t too bad. The Sega Genesis six face button layout was optimum, but their D-pad was not so good.

    I used to be all right in Marvel vs. Capcom at the arcade, and Tekken Tag Tournament as well. I don’t go to arcades regularly anymore, so my fighting skillz have atrophied. :(

    I’m not so bad at Tekken games on the PS2, even though I don’t play them often.

  6. 10 May 2006 at 11:14

    Everyone’s not so bad at Tekken. That’s the point of Tekken. It’s the Easy Reader of arcade fighters.

  7. 10 May 2006 at 11:25

    Frankly I hated the Gamecube controller and thought it was the worst of the last generation. I have full-sized American man hands. The GC controller was playable by my 4 year old without any problems. I get hand cramps using it.

    There’s a lot of criticism over Wii’s new “classic” controller already. All I care about is that it’s large enough to fit in my hand without doing any weird contortions to play games.

  8. 10 May 2006 at 12:34

    “Easy Reader”? OMG.

  9. Id
    10 May 2006 at 15:06

    I had thought the handlebars on controllers were a great innovation (or convention by this point I suppose) and I am confused as to why they are apparently abandoning it.

    Thomas: I prefer the term “accessible.” Tekken allows people who haven’t devoted a large amount of time playing fighting games to play a game and at least feel competent. This is important to me as I don’t know that many gamers who like fighting games. Tekken allows me to play a fighting game with out my friends getting pissed at me when I tear out their spines with Akuma or something along those lines. The levels of skill after merely competent are more difficult to reach (unless you play as Christine or Eddy, or if you cheat by mapping the shoulder buttons). Games like Guilty Gear and Capcom Vs. SNK are much less forgiving and are even a bit intimidating to beginners, Tekken provides the opportunity to even the playing field a bit, or at the very least provide the illusion of it. Also Tekken is fun as hell.

    Brinstar: I’m not so bad at Tekken games on the PS2, even though I don’t play them often.
    You’re actually very good. You’re the only friend that I haven’t given a win to, not just because you’d be offended but also I have never felt the need to make things more “interesting”, by walking into your characters fist a couple of times. Though I do get start to get bored when you pick the same three characters over and over, it should be noted that the incident I am referring to we played until 3 or 4 am .

  10. 10 May 2006 at 16:10

    Id: When the stakes are high (or when I get annoyed and I want to win), I stick with the tried and tested characters. :P

    Oh speaking of Guilty Gear, I heard there was one out for the DS. I think I’ll go look that one up. My GG experience is limited to occasional plays at the manky arcade next to the Church of Scientology on Tottenham Court Road years ago, and I hadn’t been able to find the good GG game on the PS2 in decent condition at a decent price.

  11. 10 May 2006 at 19:42

    The DS Guilty Gear is apparently a Smash Brothers ripoff, and not very good at all.

  12. 10 May 2006 at 19:49

    “Easy reader” – hey, I’m proud of that line. Not bad for a Cedric Diggory knockoff, eh?

  13. 11 May 2006 at 16:29

    I’m really glad that they are offering a control pad that is different from the Gamecube controller. Anything is better than that little thing. Heck, I’d rather have a grizzly bear controller than that thing.

    Although, my opinion may not be worth much, as I prefer the original huge-style Xbox controller, ESPECIALLY for fighting games like Soul Calibur II.

  14. 11 May 2006 at 21:22

    It’s annoying that the buttons on the front right hand side of the console follow the cross-shaped layout introduced by the Playstation. It takes significant mental effort to map X, Y, A and B, let alone the PS symbols, to top, bottom, left and right without looking at the controller. The two-rows-of-three layout from the old Sega Megadrive controller is much more intuitive – A, B, C from left to right, then high or low – and gives you two more keys into the bargain. Actually Nintendo seem to have implemented the cross layout a little worse than their competitors – on the Xbox and PS controllers each of the four keys is at least highly visually distinct.

    I expect that Nintendo adopted the cross layout and the more conventional analogue sticks for the same reason – the “Classic Pad” is very similar to the Xbox and PS controllers because its purpose is to allow straightforward/lazy ports from those platforms to the Wii.

  15. 12 May 2006 at 02:00

    Um… The SNES introduced the cross-shaped face button layout on the right side, with the same naming convention as pictured on the Wii Classic Pad. The PS1 controller copied this layout from the SNES and adopted the confusing symbolic naming convention for the buttons.

    The Nintendo 64 added two buttons to this four-button cross-shaped layout, to resemble the Mega Drive controller, and I’m not sure why the Classic Pad couldn’t have adopted the same thing as well.

    I think the reason that the Classic Pad adopted this layout is to allow ports from the NES, SNES, and TurboGrafx 16. Why couldn’t have added two more face buttons to allow easy ports from the Mega Drive, however is unknown to me.

  16. 12 May 2006 at 07:04

    Grizzly bear controller.

    That would totally be an excellent handicap for multiplay.

  17. 13 May 2006 at 05:48

    I stand corrected – how could I have forgotten the SNES? The cross layout was indeed Nintendo’s bad idea, not Sony’s. ;P The N64’s actually quite different to both the MegaDrive and the SNES/PS, since the C buttons are labelled with direction arrows – it’s not simply a matter of the button layout, but of how the user maps the button “names” to their positions in the layout. (The C button mapping has a different shortcoming – an arrow isn’t a great “name” for any action that doesn’t have a directional flavour.)

    I’ll stand by my guess that the Classic Pad is mainly intended for compatibility with PS/Xbox titles (and obviously Gamecube titles too). It has features – a fourth shoulder button, mirror-image analogue sticks – which matter for PS compatibility but are irrelevant to older Nintendo titles. Looking at the market, while downloads of old titles will be a nice little earner for the Wii, relatively easy portability from PS2/3 and Xbox 360 may prove to be a matter of survival. I think Nintendo is coppering its bets – the Wii-mote allows unique gameplay, while the Classic Pad ensures that it hasn’t burnt its bridges.

    Two questions about the Classic Pad: is it a part of the standard Wii package rather than an extra purchase? And does it have press-downable analogue sticks and variable-pressure {X, Y, A, B} buttons – does it pass the MGS2 test?

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