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Accessory Review: Wii U Pro Controller

December 31, 2012

The Wii U Pro Controller is a special controller option made by Nintendo for a more traditional style of gaming. What I mean by traditional style is basically a regular controller, not the Wii Remote, the Wii Motion Plus Controller, or the Wii U Gamepad. If you would prefer to play Wii U games with a regular controller, (for example, if you are playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on the Wii U) then this is the controller you would use. Unlike the Nintendo Wii’s Traditional Controller option (which had you plug it into the Wii Remote), this controller wirelessly connects to your system on its own.

The design is very similar to the Xbox 360’s controller, however, its right control stick is now on the upper portion of the controller instead of the lower portion. It also has a button in the center of the controller that can shut off the system without having to hit the menu button, just like the Wii U Gamepad. Most of your buttons are the same as the Wii U Gamepad, which makes sense considering this is an alternate controller option. The only button you don’t have is the TV button, as only the Wii U Gamepad can allow you to adjust your TV’s settings and turn it on and off.

The Controller feels great in your hand, as it is very light and comfortable.  Your thumbs naturally rest on the two control sticks, which coming from a person who’s used the Xbox 360 controller a few times (and was skeptical about being able to adjust from the Xbox 360 controller to this controller) is saying something. This is a very nice controller to hold and there’s no doubt it will be great to play games with.

The problem comes with controller compatibility though. There are many things the controller is not adaptable with. For starters, if you have a password on your account on the system, you can’t use the pro controller. Nintendo eShop and Amazon Video are not compatible with the Pro Controller (and even though I didn’t try it out, I suspect the Internet Browser, Netflix, and Hulu Plus will have the same issue). And virtual console games on the Wii Channel are not able to be used with the Pro Controller either. Also, when it comes to retail games, only certain ones are compatible with the pro controller (see your game’s box/info for more details). This is certainly disappointing that Nintendo is not giving owners more ability to use their Pro Controller.

As far as battery goes, the controller has a very long battery life, up to about 80 hours, which is incredible! Both my 3DS and Wii U Gamepad’s battery life could only dream of lasting that long, so you’ll definitely not have to worry about changing this controller a lot. It also comes with a USB cable to charge it with, which you can hook up with your computer. I’ve tried plugging it into the system while it is off through the system’s USB ports, but the controller does not charge. Kind of disappointed about that. I also feel like it’s way to easy to lose this kind of charger, but then again I suppose it’s just as easy to lose any other charger.

Final Verdict: For compatible games, this controller is definitely perfect to use. I personally can’t wait to try out for Smash Bros. 4 (You know it’s going to be compatible with it somehow…) as well as other top games for the system in the future. However, it’s not compatible with everything, and I’m a little worried about the way to charge the controller (although I’m glad I won’t have to worry about charging it a lot.) Still, considering this isn’t suppose to function as a main controller, I should wave all of those issues aside. This is a great controller, but I would recommend making sure you have a few games you know (or are pretty confident will) be compatible with before spending $50 down on this controller (or more if you want some for Smash 4).

I give this controller a 4/5.

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