One of the biggest surprises of Nintendo’s livestream broadcast yesterday was a special cameo appearance by the Xbox 360 controller! What?… Oh, wait, that’s not an Xbox 360 controller, that’s just the Wii U’s new version of the Wii’s Classic Controller, now redesigned to look *almost* exactly like a certain competitor’s standard controller.
Just the Wii’s Classic Controller Pro was seemingly based off of Sony’s Dual Shock (which, as much as Sony fanboys hate to admit it, the original Playstation controllers were inspired by the SNES controller, making for a weird sort of circle of… uh, “inspiration,”) Nintendo’s new “Pro” controller is very blatantly modeled after the Xbox 360 controller. we all know and love (well, except for the crappy d-pad.)
The one big change is the position of the second analog stick and face buttons: like the Wii U tablet controller, the analog sticks are given the top position on both the left and right sides of the pad, while the d-pad and face buttons sit beneath them. It certainly looks weird when compared to traditional controllers, but then again, who knows, it might work. I remember people complaining about the Xbox 1 and Gamecube’s asymmetrical positioning of analog sticks originally, but everyone’s more or less become used to it now. At the very least, while you could make a case about the Wii remote’s functionality, Nintendo’s never made a controller that was uncomfortable to hold, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt this time. At the very least, the dual stick focused layout looks like it might be good for FPS’s, anyway.
And hey, I like the Xbox 360 controller: outside of the terrible d-pad, it’s probably my favorite controller design ever (the old Saturn controller comes in as a close second,) so I suppose if Nintendo is going to blatantly plagiarize one of their competitor’s designs, they might as well steal one of the best.