Patent images have recently surfaced of some of Nintendo's various Wii controller designs. For those who want to see how these controllers took shape, you can check out the images below.
The Wii Remote designs are probably the most interesting of the bunch. As you can see, one design features an analog stick where the D-pad is currently located on the Wii Remote. There's even a classic "Game & Watch" style D-pad on one Wii Remote design that would have been an interesting twist on Nintendo's classic D-pad design, although how functional this design would have ultimately been remains to be seen.
The Classic Controller designs are almost as unique as the Wii Remote drawings. As you can see, the D-pad and action buttons are located where the analog sticks are located on the final Classic Controller design in one of the mock-ups. This design probably wouldn't have been very popular among retro game fans due to how the controller would have to be held in order to make use of the D-pad and buttons. The first design in the picture above basically features the same basic design we see on the final Classic Controller design, except it features a much more rounded look to it.
There's not much to see with the two Nunchuk designs below, other than the blocky design on the right. It looks more like a Wii Remote than the slick Nunchuk attachment we've grown to love. Luckily Nintendo ended up going with the more ergonomic design in the end.
After looking at these early designs of the various Nintendo Wii controllers, it seems safe to say that Nintendo settled on the best designs of the bunch when it comes to the finished product. But it does show just how meticulous Nintendo is when it comes to coming up with the designs for their game console controllers.