News Article

Wii U Controller Originally Had Proper Analogue Sticks

Posted by James Newton

All change

The Wii U controller features 3DS-like Circle Pad sliders instead of the tilting analogue sticks that have been the industry norm since Nintendo 64. That wasn't always the case, though.

An earlier version of the controller than the one we've seen included proper analogue sticks raised from the controller's surface, among other changes, as a NeoGAF comparison between the controller's pre- and post-E3 form shows. There are other changes too, mostly relocations of buttons and the stylus, but they're mostly aesthetic choices.

Nintendo has said the console and its new controller are both still in development, so the final pad we hold in our hands later this year could be totally different; we'll just have to wait and see.

[via neogaf.com]

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User Comments (70)

Smitherenez

#3

Smitherenez said:

Can't wait to see the final version! Hopefully they will show it at the upcoming E3. I am actually happy they took the circle pad instead of those sticks. I am a big fan of my circle pad pro, it feels a lot better then the analogue sticks on the xbox (360) controllers.

DrCruse

#4

DrCruse said:

My experience with the 3DS circle pad was not good, so I really hope they use true analogue sticks. Circle pads don't self center and can't change direction fast enough.

Shworange

#6

Shworange said:

It uses a stylus? I guess I just assumed that it would be more dependant on touch with fingers than a stylus. Oh well

Doma

#8

Doma said:

Looking at those comparisons, the later version seems to be inferior in almost every way... wtf.
They should go with the original design, but reduce the screen's size in order to make a more ergonomic shape possible.

warioswoods

#9

warioswoods said:

@Shworange

No, I demand stylus control (ie, resistive touchscreen). That little preview of someone drawing a pencil-style picture of Link on the system wouldn't even be remotely possible with those awful, imprecise capacitative touchscreens found in other devices.

eviLaTtenDant

#11

eviLaTtenDant said:

Hope they return for the final design. (Assuming that the controller does nothing when it's not near the console. If the only purpose in carrying around is to bring it to a friend to play multiplayer there's nothing to say against sticks in my book.)

Grackler

#12

Grackler said:

@DrCruse The Circle Pad you used might have been broken, I'm almost certain they should self-centre (via springs) like any other anolog stick. I miss the tilt of an anolog stick, but it doesn't faze me much, I've found the 3DS Circle Pad great so far!

19Robb92

#13

19Robb92 said:

Hmm, might have been a reason they added 3DS-nubs to it then. I'm not worried at all though. Nintendo's controllers are always comfortable in my hands. i would be surprised if the WiiU-pad felt bad.

@warioswoods
I agree. A multitouch screen would be both more expensive and less accurate. I'd much rather have a pen when it comes to gaming purposes. Having to use fingers both blocks the view way to much on the screen and it's not accurate at all.

Beechbone

#16

Beechbone said:

I imagine Circle Pads are better suited for such a wide and flat controller as the Wii U. You can hold it firmly in your hands instead of raising your thumbs all the time. Well, that's just a thought since I never touched the thing.

The_Fox

#17

The_Fox said:

Damn. I don't really mind the circle pad on the 3DS but analog sticks feel more responsive.

Powerglove

#18

Powerglove said:

Well why did they change it? As much as I like the slider on my 3DS, control sticks are better.

retro_player_22

#19

retro_player_22 said:

Great I just hope the analog or circle pad whatever is under the directional pad/action buttons instead of above it.

DestinyMan

#23

DestinyMan said:

Eh, this doesn't matter much to me since I can adapt well to circle pads anyway. This controller and the system itself have changed several times over the months, so it will likely look a little different when this year's E3 comes around.

FonistofCruxis

#25

FonistofCruxis said:

I prefer analog sticks to the circle pad but circle pads are probably more suited to a flat tablet like controller like on the Wii U.

ChosenOne25

#26

ChosenOne25 said:

E3 can't come soon enough, so many unanswered questions, I guess E3 2012 will be Nintendo's show again. I really hope that they plan it better this time don't make the console too expensive (around $300-350 for a new console would be very nice and the only way to compete with Sony and Microsoft) like Sony did with PS3 ($599??????? T.T). They also must release a great first party game or there'll be no reason to pick up Wii U at launch for many people

DarkKirby

#27

DarkKirby said:

Personally I think analog sticks offer a superior level of control compared to the circle pads, even if the circle pads look more futuristic.

misswliu81

#28

misswliu81 said:

i can see how it could work with those analogue sticks as you can just toggle with them.

i don't mind whether or not it has them in the final version, but if they do make it in the final version, i do hope they don't make them feel as too clunky or disjointed.

AVahne

#29

AVahne said:

I've always been slightly bothered by having to tilt with analog sticks. Don't know why, they've always irked me slightly. 3DS's circle pads were a godsend in my opinion, they just felt really....right. Gaming with the circle pads just felt more natural than having to use the sticks. Only games I felt comfortable using sticks for were probably flight shooters. Now, I just hope the Wii U c-pads are a little more sensitive than the 3DS ones.

MrKenta

#32

MrKenta said:

I'm glad they didn't keep both the Start and Select buttons on the right side of the controller, I hate controllers that do this.

Tasuki

#33

Tasuki said:

Personally I have come to like the 3DS circle pad design better than an analog stick, but I guess to each their own.

Kyloctopus

#35

Kyloctopus said:

I really don't care about which is better. They can give me Joysticks for all I care.

ArcanaXVI

#36

ArcanaXVI said:

Personally, I love the circle pad on the 3DS, so while I wouldn't mind seeing full analogue sticks on the Wii U, I'll have no problem whatsoever if the circle pads are here to stay.

Drewroxsox

#37

Drewroxsox said:

@Shworange It uses both the stylus is used for drawing though and you can use your finger, because it's pressure sensitive.
sources: e3 2011 wii u video

KrazyBean

#38

KrazyBean said:

They better put those sticks back...I'm not saying that the Circle Pad on the 3DS is bad but actual analogue sticks are WAAAAAY more responsive. Fact.

NiaLovesNinty

#39

NiaLovesNinty said:

@Koto I agree. Circle pads feel great to me. My thumbs hurt less due to no tilt. I only wish the 3ds pad had better grip. My hands get moist sometimes during game play.

hydeks

#41

hydeks said:

I liked the way the Wii U pad looked at e3, I like the 3DS thumb pads. Reminds me of the NES Max controllers :P

Dodger

#42

Dodger said:

I have nothing against the circle pad but I like analog sticks a lot better. A lot better. I also would switch the ABXY buttons and the right stick. While I'm at it, with the shape of the Wii U controller, I would swap the Dpad and control stick. Whatever. The controller is quite ugly anyways. Not a fan so far but I'm not saying I won't change my mind.

Squid

#44

Squid said:

I would prefer an analogue stick, but I think it would be kind of uncomfortable. I mean, think what the 3DS would be like if it had analogue sticks in place of the Circle Pad. I guess with the way your hands are positioned with the tablet, it's more comfortable to "slide" the sticks than to "tilt" them. I dunno.

BenAV

#45

BenAV said:

If it originally had analogue sticks and they changed it to circle pads, then they must have thought that the circle pads worked better for it.
At first I wasn't that fond of the 3DS circle pad, but after getting used to it, I love it.
I have no problem whatsoever with the Wii U having them.

Henmii

#47

Henmii said:

I really hope they bring back the real analogue sticks! The circle pad (or pads if you are using circle-pad pro) work, but it just doesn't feel as smooth as a real analogue stick!

sinalefa

#48

sinalefa said:

I don't mind at all having the Circle Pads instead of sticks, it seems that the controller will be easier to carry that way.

I do agree with NialovesNinty. I hate the texture (or lack thereof) on the 3DS´s Circle Pad, as it is way too slippery for my sweaty hands. Too often I would get a bit nervous while going for 3 stars in Pilotwings Resort, and the pad slipped and made me lose control.

Kage_88

#52

Kage_88 said:

@36 - Yeah, I'm in the same boat. No matter what kind of sticks Nintendo add, it'll still be awesome.

I quite like the 3DS Circle Pad, but I would like to see some sort of grip added to them (like the Gamecube's analogue stick - which I REALLY liked).

IMHO, the Playstation 3 controller has the worst analogue sticks (though only relatively...I still find them perfectly useable).

Rensch

#55

Rensch said:

I find the circle pad on 3DS to be rather uncomfortable for prolonged playing sessions. I don't really get why they don't want to use an analog stick for a console controller.

Mattiator

#56

Mattiator said:

I could really see this controller being used for simulation titles, especially if there was a third party controller that replaced one of the circle pads with a PC-style joystick (probably the right one) complete with buttons on the stick and all. That would make for quite an impressive show of tech: A fully-fledged simulation title... on a console! Shows off the power of the system, Nintendo's dedication to hardcore gamers, and potentially even win over some of the PC crowd. Use the touch screen to emulate multiple buttons (hopefully it will function with a finger just as well as the stylus). Imagine playing Flight Simulator or MechWarrior on something like that!

WOLFER

#58

WOLFER said:

You know, I dont see why Nintendo even bothered making this controller... all they had to do was annouce that they are going Hd and thats it... but no they felt that they needed to be innovative like they always are.... Its just a gimmick in my opinion..... oh well i guess....

lex0plex

#60

lex0plex said:

I don't understand how you are supposed to play games with this device and the Wii controller. Nintendo said they weren't going to go back to button based Zelda games right? So will there be more than one controller option to play Zelda WiiU?

I think a better alternative would be to make the old Wii controller obsolete and go back to traditional button gaming, or have an entirely new motion based controller with 2 analogue sticks and a touch screen on the Nunchuk part. Maybe it could even snap together to form the Wii U controller...

My crude sketch: http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/5480/97435940.png (there are so many problems with this I know...)

I hate that there are so many friggin' controllers! Please Nintendo, just make one really nice one that works for every game!

Noire

#61

Noire said:

That looks like the ultimate Game Boy. Too bad it's tethered to a console. :(

Neonpowerstar

#63

Neonpowerstar said:

In my experience, the Circle Pad on the 3DS is quite strongly sprung and self-centers quite quickly. My problem with it is that it doesn't have a very wide range of motion. But hey, everyone has their own opinion.
@warioswoods @19Robb92 I also agree that the ability to use a stylus is great, even if it means sacrificing the ability to use multi-touch. Multi-touch screens are great and have a number of advantages over resistive screens but a stylus is much more precise and you can replicate most commonly used multi-touch functionality with a single touch input and d-pad/analog sticks.
I do have to ask, however, is it possible to make a touch screen that's both resistive and multi-touch capable? That would be the ideal solution imo.

Maggots

#64

Maggots said:

When I played it at e3 it felt wonderful. ... no sticks needed... also about the touch screen... the technology exists to have multi touch resistive touch screen... (Stylus Touch Screen) that would be the best as it would be compatible with ANY iPad game... but still use a stylus which is WAY better for drawing and touching and stuff...

StarDust4Ever

#66

StarDust4Ever said:

The thumb pad works well enough for 3DS, but the analog sticks are so much more accurate. The game cube had the best controllers btw!

TheN64Dude

#70

TheN64Dude said:

This isn't a prototype ya dummies it's the product version. The OTHER one is a prototype

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