News Article

Wii U Pro Controller Feels "Amateurish", Say Kotaku

Posted by Damien McFerran

Hands-on time reveals potential issue

Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft has voiced his opinion on the Wii U Pro Controller, and it's not pretty.

Ashcraft has stated in no uncertain terms that he "hates" the pad, which bares a strong resemblance to the Xbox 360 controller.

He said:

The Wii U Controller...feels, well, cheap. There's a nice gloss coating, but in the hand, it's as though you can snap the Wii U Pro Controller in half. I don't think you can snap it (obviously), but it hardly feels like a Nintendo-made, prime controller for the Wii U. The buttons are not clicky, but mushy, and the whole affair feels, well, uninspired. It's not a premium product. They can call it the pro controller, but it feels amateurish to me.

That's fine and dandy—that is, until you realize games like Bayonetta 2 are Wii U-bound.

Ashcraft has enjoyed extensive hands-on time with the pad at the recent Tokyo Game Show, and as such is perfectly placed to pass judgment on the pad. But do you think he's being a little harsh? Has his opinion dented your faith in the Wii U Pro Controller, or will you be buying one regardless? Let us know in the comments section.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (114)

BenAV

#1

BenAV said:

I'm sure it can't be that bad.
I'll be getting one, but I expect that the GamePad will be my main controller anyway.

Pikachupwnage

#2

Pikachupwnage said:

Kotaku isn't exactly the best or most trustworthy source.

Not going to be getting one of these at launch anyways so doesn't matter much to me though.

Lalivero

#3

Lalivero said:

I guess I'll have to be the judge myself to get an opinion, although I'll more than likely be using the gamepad most of the time either way.

19Robb92

#4

19Robb92 said:

  • Mushy buttons
  • Light
  • Xbox form factor

These are all positives for me. It's like they designed this controller with me in mind. <3

DestinyMan

#5

DestinyMan said:

I can't say I agree or disagree since I've never handled a Wii U Pro controller, but I'm not going to be getting on at launch anyway. Let's wait and see what others have to say.

erv

#7

erv said:

Haven't really thought about the pro controller yet, to be honest. Never really had a nintendo controller fail me either, so they'll have the benefit of the doubt - until I see it for myself at least.

Bankai

#8

Bankai said:

Cue outraged post about how Kotaku is an inferior source of criticism/ games journalism.

Oh, that's already happened. Oh well. Look forward to more beneath this comment ;)

Araknie

#9

Araknie said:

Mushy Buttons because defition of Hardcore games today is button mushing.
Kotaku needs to know more the games.
Bayonetta 2 needs this.
PS: Anyway they are selling the console for the Wii U GamePad if you don't play any game that supports that with the GamePad you have wasted your money.

Damagemanual

#10

Damagemanual said:

You have to look at the source. They like to blow things out of proportion all the time to get some attention from other sites.

Zyph

#11

Zyph said:

Controller feel is entirely based on personal preference. Everybody should not take this too seriously. If it feels good in your hands as opposed to that guy then good for you. And if not then tough luck, bud. As for me I'll be getting it on launch day. Then I'll be ready for some multi-player action on CoD: Black Ops II, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper and MH3U :D

Tsuchinoko

#12

Tsuchinoko said:

My problems with Kotaku as a whole aren't really about the quality of the reporting for the most part, but the topics and views they have on a lot of cultural/contextual things can be somewhat offensive.

In either case, his opinion about a tangible piece of hardware should at least be taken into consideration. Who knows, more writers from other magazines/websites may either agree with him, or have the completely opposite opinion. Let's just wait and see.

edhe

#13

edhe said:

Is the controller going to be a bona-fide controller this time, or is it going to plug into the remote or tablet, because for that reason, that could determine how cheap it feels.

With the Wii, the classic controller was really just for the Virtual Console, but they updated it for Monster Hunter Tri. To be honest, I wasn't bothered by how light it felt, because it did the job. The original one was dreadful though.

It doesn't need force feedback or gyros, and it doesn't need to be particularly weighty because it gets the job done.

BIGBUTTER

#14

BIGBUTTER said:

I Love the 360 and its my console of choice so I can't wait to get the pro Controller. Brian Ashcraft is just on the Anti-Nintendo Band Wagon

Gamer83

#15

Gamer83 said:

I haven't used it so I won't pass judgement on the controller yet. I do think it's an unnecessary product though. The Wii U gamepad can do what standard controllers do and more courtesy of the touch screen. I guess Nintendo needs it to reach out to 'core' gamers but I don't think I'll be buying one unless it's required for VC games.

snax007

#16

snax007 said:

I'll take this with a huge grain of salt considering...

1) Kotaku is #1 Xbox fan site bought and payed for by MS
2) Brian Ashcraft is #1 Xbox fanboy on Kotaku.
3) Controller preferences are subjective and there is no "best controller".

Punky

#17

Punky said:

I wonder did he like the pro controller for the wii....I think this wii u pro controller is probably a similar build quality etc.

MAB

#18

MAB said:

I shall prefer the revolutionary nunchuck + wiimote and gamepad combination over archaic dual analog crud bucket control thanks ;)

skjia

#19

skjia said:

I still have a hard time understanding why this controller exists... Isn't it just a Wii U GamePad without the screen?

LavaTwilight

#21

LavaTwilight said:

I think what sucks is I have to sell my 4 Gamecube gamepads because the Wii U doesn't have the right ports for them. So the pro controller will be a welcome addition whatever it feels like.

Wildfire

#22

Wildfire said:

I'm one of the few persons that never liked the Playstation controllers while everybody else seems to love them. What I mean by this is that it's just the opinion of that guy, only after trying them out will I be able to pass on a judgment but I gotta say if it's anything like the classic wii pro controller I'll be fine with it! Or without it, since the wii U gamepad IS the main control pad!

Grodus

#23

Grodus said:

I, for one, hate all the things he wants. Basically, he wants a brick. Heavy controller, clicky buttons, sounds like a brick. I wasn't going to get one, but because of him, I'll think harder.

Vriess

#24

Vriess said:

My biggest complaint about the design of the Pro controller is te placement of the right thumb stick. It's counter intuitive as everyone who has played ever with Sony and Microsoft controllers...hell...even with the Gamecube controller...is used to the thumb stick being placed under the buttons, and not above it at the same hight of the left stick. Weird choice Nintendo made.

Samholy

#25

Samholy said:

actually, a light controller scores bonus points to me.
but 50-60 dollars for a cheap hunk of plastic is inexcusable. i didnt have the thing in hand yet,so ill wait and see.

domdom87

#27

domdom87 said:

The only thing more useless than a Kotaku article is a Brian Ashcraft Kotaku article

MrWalkieTalkie

#28

MrWalkieTalkie said:

I have a strong feeling they may remake it within a year like they did with the Wii Classic Controller.

MrWalkieTalkie

#29

MrWalkieTalkie said:

But just so you all know, I to don't see a problem and actually think the controller sounds pretty good!

wcb123

#30

wcb123 said:

well learn how to play games with the nunchuks. Its not hard and its a far better user experience.

misswliu81

#31

misswliu81 said:

sees kotaku name that figures.

i for one like the look of the pro controller, so i have no doubts.

Nintendoro

#32

Nintendoro said:

It can't be bad. Controller is gorgeous, analogues sticks are in the same level unlike 360 which is good think, it has triggers too (unlike ps3)... It'll be my main controller for the Wii U since i hate constant charging, if of course the certain game is going to support PRO controller that is...

Nintendoro

#33

Nintendoro said:

After all Wii-mote was the worst controller in the history, so anything like PRO controller is brilliant idea

sillygostly

#34

sillygostly said:

Well, the Wii remote and nunchucks look and feel awfully cheap, but that didn't prevent them from being a mighty fine control method.

bahooney

#35

bahooney said:

Ashcraft is known as the Bashcraft when Nintendo releases anything new. I'm not going to pay attention to his opinion. He whined about the 3DS stand, but dat stuffs awesome.

UNSOLUTEDSALT

#36

UNSOLUTEDSALT said:

I've played with the controller at a Wii U Experience event and I can see what he means.

The controller does feel really light, but I wouldn't say it makes it feel "cheap". The buttons feeling mushy is also something I didn't have a problem with. I will say that it did not feel like a 360 controller; but I'm not going to decide that is a good or bad thing until I have time to play it on some more games.

I think things will be fine. If not, then Nintendo will fix it mid-cycle like the Wii Remote Plus... maybe.

XCWarrior

#39

XCWarrior said:

I assume you can use the old CC Pro since we can use the WIi Mote + nunchuk on the Wii U.

That being said, I really don't consider Kotaku a gaming website.

hydeks

#40

hydeks said:

probably feels as cheap as the pro controller on the wii :P He's the one that has hands on with it, so I would believe him. Alot of people feel every controller from Nintendo feels cheap, though.

DarkEdi

#42

DarkEdi said:

I have the classic controller from Wii, then i don´t need to buy this new controller.

shinpichu

#44

shinpichu said:

If it's as light as the CC pro, then I won't mind. "Squishy buttons" makes me wonder if the buttons on the controller are supposed to be pressure sensetive.

McHaggis

#45

McHaggis said:

@Pikachupwnage, what makes you say Kotaku isn't a trustworthy source? I've read Kotaku for years and generally found their opinions to be mostly unbiased. Bash has given reasons for not liking the Wii U controller, good enough reasons to put me off.

I'm kind of glad I accidentally pre-ordered the Nintendo Land Wii U instead of the ZombiU package now, I'm going to wait and see what others say about the controller. If enough people are dissing it, an improved version will be released, I'm sure.

aaronsullivan

#46

aaronsullivan said:

Would be fun to have a GameCube inspired controller, but this one has to look this way for "core" gamers that balk at the slightest variation in controller design. People who balk at the Wii U Gamepad sort of baffle me, or the Wii remote nun chuck combo which is the most comfortable way I've ever played.

All that said, extremely mushy buttons do bother me.

Banker-Style

#47

Banker-Style said:

I might get one if it's bundled with a game,but I'm not really that interested in it.
I have 4 Classic Controllers as it is,so do I really need this one?

C7_

#49

C7_ said:

Aw man, the buttons are squishy? Really?
That's what I hated most about the majority of Wii Controllers, the squishyness of the buttons made it annoying as to how much you were supposed to push them. That and the tiny D-pad that made it difficult to push only one direction at a time, which doesn't seem to have improved.

Kirk

#50

Kirk said:

To me it seems that most of the time it's more of a perception issue that it's cheap rather than an actual real issue. Being light does not make something cheap, for example. It certainly does not look like a cheap product in terms of it's aesthetic design. In fact, it looks like one of the nicest designed "traditional" controllers I have seen.

ZeldaFan5991

#51

ZeldaFan5991 said:

From the creators of "Actually it's kinda BS that Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive" (even though it wouldn't exist without nintendo) comes more dilerious nonsense. >.>

grimbldoo

#52

grimbldoo said:

@Vriess #25
Take a moment to think about it. Nintendo made the gamepad pro because they are now able to take hardcore games, and most hardcore games are FPS or TPS. In these games you will have your fingers on the analogs and shoulder buttons most of the time. So Nintendo made it so that your hand would only have to stretch when using the face buttons instead of the whole time. But it's still like any other dual shock.

Squiggle55

#54

Squiggle55 said:

Dangit! I was really hoping it wouldn't feel light and cheap like the wiis classic controller.

grimbldoo

#55

grimbldoo said:

@ZeldaFan5991 #54
I never thought of that :P. To me it seems like it will probably be easier to use this remote. Everything is placed to accommodate the natural movement of the fingers. It looks like it would be extremely easy just to swing your thumb down and smack a face button.

ZeldaFan5991

#58

ZeldaFan5991 said:

@grimbldoo That is exactly what I thought when I first saw the pro controller. For me reaching down and in with my thumbs for the button feels a lot more naturally than reaching up and out for the buttons.

16bitdave

#59

16bitdave said:

Everyone's such a perfectionist these days. I'm going back to my NES with the awesome 2 button controller. Less is more. I'm afraid to see what the future controllers look like. They'll probably have 30 buttons, 4 D-Pads, and 3 start buttons. 's getting crazy

ZeldaFan5991

#60

ZeldaFan5991 said:

@aaronsullivan I agree. I love my Gamecube controller. Unfortunately, Nintendo had patenting issues (or so I've heard) with the GC controller hence why production in the US and Europe have ceased. So I doubt we will ever see another Nintendo controller like it :'( You can however import a 3 metre cabled white GC from Japan brand new for like $35 bucks from play-asia, but they aren't compatible with Wii U.

WhiteTrashGuy

#61

WhiteTrashGuy said:

I'm sure that most games will still support the Classic Controller/Pro for the Wii. The only thing that is different is no clickable analogue sticks. Oh, and the Pro is out day one so you can play 2 player BLACK OPS 2 with one person using the TV and the other using the GamePad.

Chris720

#62

Chris720 said:

I'm sure it'll be fine, it'll be good for shooters and RPG's with the "mushy" buttons and it's not designed to be the primary controller anyway... so why care? As long as it works and it does what it's supposed to I see nothing wrong with it.

Also, the closer the buttons are, the better it is for your thumbs. The GamePad won't be good for this because you have a massive screen in the middle... some times a more compact controller is just better for some games.

Boo_Buster

#63

Boo_Buster said:

I'll be my own judge on this matter, thank you very much. Hopefully the local game store will have one on display

JayceJa

#65

JayceJa said:

im certain ill be disappointed because no controller will ever feel as comfortable as the gamecube one

if someone comes out with a third party game pad pro that uses the form factor and button placement of the gamecube(with obvious improvements like bigger second analogue and a better Lz Rz buttons) i will love them forever

Rekiotsu

#66

Rekiotsu said:

I can't be that bad, actually there is no way it could be that bad. I think he is just over exaggerating.

SteveW

#67

SteveW said:

I never thought I'd like it anyway, it's too bulky like the xbox 360 controller

RupeeClock

#69

RupeeClock said:

Kotaku have said a lot of things that I don't wish to elaborate on, amateurish things.

I do not trust them at all, let's leave it at that.

TrueWiiMaster

#70

TrueWiiMaster said:

I'll probably get one eventually, but not at launch. Assuming I manage to get a Wii U this year, I'd rather put that $50 towards a game than a third remote (including the Gamepad and Wii remote I already have).

AVahne

#72

AVahne said:

@MrWalkieTalkie
Pretty sure the CCP came out 3-4 years after the original, depending on your region. The whole point of it was for MH3,which was a 2009-2010 game. So if you're waiting for a redesign for whatever reason, you'll be waiting for a long time.

AVahne

#73

AVahne said:

@triforcepower73
It's the same thing as the gamepad, but without the screen. Don't know why people are a completely different experience when playing a game with generic controls anyway. The Pro won't have the screen nor all the fancy stuff that's packed into the GamePad, but it'll offer MUCH better battery life for longer wireless gaming sessions.

NTELLIGENTMAN

#75

NTELLIGENTMAN said:

I don't know why Nintendo started making horrible controllers after the first GBA. The GBA has a perfect D-Pad and buttons. Then, they started giving us horrible d-pads and buttons for years, though the DS Lite had a pretty nice d-pad.

Ducutzu

#76

Ducutzu said:

Just to chime in with the others: the Kotaku blog has a years-long history of finding fault with anything produced by Nintendo. I'm not sure what makes their opinions worth quoting.

Blizzaga

#77

Blizzaga said:

So it's the exact opposite of the Classic Controller Pro? The buttons on that thing are extremely hard and hurt sometimes.

UnseatingKDawg

#78

UnseatingKDawg said:

Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the face buttons on the Xbox 360 controller non-clicky? That controller feels fine. This one looks pretty good, and if it isn't ridiculously expensive, I'll be adding it to my list.

k8sMum

#79

k8sMum said:

@domdom87

really? why is that? i have found bash's articles to be, for the most part, well written and informative. his opinion is as valid as anyone else's.

@Ducutzu

most of kotaku has been very positive re: the Wii U. there is article after article extolling the virtues of it.

but since that site is so unreliable, it means nothing, i guess.

Sforzando

#80

Sforzando said:

I had a similar impression of the ClassicController Pro, but I felt like it was because it was light due to lack of batteries. I love my CCPro.

Sir_Deadly

#82

Sir_Deadly said:

I felt like the Wii Classic Controller was light and felt like it would break by just dropping it! But still it worked for me so this isn't a big deal!

Silverbullet89

#85

Silverbullet89 said:

I'll most likley get it as long as it isn't has horrible as the classic controller pro. Easily the worst controller I've ever held in my hands. I don't mind light as long as the buttons aren't messed up, but it will take a little for me to get used to having the a button on the right and the b button on the bottom. Hearing the Pro controller could be similar to the classic controller pro worries me a little because I hated it so much, however i'll most likely get it anyway just for fighting games and stuff like Bayonetta. I just want easy access to the D-pad as well as something smaller than the tablet to hold for fighting games. Hopefully the WiiU's D-pad isn't as horrid as the Xbox360's. I would hope Nintendo would be able to produce a good D-pad, lol

I just personally love the idea of owning 3 unique yet equally awesome controllers for one console: The WiiU Tablet, the WiiU Pro, and my LoZ themed Wiimote w/motion plus. It ads a nice variety of gameplay options, something no other console can offer.

FonistofCruxis

#86

FonistofCruxis said:

Oh well, I'd rather stick with my CCPro anyway as I like its design far more than the Wii U pro controller.

accc

#87

accc said:

Kotaku calling ANYTHING "amateurish" is the most lol-worthy thing I've ever heard.

Neram

#88

Neram said:

It's all down to personal preference anyway, I for one don't like the clicky buttons on the Classic Controller/Pro and would prefer the mushy ones. As for being light... how is that ever a bad thing? I always thought the lighter the better, I've even used the corded Xbox 360 controller instead of the wireless one because it's lighter. It sounds like this guy is the "amateurish" one, giving his vague personal opinion and calling it an official Kotaku statement. As for the controller being cheap? It probably is, but I bet it won't sell for more than $25, which in that case it might be quite nice given the cost.

Smooth27

#89

Smooth27 said:

This guy obviously never tried any other controller than the 360, because that thing is fat and heavy.
I went to the Wii U experience, so here's my thought on it. It's amazing, now lets me explain. I was playimg with it and the controller as a whole indeed berry light so it feels good, you'll get tired of holding and xbox controller way before you get tired of holding the wii u pro. The buttons he claims are "mushy" is actually cushion and buttons are light as well; in fact, its finger/thumb heaven (same with back triggers). As for the joysticks, they feel soft like a grip suade kind of, and feel great kind of loose like a ps3 but feels also very precise like a xbox.

Rapadash6

#91

Rapadash6 said:

The "its too light" complaint is one I've heard a lot of actually. Everything else seems a little over blown in this hands on though. First of all, I was happy to hear this controller has a rumble feature at all, and as for it being too weak, well, that's really par the course for Nintendo controllers in my experience. My guess is that this guy just gets a lot of use out of his 360 controller, and had a fit when it didn't feel identical in his hands.

EvansLegends

#92

EvansLegends said:

Honestly, the GameCube controller to me feels light and (I guess) cheap compared to other controllers, and yet it's my favorite controller to use.

ajcismo

#93

ajcismo said:

This article reminds me of the time my buddy snapped a PS2 controller in half after a frustrating run on one of the Gran Turismo games back in 2002 at 4am.

emiru69

#96

emiru69 said:

"...but it feels amateurish to me."
Wait, Are they talking about the Wii U Pro Controller or about Kotaku?

ZeldaFan5991

#97

ZeldaFan5991 said:

@emiru69 That comment made me laugh so hard. XD I agree. Kotaku does put out some very poor articles. Their latest of which was "Actually it is kind of BS that Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive." How does this even get posted on the site? >.>

grimbldoo

#98

grimbldoo said:

@JayceJa #66
I have to agree with you on that. It's also why Microsoft used the layout on their controllers. Damn, Microsoft stole their whole entire remote from Nintendo, face buttons and layout.

Radixxs

#100

Radixxs said:

I could use "amateurish" to describe his website. I did spend a year plus going there daily, so my opinion isn't baseless.

WaxxyOne

#101

WaxxyOne said:

Given that any single-player game that you can control with the Pro controller you should also be able to control with the pad since the controls are identical, and the majority of good multiplayer games are going to use the Wiimotes I don't see this being that big a deal. Why can't you just play Bayonetta 2 with the pad??

ianmage1

#102

ianmage1 said:

An employee at gamestop convinced me to pre order one of these, even though I missed out on the Wii U premium pre order... I still don't care.

emiru69

#104

emiru69 said:

@ZeldaFan5991
Thanks! ^_^
Kotaku in the last year have discovered that if they use profanity or attack fans they get more hits so they are just out of control. Also Kotaku giving lectures about professionalism is like Charles Manson giving lectures about ethics.

kdognumba1

#105

kdognumba1 said:

I used it at the Wii U experience in Austin Texas and while I will say both the Pro controller and the Pad were much lighter then I was expecting, I didn't have any problems using either of them. Let's put it like this, if you used the CCP and the Sixaxxis controller no problem, then you shouldn't have any problems with this controller. Me personally I didn't find any problems during my play tests and felt right at home with the Pro controller. The pad really didn't take much adjusting either and I found the second screen helped a lot when playing Batman.

idork99

#106

idork99 said:

I only tried out the Wii U GamePad and never tried out the Wii U Pro Controller at the Wii U experience in Los Angeles. All thanks to NL! Thanks again from a long time Nintendo fan!! Had a blast!

ZeldaFan5991

#107

ZeldaFan5991 said:

@emiru69 Yeah, it's really getting quite annoying. Nintendo should just boycott giving Kotaku exclusive headlines. The amount of times Kotaku bad mouth them is ridiculous. >.>

Blue-Thunder

#108

Blue-Thunder said:

I find his comments very hard to believe, I reckon he must be an xbox360 fan and that's the reason he feels this way, because Nintendo DON'T make bad controllers

Henmii

#109

Henmii said:

Everyone it's own opinion! On the internet there are also people who think the controller is fantastic, though they also find the buttons to be mushy!

"That's fine and dandy—that is, until you realize games like Bayonetta 2 are Wii U-bound"

Sounds like a "I wanted it on PS3/Xbox360" complainer! This person forgets that this game can ALSO be played with the Wii Gamepad, wich comes with the system and is of high quality (as far as I have heard)!

PatcherStation

#110

PatcherStation said:

Going off the Classic Controller for the Wii, I can imagine the Pro Controller for the Wii U following in its footsteps. That cheap looking high glosss plastic is the main problem. Yes, it looks like the Xbox 360 Controller, but no way will the build quality be as good. Kick on the teeth that it'll sell for £40 in the UK.

PatcherStation

#111

PatcherStation said:

@HawkeyeWii The console will come packaged with a GamePad (the one with the screen). You'll have to pay extra for a Pro Controller. Also, Wii stuff also works with the Wii U, so even the Classic Controllers will work. Seems Nintendo have once again confused the consumer shall we say.

Imagine23

#112

Imagine23 said:

I don't understand what his problem is. The Pro Controller looks pretty nice to me, except for the fact that the control sticks are above the d-pad and buttons

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