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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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The chances are that if you plan on using the Wii U's GamePad in 'only if necessary' situations, then you'll be looking to other controllers for a more traditional gaming experience. This isn't to say the the GamePad is lacklustre, but as of yet there have been few innovative ways to use the device aside from Off TV play (which itself is genius) and NintendoLand/Zombi U.

As for myself, I bought the Wii U Pro Controller with SNES Virtual Console titles in mind, and from there on I can use it when new games come along that benefit from it. I generally use a Wii Remote when playing New Super Mario Bros or NES Virtual Console titles as I prefer that minimalist feel of older controllers.

I can only echo the many positive sentiments about this Pro Controller - it is one of Nintendo's best. THE best? Probably not, but it's up there.

It is light enough to hold for long periods of time (which I've found is more comfortable than the Game Pad), but not so light that the product feels cheap or fragile. The 'D' pad is excellent as usual; I expected nothing less. Both the analogue sticks feel quite similar to those on the GamePad, while the action buttons feel solid. On the basis of Virtual Consoles games, I've found the A-B-X-Y buttons to be a little too small for my ageing thumb, but this is likely because I'm so used to the larger, flatter SNES buttons.

Contrary to others opinions, I think the gloss finish aids maintenance as you can wipe away grease very easily with a cloth, whereas stippled/textured moulds usually retain dirt. As such, grease can be swept away with real ease.

Charging is completed in around 4-hours, and since it uses a standard USB-to-mini cable, you can even plug it into a PC and give it a boost from there. It's a pity you can't just use the Game Pad's external power supply, because the Pro Controller requires any device it is plugged in to to be on (including the preferred Wii U!). The battery lasts an estimate of 80-hours, and suffice to say that I'm nowhere near even depleting mine yet.

The lack of analogue triggers is a tricky topic. The included digital versions register an On or Off signal, meaning that as soon as the trigger is pulled even minutely, the signal is On. In comparison, analogue will recognise how much the trigger is being pulled, which means that particular pressure can then be registered as a value within the game. While this effects existing games on the Wii U, it also puts plans for GameCube titles dead in the water, and somewhat alters the potential for further Wii U titles.

Never the less, a controller with this much versatility should be considered an essential part of any video game console set-up, and the ridiculously good battery life only highlights this. I'm quite suprised Nintendo chose not to include this with their 'Deluxe Pack', but the price creeping lower I believe it to be an essential purchase even for Virtual Console games. Bear in mind also that when N64 games are released, the Game Pad will be the only alternative.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 29 November 2015
This controller is a must if, like me, you like Nintendo but you prefer to use a more traditional joystick controller rather than the motion-sensor based controller and nunchuck that were introduced with the original Wii. I personally think the motion-sensor based controller is great for motion-based games (such as dance and sports games) but a more traditional joystick controller is preferable for less motion-based games where more precision is needed (such as Mario Kart and Super Mario World etc.). This controller lets you make much more fine adjustments to turns and skids and it gives you a much better 'hands-on' feel with the gameplay.
In my opinion a traditional joystick controller was a serious omission with the original Wii and I was delighted to see Nintendo realised this and corrected it with the Wii U. In my opinion it gives you much more precise control in games like Mario Kart 8.
Remember you don’t need to buy one of these if you don’t want to. It is purely a matter of personal preference. If you are an older person and you remember the pre-Wii Nintendo controllers on the N64 or Cube you might want to get one to improve your gameplay and enjoyment.
Most of the Wii U games I have checked allow you to use this controller and you can also use several of them at once under game multi-player options. For example in Mario Kart 8 you can use up to four of these controllers simultaneously if you want. You can also use one controller and somebody else can use the gamepad if you wish. In my opinions this flexibility in choice of control options is fantastic. It means everybody can use whatever system they prefer. I don’t know if you can use this controller on all Wii U games. If it is important to you that you can use this controller as an option then the best idea is probably to check each game before you buy it by reading the compatibility information on the box.
Overall I really like this controller. In my opinion it is as good as any of the controllers supplied with any of the earlier Nintendo consoles. It has a nice chunky feel to it and I find I can use it for long periods with no discomfort. It is light and easy to use. It has a gloss smooth finish so it is easy to clean. I find children can use it from about the age of 5 or 6. Younger children might struggle given the ergonomics of the design.
The controller is wifi so it is very mobile. It charges with the standard mini USB cable supplied with the controller. You can charge it either from the Wii U console or from your PC. I guess you could also use any other micro-USB charger but it might be advisable to check before you do so. It takes 3 to 4 hours to charge it from flat and, one charged, it operates for days of normal use before you have to recharge it. In my opinion this is a big attraction. The last thing you want is a low charge warning in the middle of a game. The exceptionally long charge life of this controller is a great feature.
I bought a controller for about £30 on Amazon, which I consider a real bargain. You can pay as much as £40 for them in high street shops so my advice is to look around and check out a few different prices before you buy one. Overall I would thoroughly recommend this controller to anybody who owns a Wii U or is thinking about buying one.
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on 16 November 2014
I love it!
It's battery life is incredible, helpfully coming with its own charging cable. However, you do need to have the Wii U turned on in order to charge it, which seems like a big oversight.
The buttons, joysticks, and triggers are almost identicle to the gamepad's, but just a bit more tough and clicky - which is a good thing.
It's very comfortable in the hands, though it might be less so if you have smaller hands like me. I feel I have to stretch my thumb across a touch too far for the d-pad and BAXY buttons. If they were moved across to the edges a few centimeters it would be better. All the other buttons are fine, and even with this, I don't feel strained in long play sessions.

Overall, this will be the main controller I use from now on for many Wii U games!
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on 23 May 2014
I picked one up for £28 from CEX (a 2nd hand gaming/DVD store). Arrived on Wednesday, and all i can really say is wow. It feels like a Xbox 360 control pad, which is known to be one of the most comfortable to use controllers of the last generation. The only issue i've got is the position of the A, B, X + Y buttons, i'm not used to them being there.

Playing games like Monster Hunter, Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D Land feels a heck of a lot better and more enjoyable than using the tablet/nunchuck controls as before.

But other than that, a fine piece of kit none the less.
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on 20 June 2015
Fake fake fake
As other people have said .
I received a controller with no official Nintendo logo no instructions no usb charging cable and a tatty official box.
Trading standards will be informed.
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Brilliant controller, excellent ergonomic design and an ESSENTIAL purchase for any Wii U owner looking to play with a traditional Joy pad.

Durable high build quality with responsive controls.

Similar to the XBOX one - but I think this feels better!

It is of very high quality, and battery life is so looooong that I've charged mine ONCE and still going weeks later!

Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart and Deus Ex with this are brilliant - I'd say better than the Game Pad experience (though that IS very good!)

And this is numero uno for Virtual Console titles especially beat em ups.
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on 2 December 2012
The Wii had a reputation (not entirely justified) about only being for casual gamers, and supposedly Nintendo is positioning the Wii U to regain that lost market share with more third party titles. Now, admittedly, this analyzation is oversimplifying matters; sure, the Wii had lots of casual party titles, but over the course of its six year lifespan there were some remarkably deep game titles, many of them exclusive. Likewise, the Wii missed out on several heavy hitting titles that appeared on the PS3 and XBOX360, in part due to the radically different control schemes.

I believe this controller is part of Nintendo's strategy to court those third party developers. Yes, with the Wii's motion controllers and the Wii U's Gamepad (which is a perfect fit for the tablet-driven gaming we are so prominently seeing), Nintendo has unique, innovative control schemes that you just don't see in other consoles. At least, not at launch anyway. Sure, Microsoft introduced Kinect, but years after Nintendo showed the gaming community and Grandma what motion control gaming is all about.

For those 3rd party developers who want to publish their games on the Wii U, but want to minimize production and development costs by leveraging already existing content available on other platforms to a similar controller configuration, this controller is a Godsend. Part of the attraction of the Wii U is the Gamepad, and I'm sure the bigger companies will work their magic with the Gamepad.

But lets face the truth: there will be several multi-platform franchises that the developers will be able to ease production costs by utilizing the Pro Controller. Due to the similarities of controllers on the other two platforms made publishing them in a multisystem environment much easier; with the Wii there were design challenges based on the controls that simply are not present on the other two systems.

For Nintendo's own IPs, of course they want us to use the Wiimote and the Gamepad. No, the Pro Controller does not work with "New Super Mario Bros. U" and "Nintendoland", but then again, the Pro Controller is really for 3rd party developers.

Those who complain this controller doesn't work with Mario and Nintendoland are totall missing the point. Both titles were built from the ground up with the Gamepad and motion controls in mind. I'm sure Nintendo will publish games compatible with this controller; after all, it's their own hardware. However, Nintendo's real concentration is the Gamepad and Mario and Nintendoland are their premier examples of what can be done with this new tablet controller..

As far as battery life, ergonomics, etc, everything checks out fantastically. The controller comes with a long USB charging cable. Ergonomically all the buttons are easily within reach, and feels like an updated, wireless XBOX 360 controller. There are dual anaologues, a D pad, start, select, a home button, and a power button, along with four buttons on the top of the controller.

The black model (like the Wii U itself), does tend to appear smudged from time to time due to handling but these are easily wiped off with a clothe.

The battery life is amazing. I was skeptical about the 80 hours, but having put the Wii U and its hardware though the chops, I can verify that timespan is an accurate estimate.
Obviously, the controller is wireless. I've truly became conditioned for wireless. I hooked up my Gamecube a few months back and had to play with my controller tethered to the console itself; wireless technology is simply fantastic. No more cords, and so much more flexibility!

While I understand the controller not working with Wii games, I am disappointed that you can't use the controller for Virtual Console/Wiiware titles. Nintendo stated that the Wii U Pro Controller is based on the Classic Controller for the Wii, so it is rather strange the controller doesn't work with virtual content. After all, that's largely what the Classic Controller was built for in the first place. Hopefully these two issues will be addressed in a future update.

All the big third party titles fully support the Pro Controller (Assassin's Creed III, Arkham City, Darksiders II, Epic Mickey 2, Mass Effect 3, Ninja Gaiden 3, ZombiU, etc) in addition to the Gamepad. While I am certain that future heavy hitting third party titles will utilize the Gamepad in some fashion, the Pro Controller allows Nintendo to tap back into that so called "hardcore" gamer demographic and is one more indicator that shows that Nintendo is serious about taping into all the various demographics for a strong market share.

Although perhaps not an essential purchase yet, as we enter the Wii U era and more and more games are published, the Wii U Pro Controller will become an essential purchase.
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on 7 January 2015
Nintendo tried a bit too hard to differentiate their controller from the XBOX and Playstation designs and in doing so created something subpar on multiple accounts.

The positioning of the buttons and right analogue stick are a lot less intuitive than the competitors' designs which keep the stick low and buttons high for a more ergonomically sound design. The right and left shoulder buttons also feel a bit off, having no real depth to the press and a hard click which just feels off.

Other than these elements, the controller is fairly good. High quality buttons - even if some of the choices on which type of button were wrong - a good d-pad which is rare and a never-ending battery life touted at an incredible 80 hours compared to the competitions' 4-8 hours.

The pro controller is practically essential for the likes of Monster Hunter and Bayonetta.
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on 24 May 2015
Nice feeling game pad. On par with the Xbox 360 one but lighter. Can get a good 18 hours gameplay on one charge. And comes with a good quality and lengthy USB cable to charge with. Useful to play multiplayer Mario Kart with. You will need to find a USB port that can charge this, as you will have to have the Wii u switched on to do this can't be done when the Wii u is on standby. This item has dropped in price since I bought mine so keep an eye on prices. Will only recommend the proper Nintendo products for piece of mind so payed the premium price for this.
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on 6 December 2012
Lot's of people commenting around the web that this controller feels cheap. The mistake these people are making is thinking heavy = good quality. The controller is light, which prevents fatigue and promotes ease of use. It's durable, quality, well moulded plastic. Glossy on the front which looks great, albeit attracting finger marks. The back is a more matt rough surface to prevent scratches whilst being placed down. It's obviously modelled on PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers but improves upon those quite considerably by moving an analogue stick, this is in my opinion the best console control in existence. It comes with a USB charging wire but will operate wireless which is to be expected. Word has it headphones must be plugged into the game pad and not the controller, not an issue for me. Obviously this controller is aimed at the regular gaming market and as such is aimed at only certain games, don't expect to play Mario with this thing it just isn't intended for that. That could be its main drawback but will depend on your opinions, for me I like the exclusivity of having controllers for different purposes.
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