The Classic Controller (クラシックコントローラ Kurashikku Kontorōra) is a video game controller produced by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. While it later featured some compatibility with the Wii U console, the controller was ultimately succeeded by the Wii U Pro Controller. As of April 2014, Nintendo had discontinued production of both the Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro.
The original Classic Controller
November 19, 2006
August 1, 2009
|Connectivity||Accessory connector plug|
|Successor||Wii U Pro Controller|
When the Wii Remote was first revealed in September 2005, Nintendo had announced a controller "shell" which resembled a traditional game controller, often referred to as a "classic-style expansion controller." As described at the time, the Wii Remote would fit inside the shell, allowing gamers to play games using a traditional-style gamepad, while allowing use of the remote's motion sensing capability. According to Satoru Iwata, it would be meant for playing "the existing games, Virtual Console games, and multi-platform games." Early demos of the Wii's capabilities, showed two players competing in what appears to be Wii Sports with one player using a Classic Controller and another using two Wii Remotes, though this cross functionality was dropped.
During E3 2006, Nintendo introduced the Classic Controller (model number RVL-005), which, rather than housing the remote, instead plugs into it via a cord, in a similar fashion as the Nunchuk. It contains two analog sticks and two extra shoulder buttons: the ZL and ZR buttons. The overall configuration is similar to that of other major seventh generation console gamepads.
In November 2007, Nintendo listed a special Super Famicom Classic Controller as one of the choices for the free gift for 2007 Japanese Club Nintendo platinum members. In 2010, a similar SNES Classic Controller was made available on Europe's and Australia's Club Nintendo service.
The Wii U Pro Controller has been developed for the Wii U console, the Wii console's successor. Despite the visual similarities, it is not compatible with the Classic Controller; however, some Wii U games are compatible with the Classic Controller instead of or in addition to the Pro Controller, especially games with flexible control schemes such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The Wii U Pro Controller is not supported in any Wii commercial software, but it can be in Wii homebrew.
The Classic Controller is plugged into the Wii Remote in order to be used. It features two analog sticks, a D-pad, face buttons labeled "a", "b", "x" and "y" (in lowercase), similar to that of a standard SNES controller. Analog shoulder buttons labeled "L" and "R", and two digital "Z" buttons (labeled "ZL" and "ZR") are located more closely to the center axis on their respective sides. It also has a set of "–", "Home" and "+" buttons like those on the Wii Remote, with the "–" and "+" buttons additionally labeled "Select" and "Start", respectively. The body of the Classic Controller measures 6.57 cm (2.59 in) tall, 13.57 cm (5.34 in) wide, and 2.6 cm (1.0 in) thick.
The body of the controller contains slots on the underside, opened via a button at the top of the controller; the function of the slots was never officially clarified, although third-party gaming accessory manufacturer Nyko released a clip which holds the remote to the classic controller. In addition to a grip shell, the clip contains storage for the controller's three foot cable. While the only color available for the Classic Controller in most markets was white, a limited edition teal and gray version was released in tandem with Monster Hunter G in Japan in 2009, and in 2010, Sonic Colors was bundled with a blue version in Australia.
Classic Controller can be used with the Virtual Console as well as with certain Wii and WiiWare games. Along with the Nintendo GameCube controller, the Classic Controller is one of the controllers required to play certain Virtual Console games, such as SNES or Nintendo 64 titles, which require more buttons than the Wii Remote. However, the Classic Controller cannot be used to play GameCube games. When in the Wii Menu, the left analog stick takes control of the cursor when the Wii Remote is not pointed at the screen. The Classic Controller can navigate through the Message Board, settings menus, and Wii Shop Channel, but becomes inactive on all other channels except for the YouTube channel which the directional button is the only way to navigate through YouTube (except for using keyboard). It is also compatible with the Wii U, and some Wii U-specific games support it as well, such as Trine 2: Director's Cut. The Classic Controller can also be used to navigate the Wii U home screen and menus. The Classic Controller is also compatible with the NES Classic Edition and Super NES Classic Edition.
Classic Controller ProEdit
A black Classic Controller Pro
|Generation||Seventh generation era|
Eighth generation era
|Connectivity||Accessory connector plug|
In early 2009, Nintendo announced the Classic Controller Pro which functions the same as the original Classic Controller with the exception of the shoulder buttons, which are now digital trigger-shaped buttons arranged vertically rather than horizontally. Instead of a SNES controller, this one is shaped more like a GameCube controller, and has an overall layout almost identical to a Sony DualShock 2 controller. Physical changes include the ZL and ZR buttons, which are now full shoulder buttons, the addition of grips underneath the controller for additional stability, and analog sticks which are spaced farther apart than the original. The cord is positioned on top of the controller rather than the bottom, and the spring-loaded attachment slot underneath the original model was removed. The Pro version was first released to Japan in August 2009 in white and black versions. It was subsequently released to Europe and North America in November 2009 and April 2010, respectively (though only in black in Europe). The black version is available bundled with Monster Hunter Tri, Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, and SD Gundam Gashapon Wars. In addition to the standard colors, a black version with gold-colored artwork on the face was available bundled with Samurai Warriors 3 in Japan, and a completely gold-colored version is available bundled in the GoldenEye 007 Classic Edition. A red version was packed with limited copies of Xenoblade Chronicles in Europe, and was eventually released separately in Europe as well.
The L and R shoulder buttons are also no longer analog as they were on the original Classic Controller.
Wii U Fight Pad controllerEdit
Accessory maker PDP began releasing a line of officially licensed "Wired Fight Pad" controllers in 2014. Behaving identically to standard Classic Controller Pro models, they are based on the design and layout of the GameCube controller, but with the "+", "-", "Home", and dual shoulder buttons that the GameCube controller lacks. On launch, they were released in Super Mario themed variants, including Mario, Peach, Luigi and Yoshi-colored versions. Four more variants, featuring Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, and Wario themes were released in February 2015, followed by Metal Mario, as well as Toad and Zero Suit Samus as GameStop exclusives.
"Classic Edition" controllersEdit
In July 2016, Nintendo announced the miniature NES Classic Edition, packaged with one controller based on the original NES controller. Later in June 2017, Nintendo announced the miniature Super NES Classic Edition, packaged with two controllers based on the original SNES controllers depending on the region. Like the Super Famicom Classic Controller released by Club Nintendo, both controllers feature a connector similar to Nunchucks and Classic Controllers.
The controllers for the NES Classic Edition and Super NES Classic Edition can be plugged into their respective consoles. They are also compatible with the Wii and Wii U, as the controllers are recognized as Classic Controllers when plugged into a Wii Remote, which can be used to play Virtual Console games on Wii and Wii U. Other Wii and Wii U games that support a Classic Controller are compatible with the aforementioned controllers, with limited buttons due to the lack of "Z" buttons, analog sticks and a HOME button on both the NES and SNES controllers, and the buttons of the SNES controller that were inexistent on the NES controller.
Anascape Ltd filed a lawsuit against Nintendo claiming that the Classic Controller and other Nintendo devices violated Anascape's "six degrees of freedom" interface device patent. In July 2008, the court ruled in favor of Anascape; Nintendo was ordered to stop selling the Classic Controller in the United States until further notice. Nintendo exercised the right to continue selling the Classic Controller pending a verdict at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On April 13, 2010, Nintendo won the appeal, and the previous court decision was reversed.
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