Normally we'd scoff at the idea of Nintendo releasing yet another new controller (heck, we've already got the Wii-mote, nunchuk, zapper shell, wheel shell, balance board, classic controller, and GameCube controller, not to mention third party offerings like the Hori sticks and alternate pads) but in this case, we're on board.
However, Nintendo's Japanese website has been updated with a new Classic Controller PRO model, and while it's got no release date or price just yet, we're already more than intrigued at this larger, more form-fitting design.
If you want to game on Virtual Console, your best bet right now is the Classic Controller or a GameCube pad. Still, while the Wii's throwback offering has the look of the Super NES pad from the golden era of gaming, it doesn't exactly feel form-fitting in its design. The back is oddly slanted, the finish on the controller feels a bit slick, and the sticks are too close together to really feel comfy.
From the info we've already got on the PRO, we know it's a larger controller, not only in thickness, height, and width, but it also makes use of one of the more well-received concepts out there, which is the extension grips, which gives it a GameCube, Xbox Controller S/360 look.
As you can see, the Z buttons (Z/L and Z/R) are larger now, and placed like the R1/R2, L1/L2 setup found with Sony controllers. The PRO even borrows from the Nyko Classic Controller and Click Grip, shown below.
We'll have more on Nintendo's controller as news breaks. As for price and strategy from here on out, Nintendo hasn't commented but we'd estimate a worldwide release by the end of 2009 (a slow move from Japan to Europe, US, and beyond, with no real fanfare for the switch), and a price tag of $24.99, five bucks over the current Classic Controller, at least until the old model is worked out of retailers.
The Pro makes use of a Wii-mote for power, and we're hoping Nintendo makes use of a back-mounted cradle system for the Wii-mote, though of course nothing has been mentioned yet on that.
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