Nintendo Appeal To the Core As Analog Sticks Return

The Wii U’s controller is taking inspiration from the GameCube with, yes, analog sticks.

In a shock move, Nintendo have moved away from the slide pads features in the 2011 Wii U console

And that new controller could be unveiled in just over two weeks, at the E3 2012 conference Nintendo is holding on June 5 at 9AM PDT. The controller looks the same in terms of size and form factor, but the analog sticks will ensure better precision. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata previously said the console re-reveal would be its final form factor.

The phone was leaked over Twitter by a TT Games employee – the developers of the LEGO video game adaptations -, though the employee attempted to remove the photo before it went viral. Obviously, they failed.

Button placement has changed, if the photo is real: the Select and Start buttons have moved to the right – from the center – to under the X, Y, A and B buttons. The Wii U brand is now in the bottom-left of the device, while the analog sticks seem to be further from the screen. The microphone has remained at the bottom of the device, to the left of the Home Button. In my opinion the Wii U branding represents the final mode, as that’ll be seen when bought. The prototype lacked it.

Rivals strategy

Drawings of the E3 2011 design the leaked shows all of the changes, from the analog sticks to the repositioned Start and Select buttons. Those images are identical to the uploaded photo, so it’s worth wondering why Nintendo showed the prototype controller at E3 last year.

Nintendo is getting in early with its next-gen console, while Microsoft and Sony remain patient on their launch. To a degree, it seems like they’re waiting for the other to show signs of launching so the other can undermine a launch. Some analysts such as Michael Pachter have predicted that Sony will launch the PS4/Orbis console first, after being burnt by the PS3’s high price last time round.

Nintendo’s E3 2012 conference will begin at 9AM PDT on Tuesday, June 5, or 12 Noon Eastern, 5PM GMT or 2AM on Wednesday, June 6 in Australia. It’s sure to be a blast. Let’s see if Nintendo can deliver quality games.

Published: Friday, May 25th, 2012 Last Modified: May 25, 2012

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