We Unboxed Our Wii U And Weighed The Controller

By Spencer . November 8, 2012 . 3:47pm


Nintendo sent us a Wii U and we did a quick comparison of the hardware.


Here’s how the Wii U stacks up against the Wii. The Wii U’s front panel has a SD card slot and two USB ports. You’ll need those to charge the Wii U Classic Controller Pro and to use the Sing Party microphone.





The Wii U GamePad felt lighter than my iPad. I was curious how much lighter it was so I weighed both of them. The Wii U Game pad was 491 grams compared to iPad 3, which weighed 661 grams.



The Wii U Classic Controller Pro is in the center and it’s essentially an Xbox 360 controller with a rechargeable battery. The Gamecube controller and Wii Classic Controller Pro are next to it for comparison’s sake.


Here’s a look at some of the Wii U games:


wiiu_06  wiiu_04

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  • veruses

    How do you charge the GamePad or what batteries does it require? I ask since I don’t really know. heh

    • The Wii U comes with an AC adapter to charge the GamePad. One of the downsides when you compare it to a PS3 or 360.

      • DiosFancifulRomp

        Not really a downside to me, getting chained to the console annoys me to no end on the PS3. On the other hand, with an AC adapter, you could bring it to other rooms, or even sit further away than 6 feet from the console, which is no doubt would feel like you’re on top of your tv.

        • Totally forgot about the Game Pad’s range! The AC adapter would make the most sense in that case.

          @google-38af2bc18f695396ecce404df46a9bdc:disqus Is that so? Would probably make sense since the Game Pad does a lot more than the standard controllers that are currently available from Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo.

      • Kevin Tan

        The reason it can’t charge on USB is because USB 2.0 doesn’t provide enough power to charge the gamepad.

    • James Beatty

      The gamepad is rechargeable, it uses its own cable to recharge. (it doesn’t plug into the wii U itself) The pro controller is usb iirc 

    • McguyverZero

      NM I read it wrong.

  • Quinton Cunningham

    Oh wow. They actually have manuals. Well, probably pamphlets more than manuals, but I still like the inclusion. The total removal of them on the Vita (even though all cases have the holders) had me a little bummed.

    • I never got why they kept the holders…whats the point if theres nothing to hold?

      It’s like they’re teasing me.

    • Elvick

      That drives me crazy on Vita. New Little King’s Story (EU) has one though! :D My first game with a real manual. Not that thick but meh.

      I wish the PS Vita cases were see through, like bluray cases. And made of that plastic. It’s prettier. Then we could at least get reverse cover art to look at when we open up our empty cases. But no.

      And then we could see LBP Vita’s control scheme reverse cover, which I only saw yesterday by chance through the Vita hold slot thingy. :/

      Anyhoo, even just a slip of paper with art on it makes me happy… even though they’re usually for online passes. -.-;

  • malek86

    It will take me a while to get used to the inverted buttons/stick layout…

    • SLick123456789111

      but atleast its better than 360’s bubble buttons & crap dpad.
      after playing a 3-d platformer on wii u & getting used to the feel of how to turn the camera around with the RAS , i think it will come to me easier.

      • Christopher Nunes

        Quick question… though this isn’t game-related… your avatar, what character is that and from which series? I’m interesting because of the facial expression.

        • SLick123456789111

          Takashima Shigure & she’s from HHH トリプルエッチ

          • Christopher Nunes

            I see, from another ecchi series or something more devious?

            Thanks for letting me know! I got to read up a bit on the character and I have a feeling where that picture of her was taken of. Oh brother… ^^;

    • Kevin Tan

      You’ll probably surprise yourself at how quickly you can adjust.  (Speaking from personal experience)

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Damn you Spencer. Now you makes me green with envy here.T_T

  • eilegz

    why couldnt nintendo just make a wireless version of wii classic controller pro, the current wiiu classic controller layout its horrible….

    • Elvick

      Silly, that would have made sense.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    seen so many unboxing’s I’m going to make one when I get one

  • Helepythia

    So, I’m gonna ask the most important question: Who gets to keep the Wii U?

  • Domii

    You should of done a video instead, but still cool nonetheless.

  • Göran Isacson

    Question- can I use my Wii Classic Controllers for the WiiU, or is that just me hoping I won’t have to shell out extra cash?

    • Anthony Black

      I hope so. I plan on buying 4 Wii Classic Controllers just so I can use them in place of my GC controllers on the WiiU. Those WiiU Pro controllers have very crappy joysticks (I don’t mean placement), and thats really the only reason I don’t plan on getting any.

      It kind of confuses me, too. The GC and Wii joysticks (and the N64 joystick, sorta) were the same, I don’t know why they decided they stray from that for the WiiU. I guess they’re just trying to be more like other game companies or something?

      • Göran Isacson

        Ah, so Ninty hasn’t offered an official answer to the question yet? Pity, I do like to know if I can save a buck or two.

    • NaelAM

       Considering you can use your Wiimotes on the Wii U, I would say yes.

  • キロ

    I saw on the website, “Nintendo Everything”, that they assume it can use the Wii AV cables due to having a similar jack or something? I hope this can be confirmed…

  • That right analog stick..so badly placed.

    • Peace Legacy

       May be the inverted stick is for people who wants to do right hand clawing?
      …it is weird, but I do that a lot while playing iOS games, and right hand clawing is actually pretty awesome and effective

    • Kevin Tan

      You’d think so, but I had no trouble with it for ZombiU, so it’s just a matter of getting used to it.

  • Nyandroid

    My goodness! The gamepad is almost the size of the system! =owo=

  • Maia Kasoya

    I say GameCube controller is the best controller, even if it’s the only wired controller there.

    • MrRobbyM

      The GC controller is one of my favorites even if the button layout was awkward for some games.

  • If this is helpful to anyone, I saw a demo station at Target and the pad is much lighter than a Vita.

    • JonathanisPrimus

      Actually, according to the Spencer’s scale no. Vita weighs 260 grams for WiFi, and 279 for 3G.

    • Stranger On The Road

       I haven’t held the GamePad yet, but I would like to point out something, the size of the item can play tricks on your mind.

      A 1KG ball of steal will feel heavier than a 1 LTR water bottle.

      Any way, according Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Vita the PS Vita is just over half the weight of the GamePad if Spencer’s measurement is correct

  • CirnoLakes

    … I never realized until now how unweildy that Wii U controller is. Not the size, but the location of the thumbsticks.


    • Christopher Nunes

      Yeah… noticing it right now the thumb sticks are in a weird place, but until I get it in my hands I’ll be the judge if the controller feels comfortable to use. But right now, it doesn’t look like it, however it’s like the 360 controller and I’m fine with it though it’s the RIGHT thumb stick that’s worrying me. ^^;

      • CirnoLakes

        Yeah, the layout doesn’t really bother me other than the right thumbstick. Which I’ve never used above buttons before. I pluralized something that should have stayed singular.

    • Kevin Tan

      You’ll get used to it like I did.  Though I can use the Dualshock and 360 almost interchangeably with no issues, so I’m able to use controllers dating all the way back to NES…

      • CirnoLakes

        The Wii U controller is quite a bit different from the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 controller in one major way. Neither the right thumbstick of the XBOX 360 or PlayStation 3 controller has the tumbstick above the main control buttons.

        This is something I’ve never done before. And I’ve owned almost all consoles other than some really rare ones like the Atari Jaguar. The right thumbstick being below the main control buttons is easy because the thumb lends itself to hovering over the right thumbstick as you press the main control buttons.

        In this layout, your thumb rests or hovers over nothing. And your thumb must reach over the buttons in order to use the right thumbstick. How have you gotten around this fact and gotten used to reaching your thumb up instead of hovering it over or reaching down? And how long did it take you?

        • Kevin Tan

          About 2-3 mins or so in the middle of an MP game of ZombiU at E3, I was using the Pro controller vs. the other guy using the Gamepad.  I was swiping at where the stick would be on the 360, but then I quickly adjusted, so I could aim correctly.

          Generally, when using dual analog on 360 and PS3, I usually move my thumb off the right analog quickly to hit the face buttons if I needed.  I ended up doing the same thing on the Pro Controller and the Gamepad, so there wasn’t much adjustment needed for me, since I already remove my thumb off the right stick to hit the face buttons anyway.  The sticks on the Wii U controllers are raised at a height, so that you don’t have to “reach” over the buttons or worry about hitting them by accident.  If you notice in the pictures, the buttons are further inside the controller, so your chances of hitting the face buttons by accident are impossible without placing your thumb at an awkward angle.  Hitting triggers to shoot was no problem since the placement of the right stick doesn’t affect my ability to hit the triggers.The gist of it is that it really doesn’t take long to adjust.  Most of the genres played by other Siliconera readers probably wouldn’t be affected very much by the Pro controller or Gamepad layout, and that includes games like the upcoming Bayonetta 2.

  • DKL

    I’m trying to decide whether or not I’ll actually need the WiiU classic controller pro…

    Does it actually have more buttons than the old one?

    Or is it really just… shaped like 360 pad?


    I guess, in particular, does it actually offer anything that the default tablet pad doesn’t already have?

    • Stranger On The Road

       The way I understand it, no, it offer nothing more. In fact I’ve cancelled my order for the Pro Controller and I am sticking with GamePad for a while.

      For solo play, the GamePad might be the best option since games will be designed to take advantage of it.

  • revenent hell

    For me the only thing about this console I disliked was the gamepad….When it was shown,and in the picture above next to the iPad,it just looks so odd for handling and playing with because of its size,weight not realy being an issue for me,it just dosent look comfortable to use to me …..and this has always just ran arround in my head  but when developing the 3DS why didnt they make it so that it could be a controller for the Wii U? You know make the Wii U ship it out with the basic controller pro or whatever and have it be an option for those who buy a 3DS for it to be compatible as the “game pad” instead of making the game pad itself and shipping it with the console…In theory  would it not be cheaper to do that? It could have even promoted sales of the 3DS or alternatively the Wii U… I mean is that not basically the gamepad? I know the systems features/hardware would have to be changed obviously for the devices for this to be but the Wii pad has always just struck me as a waste because of this.

  • ShinStar

    Spencer, are the game cases cheaply made with the holes in the back to save the environment? I can’t seem to find any info on it anywhere else.

    • Elvick

      I friggin’ hate those things.

      At least the 3DS’ way is clever with it, and some publishers put those neat pictures in the holes. Which is boss. It should be every game though… because when they don’t do that, it looks dumb. ):

      • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

        Be green my friend.^_^ Environment is dying currently so any savings we do should be nice for the Earth lol.^_^

        • Elvick

          It only saves the environment if I go and throw my cases out the window or plant them in my garden. I don’t, so it’s irrelevant.

          And when I die, they can recycle it all for all I care. I’ll be dead, won’t matter.

          I love recycling. Doesn’t mean I like these ways for publishers to make CHEAP packaging and pass it off as “environmentally friendly”. They don’t give two figs about it. Just saving some pennies.

          • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

            Lol. Thats harsh.T_T Maybe we will see some game in the future try to custom the box hole into something cool like the 3DS ones?

            Considering the game box released here is probably mass produced for the sake of simplicity.

        • brwcrw

          That environment spiel is a crock. The only thing those holes save are shipping costs. Why they don’t just make the cases a bit smaller instead of carving them up like a pumpkin is the question, but I’m guessing their thinking is bigger box = more displaying power. So instead we get holes that defeat the whole purpose of a case, which is to store and PROTECT the game.

  • Spider-Man

    Wii U Classic Controller Pro’s analog placement irks me. Gonna have to try it before making any final judgement, though.

  • Draparde

    Having tried the system out at my local gamestop, i can say that at first the game pad felt weird, but then i started playing with it…and before i knew it i wasn’t even thinking of how it felt lol

    granted the only game i played did not require the use of the Joysticks if i remember correctly. so i can’t comment on how switching between that and the buttons feels.

  • Kristina Wright

    Super excited for this, only a little bit more to go! I wonder if the deluxe edition will be available after launch though? I preordered and paid mine off once they announced a pricing but I’m just curious for those late buyers and such. 

  • Mizu D

    Does anyone know if the trigger button on the classic controller and the gamepad analog?

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