The Wii’s controllers: Explained

January 31, 2009 by  

The Wii's controllers: Explained

Understandably, many newcomers to the Wii can feel a bit daunted by all the new technology laid before them. Gamers that have been used to years of using the same joypad designs might need a little assistance settling into the myriad control systems of the Wii.

For example, the Wii's initial "Wii Remote"(or "WiiMote") may be excellent for first-person shooters and racing games, but does not handle so well with genres such as fighting, where the player is often forced to quickly pull off a series of complex actions in a short amount of time.

So, in total, there are four controller setups: WiiMote, WiiMote & Nunchuk, GameCube Controller, and Classic Controller.

The WiiMote was the original setup. Its a one-hand motion-sensing controller that is often used for puzzle and party games, as well as racing games and some sports. For each of these, the controller is held in a different position.

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In racing games, the controller is held sideways with both hands and twisted back and forth to control the racing vehicle onscreen. In sports, the controller is held in various positions which mimic real life. For example, in bowling, the controller movement is very similar to the movement of one's hand and arm while bowling at the lanes. The tennis game requires holding the controller upright to serve the ball, and flicking the wrist to return the ball.

The Wii Nunchuk Controller is a control stick attachment that also features motion-sensing. Whilst the nunchuk is used to essentially steer the player, the Wiimote is utilized to cover the majority of actions, including looking, aiming and shooting.

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Other games featured on the Wii favour a more classic style of control, and in this the Wii borrows the Gamecube controller from Nintendo's earlier console. This (and the classic controller) are generally favoured by the more die hard lovers of the classic gaming style.

Yet another option in a Wii controller is the "Classic Controller". The Classic does not feature motion-sensing, but does have dual control sticks (rather like that of the Playstation) as well as basically all the button configurations that the Gamecube controller features. As with the GameCube controller, the Classic is not wireless.

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However, this is going to change very soon because the Nyko company will very soon be releasing their wireless version of the Classic Controller. Reviewers with preview models have generally praised this new edition to the Wii controller family.

As with most other elements of the Wii, the controllers offer a great deal of freedom and choice to the player, from the well loved classic design to the innovative and exciting next generation style.

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