The worst you could say about Nintendo’s Wii U controller before was twofold: It’s really big (for a console game controller), and the thumb-sticks are actually thumb-nubs, set flush against the controller’s surface, 3DS-style. A new picture of the controller released by a Wii U developer just reduced that double whammy by one — the Wii U’s left and right concave-style analog pads have been raised on tiny poles that sport convex, Wii-like tops.
Noticed by Gimme Gimme Games, the leaked image appeared via the Twitter account of a quality assurance tester for developer Traveller’s Tales (the folks behind all the LEGO-brand games). “Nintendo fanboys alert: look what we have at work!” wrote the tester, linking to an image of the tweaked controller. The tweet has since been removed, and the user’s account apparently deleted (whoopsie-doodle).
Contrast the official image Nintendo released at E3 last year (at right) with the new one (up top) and you’ll notice various cosmetic changes, like the Wii U logo appearing just below the inline screen on the left (so much for predictions Nintendo might rename the console at E3 2012).
You’ll also want to check out the curious icon just below the d-pad that almost looks painted on — a button? Touch-sensitive area? Something else? There’s another squarish mystery button sandwiched between the “power” and “battery” areas (let’s hope it’s not a reset switch). And if you look closely, you’ll spy a grayish circle around the “home” button that looks translucent, suggesting it’ll light up when the controller’s turned on. Also, the plus/minus “select” and “start” buttons have moved up from the controller’s bottom to its right-hand side, presumably to make them more accessible while playing.
Assuming this picture’s for real, a cautiously optimistic two thumbs up (get it?) Nintendo.