Will the Wii U's GameCube controller adapter only ever support one game?

Today, Nintendo of America revealed what is probably the biggest news I could hope for in regards to the highly anticipated mascot brawler, Super Smash Bros. Wii U. It's official: the company is releasing an adapter that allows you to plug GameCube controllers into the Wii U console. Despite all the controller innovations it seems that Nintendo agrees: nothing beats playing Smash using a normal-sized controller that features a big, green, responsive A button. But why stop at GC controller support for one game? There's plenty more Nintendo can do with the new-found support for such an old controller.

If Nintendo is smart, it'll look into any avenue it could use to make the failing Wii U a more attractive home console. The new adapter could provide a highly desired new feature, if it's used for more than just a Smash Bros. peripheral. What's one thing gamers always seem to want? The ability to play old games on new consoles. With GC controller support on the Wii U, it looks like the first step towards getting downloadable GameCube games on Virtual Console has already been achieved.

Granted, the Wii U doesn't have the old GC tech built in like the Wii did. But Nintendo could work its magic with emulation and bring old games like Metroid Prime and Luigi's Mansion to the Wii U if it's willing to dedicate the time and resources to make it happen. The size of the games wouldn't be a problem. If I can download a copy of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the eShop, there's no reason that the file size of a 10-year-old GameCube game would be an issue. Having a GameCube library readily available would be a huge boon to the Wii U, especially if Nintendo actually starts to adding old console games to the Wii U's VC--not just old handheld, Game Boy Advance games.

The good news is it seems the company is pulling in more support for the hardcore gamer crowd. The inclusion of a GC controller adapter, along with Nintendo backing down from the Smash Bros. Brawl stance of "look, Smash is just as good with a Wii-mote and nunchuck" is definitely a step in the right direction. I mean, it’ll definitely get those who want to play Smash (the right way) to buy more Nintendo controllers--though maybe not enough to get Nintendo profitable again.

However, if Nintendo begins to manufacture GameCube controllers--which, by the looks of that Smash Bros. logo on the press images, could very well be the case--what happens to all the existing Wii U controller models? The Wii U will have four official control options for its system: Wii remote, Gamepad, Pro Controller, and now the GC controller. It's not that options are bad, but having so many controllers might be confusing to Nintendo's family-friendly, casual audience. The Wii U is already a confusing name for those who don't know console generations--and now it'll support a controller from two systems prior. That's a lot to unpack if you're not a core gamer.

If Nintendo doesn't take advantage of the controller support outside of the next Smash Bros.--like introducing a GameCube branch of the Virtual Console shop--it would be a waste of potential. Smash Bros. is a great series, but not every Wii U owner is going to buy a controller and adapter play it. Wii U gamers are going to need at least a few excuses to justify going out and buying four shiny new controllers--and one game alone, no matter how awesome, might not carry enough weight.


  • sleepyMexican45 - June 2, 2014 1:16 a.m.

    I still have my Wavebird...
  • Fro4show - June 1, 2014 6:40 p.m.

    Well, if they're going to put the Smash Bros. logo on the controller, I feel like its a safe assumption that they're intended for the Smash Bros audience and won't be used for anything else. It is in fact a waste of potential, but being the avid smasher that I am, I can say that it won't effect me in the slightest. I can almost guarantee that I wouldn't have used it for anything else anyway. In fact its quite likely that I won't buy many games on the console in its entire lifespan that I will play for a fraction as much time as Smash.
  • talleyXIV - May 31, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    I bet at E3 they announce Gamecube games on the eshop.
  • Doctor_Pancakes - May 30, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    I love this! The Gamecube controller really fits like a glove. Miyamoto really put a lot of his life into the design of that controller and he has yet to top its design. The Wii U Gamepad is close though. Very comfortable to hold even with the bulk. I was worried we'd have a problem like the Fat Xbox controllers had but I should have known better knowing Nintendo.
  • Pruman - May 30, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    Meh, as someone who's used the Cube controller exclusively since Melee, I'm of the opinion that it's time to move on. I bought one of those expensive Pro Controllers when I got my Wii U with the thought that it would serve as my Smash controller down the line.
  • talleyXIV - May 31, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    So use the Pro Controller? No one is forcing you to use the GameCube controller.
  • Shnubby - May 30, 2014 2:43 a.m.

    This is great news, especially since I already have 4 Gamecube controllers!
  • Divine Paladin - May 29, 2014 10:37 p.m.

    This is honestly the only decision Nintendo has made since January that I don't like. They've effectively announced weakness on a previously-strong stance. Now, as this article proves, the next jump is GC emulation, which pushes all other VC content back even more on the long list, since the GC crowd is so loud about its desires most of the time. The first jump my friend made was that they could put Melee on the eShop - which would lead to Melee fans begging for online regardless of how good SSBU May be, which effectively leads to a Melee HD update that kills the future games' potential competitively because omgmelee. I just don't see the business logic in this one. Short term profit, perhaps, but probably only if they overcharge for the limited edition Smash controllers. They've anchored Smash to the past yet again (in their one chance to push the expensive, more profitable Pro controllers as Smash controllers), and in showing weakness may have damned themselves into having to drop the GamePad in the future. Because let's face it, who's gonna use the other options when we have the precious GC controller? I'm not a fan of this one. They've sold me on everything else these past four months, but this could really hurt them in the long run, UNLESS they do exactly as the title suggests and make these controllers only work for Smash, which I can't see them doing. For a company that has felt so confident and (for the first time in perhaps a decade or more) modern lately, it just feels desperate to cling onto the past like this. If they get rid of those spring-loaded abortions of trigger buttons, I'll be ever so slightly more alright with this. Otherwise I plan on sticking to the GamePad and ProPad.
  • GOD - May 30, 2014 12:05 a.m.

    People who love melee and want it online already emulate it on dolphin and play online. People who love competitive melee though, don't even bother with online most of the time because when everything comes down to single frames internet lag is crippling for both sides. The great thing is that this is an option for people who want it. God forbid a system appeal to it's base.
  • pl4y4h - May 30, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    Idk if it would kill the future of competitiveness. If project M has shown anything it's that the competitiveness can move on its own regardless of game. And sure nintendo could force the "future" of the pro controller, but that would alienate the same "loud" GC crowd that would rather not pay for another controller/wiiu/believe smash without a gc controller is blasphemy (or whatever). I do agree that it could lead to big loses if the gc controller works for more games though, because who would go back to a bulky "useless" gamepad?
  • GOD - May 29, 2014 8:53 p.m.

    Give me some pricing already. I already have two perfectly ready to go controllers so just gimme my adapter now! Losing my gamecube controller ports was the one thing that made my sad about the WiiU but this will soon correct that.
  • Shigeruken - May 29, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    Given Nintendo's track record, I'd guess $30-$60 in the US and $200+ in AU/NZ
  • GOD - May 29, 2014 9:27 p.m.

    I'm also curious about that controller price since you can get a new white controller imported for about $30 to US.
  • Divine Paladin - May 30, 2014 3:53 a.m.

    Less "appeal," more "appease." I'm all for options, and the Wii U has like sixty of them for controllers (GamePad, ProPad, WiiMote, WiiMote+Nunchuk, FightPad, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro, and now GC), but this is nothing but avoiding possible controversy by going back on one's word. The GC controller may be around for a long time because of Smash, but only because Nintendo has a gun to its head on the issue. Long-term, if the GC controller is as amazing as all of its advocates say, Nintendo may be forced to drop the GamePad as a mandatory feature. Now that they've shown a weakness, this announcement could very well be used to argue for a no-GamePad model. That will seriously cut into their profits unless the price cut comes with a guaranteed extra several software sales per person per year (which it likely won't based on the fact that there's never been a long-term association between price drops and non-immediate software spikes). It could be a good thing too, who knows! I just don't see it doing any good for anyone BUT the GC fanatics.
  • rickyjt001 - June 23, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    Bro its 15 dollaz on amazon
  • shawksta - May 29, 2014 7:55 p.m.

    I hope so, we got adapters for it, putting up gamecube games on virtual console would be great, but even then dont assume its gonna sell Wii U's. Smash Bros is about customization, in how you fight, the rules, stage, music and control scheme so im not surprised we get to have Gamecube controllers. Though i stress your all pushing it when your overglorifying the GC controller, specifically with the comment of "Playing Smash Bros the right way" There is no right way, pro's simply got used to the GC controller back in Melee and its availability lets it be the popular choice, i main Brawl with a Wiimote and Nunchuck and its absolutely fine if people could just stop whinning and use the damn thing. And im planning to do the same with New Smash with the Gamepad/Wii U Controller pro, because i like using new control schemes.
  • Vonter - May 29, 2014 11:02 p.m.

    My main hope is that this adapter lets one play Wii mode VC games with the Gamecube controller. There's a lot locked in that mode that looks enticing but I have no means to play them.
  • shawksta - May 29, 2014 11:58 p.m.

    I agree, i have the N64 Paper Mario in my Wii Mode VC but i cant play it anymore.
  • Pruman - June 2, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    Also agreed. It was pretty easy to recreate the N64's 4-player glory days on the Wii with the extra Cube controllers I had sitting around, but in Wii Mode I only have enough classic controllers for 2 players.
  • SnakeinmyBoot - May 29, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    Despite it being the best way to play Brawl, I never really liked the feel of the GC controller. Holding a trigger was incredibly fatiguing for more than a minute, because of the angle. The prongs weren't thick enough to hold very comfortably. The Z should have been a face button; it was such a pain to press that most games I played made it the de facto select button. The face button layout was awkward for most games. Honestly, Nintendo should make the GC controller work with more games. But I think the pro controller will satisfy most people's tastes for Smash Bros. Except for the purist who won't touch nothing but a Gamecube pad for SSB, whether or not most people getting this is going to depend on the price of this adapter and the new GC pads compared to pro controllers' costs and how many old GC controllers they got lying around.

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