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Nintendo teases with traditional pad for Wii

Wednesday 10 May 2006
While all the beady eyes at Nintendo's pre-E3 conference were focused on every wave of Wii's wireless wand, another version of the controller was quietly being smuggled out of the back door, unannounced and unseen.

Without a word from Reggie or Mr Iwata on the subject, a digital snap of the smooth SNES-like controller appeared in our post-show press kit with no explanation, information, or even a mention on the console specs. All we have to go on is the filename 'classic'.

Above: This snap of the 'classic' controller has appeared on Nintendo's press release with no explanation whatsoever

As you can see there are none of the innovative features of the Wii-mote here, instead it relies on two analogue sticks, a fairly standard collection of buttons and a wire that will almost certainly plug into one of the four GameCube controller-style ports on Wii.

Which can only lead us to speculate that this controller is designed to be used for the retro games on Virtual Console? Or is it just for those 'traditional gamers' who can't master the new pad; or designed simply to save the shame of those who fear looking like a complete gibbon waiving their Wii-mote? And will it be included as part of the main Wii package or as a pricey extra?

Either way, we want answers and we want them now. So like some kind of crazy Trojan horse we are off inside E3 again to uncover the truth - just for you.