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Nintendo Wii U Controller Is Evolving!

Wii U

Nintendo debuted the tablet controller for its upcoming Wii U console at E3 last year, but we haven't seen the new input device since Los Angeles.  Now, thanks to an apparently careless tweet by a TT Games employee, we have our first look at the latest revision of the device.  The 3DSesque sliding circle pads from the original design have been replaced with proper control sticks, there are a few extra buttons scattered around, and a few other alterations have been made.  Polygon summarizes for us:

We can see that the "select" and "start" buttons have been moved just below the X-Y-A-B button cluster, presumably to make them easier to reach during gameplay. The microphone has been moved to the left of the "home" button, which now appears to sport a translucent ring of plastic around it. And those analog sticks now sit closer to the left and right edges of the tablet controller. The device also bears a Wii U logo on its face.

There's still plenty of time before the Wii U launches and more opportunities for the controller to change again in minor ways, but this iteration looks better than what we saw when the Wii U was unveiled (as far as I can tell from a quick photograph, anyway).  The Wii U controller I held at E3 last year had a pleasant weight and size to it, but did look like an early stab at a product.  A little refinement was clearly necessary and we're seeing that happening here, but I wouldn't be surprised if little details changed again slightly before the controller ships.  I would hope that it's complete as far as basic features and capabilities go.  Developers that have to aim at ever-moving targets have added challenges to meet beyond creating a launch window title for new hardware.  The pressure is immense enough as it is without Nintendo swapping features in and out up until the metaphorical eleventh hour.