One of the more exciting parts of Nintendo’s mini NES announcement this morning was the availability of an NES Classic Controller, which will be sold separately for $9.99. If you've already got a Wii U and a collection of NES games on the Virtual Console, you may not be interested in the (adorable) mini NES ... but don't ignore its controller. The mini NES console has two unique controller ports that, if you’ve never used a Wii Remote somehow, may not be familiar to you.
Of course, these are the same ports that appear on the bottom of the Wii Remote, used to attach anything from a Nunchuck controller or a Wii Motion Plus dongle to the Classic or Classic Pro controllers.
Here’s what that unwieldy setup looks like, with an original Wii Classic Controller tethered to a Wii Remote for wireless play:
"When connected to a Wii Remote controller, the NES Classic Controller can also be used to play Virtual Console NES games on a Wii U or Wii system," this morning’s press release reads.
If playing Virtual Console games with an NES pad sounds like a great idea to you (and it probably should!) but you already have some original controllers at home, you can always purchase an adapter, like this one:
Of course, then you’ll be saddled with a Wii Remote connected to this adapter connected to your original NES (or Super NES!) controller which ... well, it sounds pretty cumbersome, to be honest.
When it comes to using the new NES Classic controller for your Wii or Wii U Virtual Console games, however, it’s a bit of a bargain if you’re a fan of the design and don’t want to spend money on a secondary Classic or Classic Pro controller. At $9.99 a controller, that’s about $40 cheaper than picking up a Classic Controller Pro directly on Amazon. You still need a Wii Remote to use the NES Classic controller for your Wii U Virtual Console games though, and if you don’t have one of those lying around, grabbing an official one from Nintendo will cost you about $40 on Amazon.
It’s important to note that while the NES Classic controller will work with Virtual Console games on the Wii U and Wii, it won’t be supported by other games, so this can’t replace your other controllers entirely.
The mini NES console and its NES Classic Controller will be available to purchase in stores on Nov. 11 for $59.99 and $9.99, respectively.