I recently bought a Wii U, and let me just stop you right there. Yes, I know it’s late, yes I know they will release their next console next year, and yes, yes, I know the Wii U has “failed”. Still, if you feel the urge for Nintendo games, you must get the Nintendo console. And that’s what I did.
Quickly enough though, I realized that a Pro controller was a must, but this time there was choice. Either you can go with the fairly pricey original controller, or look at some of the third party offerings. This is one of the latter.
The Bigben Play Wireless Controller is a fully functional substitute to the Wii U Pro controller. I do not have any experience with the original, but I have a couple of other controllers (N64, PS2, PS3, Wii, XB360) so I know my way around them.
The first impression that hits you when you take it out of the packaging is of quality. Fortunately the glossy plastic does not tarnish the feeling too much, and there’s some sturdier soft touch plastic on the sides that gives it a nice texture. Overall it feels solid and has a good weight to it. Most buttons feel tactile enough, however, the top triggers feel a bit spongy and can be pressed down at an angle which causes them to stick, which can be aggravating. Also, the lower should buttons have very short travel that might feel a bit weird at first. These drawbacks are not the main pain point though. The thing you’ll notice the second you put your thumbs on the thumb-sticks is how high up they are. It’s only something like 2-3 millimeters but it makes all the difference. At first it might just feel a bit strange, but after an hour your hands might start cramping or feel uncomfortable, in a way I’ve not yet experienced with any other controller.
The controller has a blue backlight which might appeal to kids, but for me it’s distracting and when gaming in the dark the glare will be remarkably annoying. Luckily, there’s a switch to turn the lights off, which was a blessing in my case.
The battery life is good enough, nothing extraordinary. It’s a 700mAh Ni-Mh battery, so nothing fancy here. It also takes a while to charge over the USB-port.
From a connectivity standpoint I have no remarks. It’s easy to connect and plays smoothly.
Overall, you get what you pay for. It’s about 2/3 the price of the original controller, which seems about right. I don’t think it’s good enough to use as some sort of “main” controller (in games that support it), but more like the controller you force your younger siblings to use in lack of a better option.