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Using a Gamecube Controller on the Wii U (tested on DDR Dance Pad, Cyberbike, and Active Life Game Pads)

Here is news I’ve been waiting for for a long time. A company called Mayflash has released a converter that lets you use Gamecube Controllers on the Wii called the Mayflash Nintendo GameCube Controller Adapter for Wii/Wii U.

Gamecube controllers have plugs that look like this, that used to plug into one of four GameCube sockets on the top of the original Wii.

gamecube controller plug

In later versions of the Wii, they quietly took away these sockets, and of course they weren’t in the Wii U when it was released. So if you’re like me and had peripherals that used GameCube plugs, anything from Dance Dance Revolution dance pads to Active Life Outdoor Challenge, Explorer, Carnival, or Extreme action pads, to the Cyberbike bike controller, suddenly you were all out of luck. If you upgraded to a Wii U, you either had to keep your old Wii around to play games that used these, or you had to toss them.

With the Mayflash Adapter, you can supposedly use these controllers with the Wii U.

But does it actually work? I put it to the test.

Installing it is simple. You plug your old Gamecube plug into one end…

IMG_0215

…and then you plug the other end into a Wii remote (Note: not the Wii U unit)

plug gamecube adapter into wii remote

The first one I tried it with was my Dance Dance Revolution pad. I popped in my old copy of Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3 and plugged in the dance pad.

I was hopeful when I saw that the up, left, up, and down arrows seemed to work fine when making menu selections. But dancing itself was a little more spotty. DDR would recognize the “up” and “left” arrows perfectly, but was hit or miss on the “down” and right” arrows. The best I could score on “Ice Ice Baby” was a “C” on Basic. I tried two dance pads and this happened in both cases.

After a little trial and error, I realized that the problem occured most consistently if I had my foot pressed down on another arrow while trying to press “down” or “right”, which of course happens all the time when you play DDR the “right” way. I tried the same dance again, making sure that I always had only one foot down on the dance page at all times. I ended up looking like one of those Irish tap dancers but I did score a AA with a nearly flawless score.

So my experience with DDR was quite mixed. It’s possible and sort of works, but it’s certainly not 100%.

Next, I tried using Active Life: Outdoor Challenge with the Active Life Pad. This didn’t work at all–the game wouldn’t even recgnize the mat at all.

Finally, I tried my Cyberbike. As with Active Life Outdoor Challenge, the Cyberbike Cycling Sports game didn’t even recognize the controller. It only gave the option of playing with the Wii remote and a nunchuk.

But then I put the bike into “Gamecube Mode” and tried Mario Kart Wii. Happily, this worked perfectly. Steering worked great and all the Gamecube buttons worked fine.

Overall, it looks like the Gamecube adapter works pretty well for games and accessories that use the traditional, basic Gamecube controllers. But unfortunately, it looks like the specific functionality was spotty for accessories that were a little more complex. Even more unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Konami, Namco Bandai, or Big Ben are in any rush to officially update their products, so your only way to keep playing a lot of them is to hold on to your Wii even after you update to the Wii U. As I’ve suggested in past posts, something some people are doing is putting their Wii U in their family rooms or dens, and putting their old TVs and old Wiis into a spare room to serve as an exercise room.

If you have a Cyberbike or want to use an old Gamecube classic controller, I’d say it’s definitely worth getting the Mayflash controller. But with DDR and Active Life, it’s probably not worth it.

The controller is available at Amazon here:

Mayflash Nintendo GameCube Controller Adapter for Wii/Wii U.

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