I had some trepidation about Performance Designed Products' announced Wired Fightpad for the Wii U, but the latest images (thanks to Nintendolife) have put most of my concerns to rest. As imagined they're basically Wii classic controllers in the shape of the venerable GameCube pad. This means that they have that perfect shape and impeccable button cluster, but also a few improvements.
The control sticks are identical (the tiny c-stick nub was one of my few issues with the GameCube original) and the controller has the addition of a second Z-bumper and both Home and Select buttons. The pads are also colored to correspond to the special Mario and Peach-themed Wii remotes here in America and the Yoshi one exclusive to the UK. The Wired Fightpad will run you $24.99 and presumably arrive in time for Smash Bros this winter. PDP says there will be a limited run of these pads, although whether that means altogether or just for the special Mario character colors is not clear.
Of course this means you'll still have a Wiimote dangling off the back of your controller like the old days on the Wii, and I'm sure serious Smash Bros players wouldn't touch anything that isn't hardwired to the console do to latency issues, but I still want to try one of these guys before passing judgement. Having more options is always a good thing, and it will be interesting to see how PDP's offering stacks up to Nintendo's re-released official GameCube controller and the USB adapter coming out this holiday.