Nintendo's Japanese website reveals a new form factor for the Classic controller that takes it even further in the traditional direction. http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/newsArt.cfm?artid=17822
The classic controller has always been Nintendo's link to the past, a traditional input setup that's been supported in some Wii games, and necessary for many Virtual Console ones. Nintendo seems to believe that the controller's role is still an important one as their Japanese website has just revealed a new controller, the Classic Controller PRO.
At first glance it's easy to see how the Classic Controller PRO strengthens ties with earlier gaming systems. The most visible addition to the controller are two prongs in the style of earlier controllers like the GameCube controller or Sony's DualShock line. Another change is that the Classic Controller PRO is thicker than the original Classic Controller and can thus support larger ZL and ZR buttons. These buttons used to be small, circular, and positioned in-line with the larger L and R shoulder buttons on the original Classic Controller. On the Classic Controller PRO, they are almost equal in size to the other shoulder buttons and are no longer situated so far towards the center of the controller.
The Classic Controller PRO appears to still sport a wire, so it appears that the controller will still need to plug into a Wii Remote to operate. It is also not known whether this redesign will support rumble this time, or leave it out as the previous version did.
It has no announced price, but it is slated for a summer release in Japan. There is no news yet on a release outside Nintendo's home country.