Building on the basic layout of the original Wii Classic Controller, the Wii Classic Controller Pro features prongs for improved grip and a ZL/ZR shoulder button layout that more closely resembled that of a PlayStation controller's L2/R2 layout and would be carried forward into the designs for the Wii U Pro Controllers and Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers. The L/R buttons are now also just digital buttons, since there was no use for analog buttons limited to an optional accessory and the clip mechanism has been removed. However, the controller still needs to be plugged into the accessory port at the bottom of a Wii Remote in order to function and does not support rumble.
As detailed during an Iwata Asks about Monster Hunter Tri, Nintendo closely collaborated with Capcom's Monster Hunter team during the development of the Wii Classic Controller Pro to tailor it specifically to Monster Hunter players and coordinate its release so it coincides with the launch of Monster Hunter Tri in August 2009 as well as the first new system color for the Wii-system with the introduction of the black models.
The Wii Classic Controller Pro was initially released in black and white models and later received special colors. A gold-colored version was bundled with Eurocom's 2010 GoldenEye 007 remake, a red version came with the special edition for Xenoblade in PAL regions (2011), and a black controller featuring gold markings was released with Samurai Warriors 3 (2009) in Japan.
The Wii Classic Controller Pro is compatible with the NES Classic and the SNES Classic mini consoles since their controllers use the same accessory port as the Wii Remote, which also makes their NES and SNES controllers compatible with Wii Remotes, conversely.