Video game accessories manufacturer Nyko was planning to release its iteration of Nintendo’s Circle Pad Pro, the Power Grip Pro, which was going to add a second Circle Pad and provide extended battery life to a Nintendo 3DS. Nyko recently confirmed it canceled the device.
The Nintendo 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro launches November 15th in Japan and will cost 1,500 yen, which is roughly $19. For those who don’t know, the Circle Pad Pro adds two shoulder buttons and a second Circle Pad, which makes playing games like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate more comfortable. Nintendo has yet to announce the release date of the add-on in regions outside Japan.
Nintendo released the first image of the Nintendo 3DS XL’s Circle Pad Pro, which adds a second circle pad and two buttons to the handheld. In the picture above, the handheld on the left is the Nintendo 3DS XL, and the one on the right is the original Nintendo 3DS. Both Circle Pad Pros are similar in design, and they look nothing like Nyko’s sleek Power Grip Pro.
Adding an additional Circle Pad on the Nintendo 3DS XL would have made the system too big according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Iwata says that attaching a second Circle Pad to the Nintendo 3DS XL would have been technically possible, but it would ultimately have made the handheld a lot bigger than it needed to be.
“Attaching a second analog stick is possible but it would have made the system even bigger and, though it perhaps puts a burden on people that really want that second stick, it’s a call we had to make.”
“The choice, if we were going to include the second analog stick, was to reduce the size of the battery or make the unit much bigger. ”
Numerous gaming websites have gone hands-on with the recently announced second Circle Pad attachment for the Nintendo 3DS. Whilst the publications all say it’s rather big and bulky, the device is apparently quite comfortable to hold. Here’s some opinions:
“It feels as big as it looks in pictures and it’s very light…
I’ve heard people compare it to the Game Gear, and I don’t think that’s accurate – it’s much more ergonomic and comfortable to hold.
“Despite feeling hollow, the attachment isn’t wobbly in the least, so it doesn’t rattle when you play with it, and the shoulder buttons are comfortable to reach and well built. Basically, it feels like one bigger unit rather than two pieces stuck together.”
“It is surprisingly light in the hand,” said their reporter. “I thought it would be heavier, but it’s not.”
As for the Circle Pad itself, Kotaku’s reviewer had this to say: “Using the second slide pad was easier and less awkward than I thought… The response on the pad was the same as the original 3DS slide pad.”
However, they weren’t as positive about the R button. “Where things go wrong is the R button. I felt as though I had to reach up, going from the ZR button. The left side was worse, because it doesn’t have an add on button. Rather, it uses the 3DS’s left shoulder button. So I had to reach up and back.”
The Circle Pad itself is identical to the already existing Circle Pad on the left side of the 3DS. More interestingly, the attachment also adds triggers and bolsters already existing shoulder buttons, giving the entire console more of an actual controller feel.
“No doubt about it, the Slidepad is bulky and, for sure, kind of silly looking, but it also makes the portable feel more substantial in terms of control.”
Nintendo has confirmed that the second Circle Pad attachment for the Nintendo 3DS will be launching in Japan on December 10th for ¥1,500. The unit will run off the power of a single AAA battery, inserted into the underside. Nintendo also announced that Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater, Resident Evil: Revelations, Kingdom hearts 3D, Ace Combat 3D and Dynasty Warriors will all support the device.