News Article

Talking Point: The Second Circle Pad and the 3DS Evolution

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

What next for the 3DS?

Another week, another major 3DS announcement. That may be an exaggeration, but it is nevertheless true that the 3DS has had a busy first six months in the market. Since the device launched we’ve already heard about disappointing sales, a number of delayed 3DS titles from third party developers, Nintendo’s decision to drastically cut the retail price of the system and the associated Ambassador’s Programme for early adopters. The latest development is the second Circle Pad expansion, unveiled in a sneak scan of Famitsu magazine earlier this week. With the caveat that Nintendo have not officially announced this device, which is more than likely due in a press event on 13 September, we explore some precedents for this kind of expansion, and what this add-on could mean for the future of the 3DS.

We’ve been here before, right?

A lot of reaction to the leaking of the second Circle Pad add-on has been an expression of surprise at the form factor, in that it is literally attached to the console in a cradle. It’s worth pointing out, before we look at the expansion specifically, that Nintendo has a track record of producing peripherals and add-ons that integrate directly into existing hardware. Our first example is the DS Rumble Pak, which was placed within the original DS and DS Lite GBA cartridge slot. Released in North America around a year after the device, it took longer to reach PAL regions and was available as part of bundles or as an individual purchase. While it wasn’t exactly a failure, issues of limited compatibility with games meant it wasn’t essential for DS owners.

Whereas the DS Rumble Pak nestled neatly in the GBA gamecard slot – unless you had a full sized Pak in a DS Lite – the Wii MotionPlus was a different beast entirely. When originally launched in summer 2009, two and half years after the Wii hit stores, it was a clip on device that increased the size and weight of the Wii Remote. The MotionPlus delivered much improved motion tracking ability, as showcased by Wii Sports Resort; this was functionality that, some would argue, was expected of the Wii Remote in its first iteration. A major issue has been the lack of quality software that has utilised this peripheral, to the point that many of the devices will have now gathered a hefty layer of dust. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will utilise this technology as a major part of gameplay; a much needed, but late, boost for the device.

In some respects, the Wii MotionPlus is a valid comparison for the upcoming Circle Pad expansion on the 3DS. It represents a feature that many thought should have been included in the original hardware, and arrived as a fairly crude clip-on device. When considering the second Circle Pad, we should think about whether it will follow precedents set by MotionPlus and other expansions such as the N64 and DS Rumble Paks. Questions of what the device can deliver, along with issues such as game compatibility, the practicality of the form factor and what this could signify for the future of the 3DS, are all worth addressing.

So what will this extra Circle Pad be used for?

It seems, if the preview scans of Famitsu are accurate, that this expansion will be released, or perhaps promoted as, a peripheral to be used with the upcoming Monster Hunter 3 G, which could release in Japan by the end of the year. Despite reports of controls that allow camera movement with shoulder buttons and the touch screen, the second Circle Pad would allow camera movement similar in style to Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii, when played with the Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro. Despite the alternative camera control options, as well as the remarkable success of the Monster Hunter series on the single-stick PSP in Japan, the option to comfortably move the camera with this expansion is appealing.

Beyond Monster Hunter 3G, any game that involves a third person perspective in a 3D environment will benefit. In addition, there are other game genres that could make good use of this peripheral. First person shooters spring immediately to mind, as anyone who enjoys this genre on either of the HD consoles will testify. In some respects, however, the 3DS does not seem like a console that will boast a significant number of FPS titles, but perhaps that is the point; this could be an effort by Nintendo to change that perception. Another example is sports titles such as Pro Evolution Soccer or Fifa, where dual stick gaming is utilised for more accurate actions such as precision passing. The additional shoulder buttons that the device provides will also be perfect for sports titles. If developers have the appetite to bring dual stick console experiences to 3DS, this peripheral gives them that opportunity.

To be a success, it needs the games

The biggest challenge, of course, is getting these games onto the 3DS. As mentioned previously, the MotionPlus represented a leap in controller functionality, but there wasn’t sufficient software support. It's clear from its actions in recent weeks that Nintendo is trying to bring third party developers on board. Dropping the console’s price in an effort to boost the user base, and now an expansion controller that gives the 3DS parity, in terms of basic functionality, with more ‘conventional’ gaming controllers, there is a willingness to adjust to the needs of third parties. This is a far cry from the individual, “do things our own way” spirit evident in the early days of the DS and Wii.

The peripheral is confirmed, as we’ve reported, but it will be interesting to observe any supportive comments that may emerge from major developers following the official announcement. The Wii U has benefited, in terms of early impressions, with vocal support from industry big-hitters. Nintendo can only hope that this adjustment to the 3DS control setup will enjoy the same support, as well as tangible game releases in the future.

But why now, and what does this mean for the console?

What is striking about this news is not necessarily the functionality, as a second Circle Pad for the 3DS is a bonus, but the timing of this leak and the potential effects this product will have on the 3DS lifespan. On the first point, as highlighted earlier in this article, the 3DS has already seen some major upheaval in its relatively short existence. Less than six months after launch, a peripheral is unveiled that upgrades the 3DS controls; many buyers barely have the device out of the box and a new, official peripheral is all over the Internet.

While we won’t speculate about the aesthetic appeal of the expansion until we see some formal announcement images – rather than magazine scans – it is worth considering why these control options weren’t within the original 3DS design. Considering the short time frame between the emergence of the peripheral and the console launch, it leads to a few theories. Perhaps this expansion was planned for release at a later date, in which case its been brought forward in response to the pressure the 3DS is under. Alternatively, this could have been planned all along, as part of an aggressive marketing strategy to maintain a high-paced development of the 3DS, grabbing headlines by introducing a new control option alongside a prominent game release in the form of Monster Hunter 3 G.

The possibility that we sincerely hope is not true, is that this is a precursor for a new 3DS design; a possibility on which Nintendo aren’t keen to comment. Coming back to Wii MotionPlus, the separate unit was replaced by the streamlined, all-in-one Wii Remote Plus around 16 months after the original peripheral was launched. Judging by the speed at which the 3DS is changing, in terms of price and functionality, there are rumours flying around the web that a re-modelled 3DS is already on the way. Of course it will arrive eventually, but we hope that the early emergence of the second Circle Pad doesn’t prompt a premature ‘3DS Lite’, before the original 3DS has its own time in the sun.

What do you think?

So, those are some of our thoughts, ideas and concerns about the Circle Pad expansion, with some reference to peripherals of days gone by. We want to know what you think. Is this expansion/peripheral a good idea or should it have been in the original 3DS design? Do you think it will be supported by enough quality games, and are you concerned that a re-modelled 3DS is already on the way? Let us know in the comments below.

From the web

User Comments (103)



MasterGraveheart said:

I think that the second circle pad should be optional... at least until six months after the release of the 3DS revision that hard grafts the second circle pad onto it. But, I'm excited. Potential Wii U intigration and extra options for developers? I'm in.

But I still say you get similar results with a laynard and the touch screen, a la the original DS.



grumblegrumble said:

I think this is another gimmicky add-on that I and many others probably won't purchase. Don't waste your time, Nintendo. Just show us some good games that we can play ALREADY!



Omenapoika said:

With all the problems big Ns had with 3DS, it made me think that it's all drama. Nintendo knew it was losing it's "core player audience" and street cred with Wii and puppy nursing. Wii along with Nintendo was now the rich guy in the neighborhood and cool kid's don't relate to that.
So 3DS came along, big hubbub, more than promising hardware and lots of anticipation. When it finally was released it "didn't really have good games" and "is not doing as well as expected", and was reduced to a what I would call Peter Parker. A kid with only the few friends, lost potential and a wide appeal to average Joe as the main character.
The future might bring the spider bite in form of some brilliant games (coming for the holiday season), and people can cheer with the 3DS as it flings itself to the night to do awesome stuff nobody expected the young Parker to be able to do.
This might all be a well written story, just saying...



Mandoble said:

It must have been there since the beginning, as many other things (screens of decent size, never smaller than these of the DSi as most games played there were going to be these of the DS, better battery, and I would add, no 3D at all, except perhaps with goggles).



SigourneyBeaver said:

I'm convinced Nintendo does stupid things like this on purpose. I mean, it got things right with the NES and SNES, but since then they've appeared behind the game on so many occasions. They returned to form with the Wii but they're going backwards on the 3DS.



NapalmHornet said:

I would like to see a redesign of this thing with making it slimmer, different colours and the circle pad arching on the blank space under the ABXY buttons instead of hangong off the console



2-D said:

I'm happy, it means the 3ds I buy will have 2 circle pads, haha

So glad I didn't buy one at launch, it seems like one thing after another with it at the moment



C-195 said:

I actually won't mind this if there are some good games that use it, also a battery expansion version wouldn't go astray.



Noire said:

Let's all just forget about this and pretend it never existed and going back to just being happy (or disappointed, whatever) with our 3DS's ... because ... seriously, that tumor needs to go away.



daznsaz said:

im guessing they have chats with developers.and some of them have said with the new control scheme we will bring a certain game to the it is now though they already have ssf doa resi merc etc.i will get the add on but will get new model whenever it comes out.i dont think a lite model is to good for intense games 3ds can do



JimLad said:

I think the original story page was the official talking point, with 300+ comments.
As I said then, I think this is just a Monster Hunter add-on that has been blown out of proportion. They wouldn't be able to sell this thing to anyone else, and they definately wouldn't be able to sell a revised 3DS at this point. Controller interface is not something that's typically added to in a hardware revision.



iPruch said:

I'll repeat what I said at this news article:

"198 comments that possibly wouldn't be here if Capcom tought of an automatic and useful camera (well programmed, of course) for the Monster Hunter series. I also wonder why is so important to have a stick with the only purpose of moving the camera.

I haven't red any bad comment about Zelda's camera. Think about it: It's semi-automatic, it focuses from Link's back by pressing only a button and can be switched to first person and be moved with the gyroscope or the stick in order to explore or use some weapons/tools. And it works fine with no need of a second stick. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess (GC version) had the option of moving the camera manually with the C-stick, but I've really never used it because the "targeting" was much more usefull and fast: Make Link look where you want to see -> Press and release the targeting button (and semi-automatic camera takes the control from here, but with the angle you want).

About the second stick addon... ridiculous. I've played some FPS games at Nintendo DS (KEEP AN EYE!!!) without any analogue stick, with a classic directional pad for moving and the touch screen for aiming and it's a million times better than playing a FPS with two sticks (I can't believe how this genre has spread over the home consoles with such an uncomfortable control)."


And I have to say It's not fair to compare this with Wii Motion Plus or DS Rumble Pack. First, Wii M+ is an addon for a controller (and Wiimote was designed with a port for connecting peripherals from the beginning) of a home console, and fits perfectly, nothing annoying. Second, the DS/Lite had a GBA port which could be used in order to connect peripherals (and we knew it also from the beginning, as with Wiimote), and the specific case of the DS Rumble Pack is nothing compared with that second stick for 3DS, because the DS Rumble Pack fit perfectly (not at DS Lite where it overhung like the GBA cartridges because the space reduction, but nothing unpractical).

I think that if they wanted 3DS to have two sticks, they must have included it from the beginning within the 3DS (not an addon). But I still defend that two sticks aren't necessary at all. It's ridiculous for me because of what I explained at the comment I've copied above. The worst of all this story is that Nintendo seems not to understand anything, because the worst case is to make an unpractical and uncomfortable (and sadly necessary for some games because they probably won't include alternative controls) for a PORTABLE game system. A good portable system needs to have all-in-one packed, and if it has addons/peripherals it must be something the less annoying possible.

Oh, and I almost forgot to say it won't be free (special cases of packs with some games apart). That's another big negative integer.



MrMagpie said:

If a we get a "3ds lite" before dec of 2012, I will be expecting another ambassador scheme.



Kimiko said:

Instead of fussing with the hardware, Nintendo should bring on the games that make having a 3DS a necessity like the DS/i and PSP. So far there still aren't any games that make me want to go out and buy one right now or even soonish.



belmont said:

Am I the only one who thinks that in 13-9 a 3DS revision will be announced?
Moreover about the second circle pad it is obvious that they didn't care because PSP doesn't have one and because they didn't know about the Vita yet. In the PSP it is a little bit easier to use both the digital and the analogue but in 3DS it is a little more difficult to use the digital pad.
However what 3DS needs mostly is games. I look the European release schedule and the only game I really want is Tales of Abyss since it was not released in Europe for PS2. I thought that 3DS would have a lot of rpg's like DS/PSP but apart from Tales I haven't heard any other.



IronMan28 said:

I'm assuming Nintendo didn't do this without careful consideration. The problem is they're putting out the perception that the 3DS was a rushed product. They didn't account for the fact that gamers and non gamers alike are more connected than when the original DS was launched and that people have short memories (meaning they forget that the DS, DS Lite and other revision had a fairly decent amount of time between their respective launches, the XL is the exception, of course) as people are lamenting the apparently "lack luster" launch of the hand held (which was actually average). All of these factors lead us to this, which is "confirmed" (I still kind of don't buy it, but I'm likely wrong), and if true, it certainly is an interesting move by Nintendo. Either way, I'll just wait until the revision which unless Nintendo keeps up with what they've done with the 3DS (send mixed messages) shouldn't be until next year.



47drift said:

I loved the DS Rumble Pak. I wish the 3DS was compatible because Star Fox 64 3D needs it.



moosa said:

I just put down my 3DS after playing a bit. I have average-sized adult hands, and the thing is too small and rectangular...

Also, it's not really Nintendo's fault that there aren't many games. What have third parties released since the end of the launch window? RE Mercenaries. That's it.



R-L-A-George said:

@Some_of_the_comments_above_me I've thought about the design of 3DS, I think if they placed the second joypad on the opposite side of the current one in the same position might work nicely and be a wise design choice.(Simulating by using the mind is not that hard). I don't know why people are calling the current 3DS bulky, it the same size of the DS Lite, man some people can be too spoiled to have any logic. If thats not the final design for the attachment, they may have a smaller design in mind.



BJQ1972 said:

It's just an add on to increase functionality for one game - read the many comments online about painful hands after playing Monster Hunter PSP with your hand in a claw like position for hours.

Is the Wii Zapper hard wired to the remote now or is it still a removable peripheral? Is the DS paddle controller now integrated in a DS redesign? No.

Does the fact the Remote+ now exists render the Remote/motion+ combo obsolete? No.

Did any of the redesigns of consoles such as the DS, Xbox360 or PS3 render previous versions obsolete? No.

So why does everybody assume that this circle pad expansion means that a redesign of the 3DS is not only imminent, but will render the existing 3DS obsolete?

Is it not possible that if you take the time to relax, drink a cup of tea, put your feet up that you may realise that you are all overreacting a little bit?



Wheels2050 said:

@iPruch: I disagree about not needing a second analogue stick for FPS and the like. (I should qualify this by saying I much, much prefer to play games on the PC with KB+M). The D-Pad + touch screen may work well in some cases, but I don't think it's the most portable of control schemes. If I'm in a car or bus or something, dual-analogue would be much better.

Having said that, the touch screen + dpad works quite well if I'm sitting at home on the couch or somewhere where I can rest the console. I wouldn't go so far as to call someone else's preference 'ridiculous' though.



ThomasBW84 said:

@JimLad - um, no that was a news article bringing you info as it was happening. This is a feature article where we share some of our views on the news, with some specific ideas to think about.

Nothing wrong with sharing our own ideas on a weekend, is there?



Retroking1981 said:

The GBA rumble pak isnt a big enough deal to mention althoug I would say that the N64 ram expansion is, it was required to play quite a few games including a Zelda.



iPruch said:

@Wheels2050: I prefer to play FPS on the PC with keyboard and mouse too, there is no better way to play FPS. And that's why I don't buy FPS for home or portable consoles (excluding some punctual cases, like Dementium or Metroid which is not exactly an first person shooter but a "first person adventure" or so, but the control does not differ much from typical FPS').

Apart from this, what I qualified of 'ridiculous' is not the preference of anyone who wants to play with two sticks, but the decision of Nintendo to not include a second stick from the beginning and release now a peripheral that will make our 3DS' uncomfortable and obsolete. Not to mention that this will probably culminate in a 3DS redesign in order to include the aforementioned second stick 'natively' because they didn't thought of it before. I would also qualify of 'ridiculous' that Capcom had created in their users the need of a second stick for controlling the camera in a series (Monster Hunter) which is third-person based where a good semi-automatic camera (anyone knows Zelda?) could overcome that 'problem'.

And hey! We are talking about PORTABLE gaming. Why everyone want's to do it so complicated? I always preferred portable consoles even to play at home because is so much more simple and comfortable, but now everyone want's an ultimate-PC like portable console no matter the size or the comfortability. If anyone want's to play with two sticks, with mouse and keyboard, with wheel and pedals or with an ultra good-looking screen and graphics, PC's and home consoles are what you are looking for. Want it portable? Sony likes this approach, so get a PSP or PS Vita, but don't pressure Nintendo to do crap addons and redesigns, because the jeopardized are the ones who bought the 3DS for what it was announced to be (and it was announced WITHOUT that second stick, and all the people who has 3DS and is blaming about this knew it, so It doesn't make sense).



Monkeh said:

Ever since they announced this piece of ****, I'm done with Nintendo.

If they really seem to like taking their customers in the ass this badly, than I don't want to buy any of their crap any more.



Bass_X0 said:

Ever since they announced this piece of ****, I'm done with Nintendo.

Why? Its not like they're making all games use it or even games you have to play. Just ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist. Stick to the games and things that you do like.



ThumperUK said:

@BJQ1972 - very well said!!

Too many people are again throwing toys out of their prams over an attachment for Monster Hunter. Wait until next week - I bet there will NOT be any announcement about a redesigned 3DS.

All markets have reported a massive increase in sales following the price drop, no commercial company would redesign something so soon unless it was to refund 8 million 3DS owners.

Also good message by iPruch - I don't get some people's obsession that their portable games machine has to be as complex as the home console version (Sony did this with the original PSP and look how badly it did in comparison as a result.....would have been even worse if not for Monster Hunter!).



pntjr said:

I'm sick of all this crap for the 2nd ananlog stick. It's probably only gonna be used for MHTG. If you don't like it, don't buy it. I know, the 3DS could've been released next year, but they didn't. Nintendo doesn't care about you. Even if there's a big movement for "Anti dual analog pads" Nintendo will still release it, if you like it or not. DEAL WITH IT



Saeros_Fae_Falla said:

Being that the 3DS can display 3D without glasses, it should have had a second analog stick to begin with. I believe that Nintendo planned on making the 3DSLite have dual analog, because they thought the 3DS would sell. The peripheral came out of nowhere though. I think maybe this could have had something to do with the delay of kid Icarus. Just a thought.



NintyMan said:

I'm not concerned about the add-on for a number of reasons. One, it might only be used on FPSs, Monster Hunter, and Kid Icarus: Uprising, so it possibly being for everything is unlikely, especially compared to the Motion Plus. Two, I have a 3DS now and am not afraid of a new model coming in the future. And three, how I can judge a product without actually trying it out myself in person? It looks different, but would it feel different?



Wildvine53 said:

After giving this some thought, I don't think we'll be seeing a redesigned 3DS with a second circle pad. Like other Nintendo add ons, it will probably be under supported. Even if it looks ugly, I can't judge it until I've actually tried it.



thebrickknight said:

It sucks to see nintendo struggling after they had dominated the handheld market for all of these years. :/



Glade said:

Ummm is this what they call consumerism??? They leave something out so thay you can buy it seperately or purchase an entiely new product (apple does it every year)?? Anyway... it has its uses... but it shouldn't be something required for the games coming later on... (MG3DS should have this!!) Still, so far it's only known to be used for the MH3g which MIGHT not even be localized...



rjejr said:

Ugly. And if they are going to make it cover the entire bottom then it should also cover the entire top as it already looks like a Nerf case. How many people don't use cases? (I don't have a 3DS but my 2 sons each has a DSi and Nerf case - 1 blue, 1 green on white DSi so we can tell them apart.) I was in Target yesterday looking for iPod battery backups and saw a lot of iPhone cases that also look like this so hopefully they stick some extra juice in there as well.

And yes, the Wiimote Plus is severely underutilized. Even moreso as they now sell the Wii with Kart instead of Sports Resort. If only MH uses this then it doesn't matter how useless or ugly it is.



McGruber said:

I think the real issue is Nintendo's unwillingness to embrace basic modern gaming trends like a regular controller, 2 analog sticks, online, graphics. It's great that they are innovating and finding new ways to play games, but at the same time they are alienating people who want to be able to play games the standard way. That's why the Wii U controller isn't attracting any of the people who love their PS3's and 360s



SKTTR said:

It's ok. I don't have 3DS because I can wait until there are games I want, so I'm good with anything that makes the system better.



McGruber said:

SKTTR you are a smart (wo?)man. I really wish I would have waited at this point. Especially since it looks like Nintendo is admitting they messed up by leaving that 2nd analog off.

On 1 hand I hope they do make the 2nd analog standard in the next edition of 3DS, but on the other hand I am angry because I payed $250 for a system that will not have the same basic features of 1 that is $80 cheaper...



charly_rozen said:

Indeed, after Wii and DS i will never buy another Nintendo console until see the last revision (hardware version) and last price drop. I don't care anymore to be the first in buy it. 3DS will take the same path that DS (a lot of revisions) and Wii U to for sure. Sorry Nintendo.



Maggots said:

HERE's THE FACTS... Because motion plus was indeed an OPTIONAL device no developers cared to do anything with it... why make a game that would be optional... So when I hear people say "I HOPE THE 3DS DOESN'T GET A REDESIGN ZOMG" ... i cringe... because I hope exactly the opposite... the faster the redesign comes out the faster people will #1 get over it and #2 the faster developers will realize this second stick is not an option and they will develop games for it... the longer it takes for that second circle pad to become part of the system itself... the longer it will take for developers to take it seriously and develop games that utilize it. If Nintendo does happen to release a new 3DS in the next 6 months... it's not a horrible thing... all the old 3DS's will be compatible with the new games via this ugly add on... so stop assuming that a re-design is such a horrible thing... and that nintendo is out to screw us all over...



BJQ1972 said:

@Lionsgate - that was meant to be humorous, right - about Nintendo's unwillingness to embrace modern gaming trends? You are talking about The same Nintendo that pioneered the diamond shaped button layout, analogue sticks, rumble, touch screen games, and up until the last generation always exceeded their competitor's consoles in terms of power?



accc said:

The second joystick on 3DS is going to be completely worthless, the touchscreen and gyro sensor both provide far more accurate means of secondary control, and unlike a right-hand thumbstick, they don't severely limit the number of button-controlled functions you can perform at the same time that they're in use. I can't imagine why anybody would even want this. It's an extremely dated method of control and needs to be phased out as soon as possible.



Token_Girl said:

I'm just going to be ticked if a redesign comes out and there are games I want that require a second analog stick (or the backup control scheme is so poorly implemented that you need it). I am happy there is an add on like this for my lefty friends. Hopefully it will work with other games for them.



Sam_Loser2 said:

I have had the original Nintendo DS since a few months after it came out. I never had the need to upgrade to a DS lite, DSi, or DSiXL for a good six or seven years because any game sold for the later systems were playable on my original. Finnally my waiting paid off and I got the next generation 3DS without needlessly upgrading my DS. So if the new 3DS revison is like the lite was, I'm perfectly fine. But if a new system comes along that renders my hard-earned 3DS obsolete before a year and a half has passed, then I will probally lose all faithin Ninty. Suckering us into buying a system that will only last a couple years at the most is a low move.



Ristar42 said:

I found the reaction a bit over the top... I really doubt there will be a two stick redesign, but if there is, good for people who enjoy Monster Hunter or those as yet to be produced 3DS fps games.

If I decide to get into that genre, I suppose I could buy the add-on. Now, when is the 'arcade stick' attachment coming out?



TKOWL said:

Wow, loosing your faith in Nintendo because of an optional add-on?

You people are pathetic.



Hokori said:

this is no different then the GB Link Cable and the Wireless adapter

did anyone say ohhhh GBA shoulda had the wireless adapter to begin with?



wildMissingnoappered said:

They should just:
1.Release the circle pad add on and then..
2. Next year release a redesign with it attached
All us already with our 3DS can just buy the add on and the lazys can get the redesign next year.
Its not that hard



armoredghor said:

I'm guessing we're going to hear more complaints but no good games, overpriced, and forced upgrades despite the announced wall of franchises, R&D due to brand new visual tech, and the fact that nintendo has never used dual stick views for previous consoles.



Markystal said:

I think a second circle pad should have been included from the beginning. Although, I would think to get one if it looks better than what the scans have shown. The scans just plain look horrible.



BulbasaurusRex said:

FPS: Gyroscope Turning
Soccer (or Hockey, etc.): Touchscreen Precision Passing
3rd Person Action/Adventure: Keep the camera mostly in an over-the-shoulder viewpoint with manual camera control accessed with L/R + Circle Pad when you want/need to look around.



FluttershyGuy said:

I'm dreading this announcement. One I should be looking forward to as a Nintendo fan. I'll say this: I'll be one pi**ed off brony if they announce a redesigned 3DS with a second stick/better battery life this soon. To have an inferior 3DS 6 months after I paid full price... No.

Plus without that second stick, you may be disadvantaged with some games. Nintendo is looking foolish now, and punishing early adopters for rushing the 3DS MONTHS before it was a finished product.

How is anybody supposed to trust Nintendo enough to buy a system at launch ever again? They've lost credibility with me. I wouldn't, but I could see some crying "boycott" and/or "lawsuit" over all the radical moves in a short time period.



MetalMario said:

I actually have a DS Rumble Pak, didn't use it at all really, except for PiT.

Can't wait for a 3DS.



Doma said:

Because of the lack of good games (that aren't ports/remakes), i'm waiting on the redesign myself. Early 2012 is my prediction.



GeekiestGuyAround said:

Hmm... I haven't finished paying mine. But, if a new 3DS does come out, I might buy it, instead of buying that thing. Anyway, the only game known thus far to support the second Circle Pad is MH3G, and Capcom has stated that they currently have no plans to localise it. That's depressing.



Slapshot said:

The big thing that so many are willing to quickly dismiss, and many other are quickly picking up on; is the fact that the second analog stick brings the 3DS up the the industry standard that developers are used to develop for. But, what does this mean?

Firstly, the 3DS has the power to play Gamecube games, but why can't it. You guessed it, the lack of dual analogue sticks. This is why the 3DS is getting N64 ports, as the games have already been developed with the one analogue stick set-up found on the 3DS. Add in the second analogue stick to the 3DS and we'll be seeing 3D games like: Super Mario Sunshine, Battalion Wars, Beyond Good and Evil, Geist, Metroid Prime Series, Pikmin, SSX 3, Star Wars Rogue Squadron, and TimeSplitters to name but a few, possibly coming to the 3DS. I mean, who wouldn't want a dual analogue Metroid Prime 3D to play on their 3DS, that plays exactly as well on a portable as it does on the Gamecube?

This means that if the majority of games developed for the system will use the second analog stick - why wouldn't they, it makes camera controls better tenfold - then the 3DS will actually need a relaunch. This would create a spit within the system early in its life; games launched before the redesign being incapable of using the second analog stick and the majority of games created post relaunch actually being unplayable on the early design without using the bulky peripheral. Some are even claiming that Nintendo should promptly give the consumers an update if their is a redesign coming in the near future, and if so, then pull of the current 3DS models off the store shelves immediately.

Either 3DS should have been released with dual analogue support, or this peripheral shouldn't have been green-lit for development. It seems that in the process of Nintendo trying to acquire another Monster Hunter title, they very well could end up damaging the reputation of their newly released console.

At the same time though, the additional analogue stick could quickly skyrocket the 3DS's play-ability and bring Gamecube style games to a handheld, and truly create an ultimate Nintendo handheld. Every peripheral that's ever been released for any Nintendo system prior to this has been a gimmick add-on. Wii Motion Plus only betters the motion control experience moderately, but not enough for developers to run out and start going crazy with it. This is the first peripheral that's ever been developed for a Nintendo system that brings the system - not a cheap controller - to the industry standard, and is why it's making such a fuss.



AVahne said:

I prefer if the reason for this add-on is solely for MH3G and for Wii U use, and that's all.



DarkKirby said:

Nintendo had grew way too overconfident by making the 3DS in a way that would be hard for developers to develop for (this is the Wii), despite making it supposedly hard play pirated games (which was the incentive to make games for it). Practically all modern 3 dimensional games use a 2nd analog for camera control. Why make a system in which you are forcing developers to figure out an entirely new control scheme to make 3D games work out for (it didn't work out for the PSP, it's not going to work for you!), and in addition have limited buttons? Yes, the touch screen CAN make up for this, but you are FORCING the developers to make something they are afraid may not work, instead of using what they already know works. And considering development costs for 3DS games is much much higher then less then a GB DS games companies are afraid of releasing things that might not work. Same with the region lock.You are pissing off customers, and in addition region lock decreases much more sale opportunities then it does protect corporate interests. When Sony, who made it into law that if you modify the system you purchased from them you can be arrested, isn't region locking and you are, you're going too far. Companies don't trust the masses of people who are telling them what they will pay for? How about the masses of people who are actually PAYING to import something? That enough proof something will sell in a country? I can only hope Metal Gear Solid 3 isn't so far into development that they can't incorporate this 2nd circle pad option into the controls and you can forgo the PSP controls.



K964 said:

Why all the hate? It's optional!
On a seperate note: If MGS uses it, I'll get it.



axis1500 said:

I have to say I facepalmed when I saw this attachment. I bought a 3DS day one and this is the first time I've felt annoyed with Nintendo.

By releasing this stick, they've shown that they have no confidence in their console. Also, just when sales were picking up, they've stopped people from buying the current 3DS because everyone is waiting for a twin stick redesign.

I absolutely refuse to attach this thing to my system. The 3DS doesn't need two sticks and I refuse to play any game that requires it.



XD375 said:

I hope this includes a better D-pad. Jacob Crites had it right when he said it was too clicky and stiff. Pokémon games are unplayable on my friend's 3DS due to this, so I can't imagine how badly platformers have it.



TheGreenSpiny said:

@maggots: I'm sorry but there is absolutely no need for a revision. The fact is I don't want dual analog. I can't stand it on a home console, I sure as hell don't want it on my 3DS.

@slapshot: There is an easy solution to this "gamecube" dilemma: USE THE TOUCH SCREEN!. Half of those games you mentioned don't even use dual analog. Seriously people need to stop making excuses for lazy developers. Who the hell wants more ports to system that already criticized for not having enough original games. Hell this damn perephrial is made for another damn port. A dual analog Metroid Prime? No thank you. They never made one of those and hopefully they never will. Why would I want a game that controls worse than it's DS predecessor?

@70 Dark Kirby: Nobody is forcing the developers to do anything. They are just being lazy. At this point you can just copy any number of existing control schemes from both the DS, PSP or some other console.



Traxx said:

As many of you already stated, this 2nd stick should have already been included in the first 3DS' version. In a rare occassion, IGN precisley pointed out the problem with this new standard (if Nitnendo wants it to be a standard). How will Nintendo market this new add-on? What will be the effects on the 3DS' re-design successor regarding layout and release date? How will the mass market and early adopters react to this new 3DS after they happily bought an apparently "flawed" first version?



Noire said:

@Slapshot: Not to be picky, but none of the games in the Metroid Prime series needed more than one stick. In the Gamecube games the second stick was used to choose beam weapons, something that's just as easy to do with a touch screen.



Slapshot said:

@MechaPhoenix I remember the original Prime did that, but I thought that the second game was dual analog. My memory might be failing me on that one though. Regardless, dual analog controls are standard for FPS/TPS shooters on the market and there will be loads of them coming to Vita. If 3DS does acquire this second analogue stick, then it will be getting ports of these games - among all the other types of games - from the PS Vita too. It will expand the games category immensely and that is a great thing, is it not? In this downed economy, a simple port over to the 3DS from Vita is more likely to make it, than them having to redesign the controls to fit the systems limitations.

Just for the record though to let you guys know; I wish this peripheral didn't exist as well. I think the 3DS is just fine as it is and doesn't need it. Games like WayForward's upcoming Centipede 3D , Mighty Switch Force and Pilotwings 64 are what I want on my 3DS.



ueI said:

If so many games were made for the DS, which didn't have ANY analogue sticks, developers should have no problems with the 3DS, which has one.



TheChosen said:

This thing has been blown out of its proportions, this...."Nubageddon", as Jonathan Holmes over at the Destructoid said.



TheGreenSpiny said:

@78 Slapshot: MP2 had the same controls scheme as MP. It used the second analog stick to switch weapons. Some of those other games you mentioned don't use it either. Rogue Squadron never used it except for the third game, which it only used for the turret guns on the Millenium Falcon. Battalion Wars used it to select units, which of course would much easier with the touch screen anyway. Pikmin used it to zoom the camera in and out between 3 presets, something that can easily be done with buttons. I could keep going but I think you get the point. You also forgot to point out that we're getting more than N64 ports/remakes. Splinter Cell 3D and MGS 3D are both last gen ports as well. If anything I will take some more N64 remakes over those because most of those games have not aged well and could use a graphical overhaul. Gamecube games I can easily play on my Wii which makes 3DS ports kind of pointless.

As far as ports from the Vita are concerned, I don't want those. Much like I don't care for the watered down HD ports on Wii. If the Vita is that much more powerful than the 3DS we'd just end up getting gimped ports. The touch screen is a much better option than a second analog stick, much like the Wii Remote and Nunchuk (or the Move) are better options for FPS on a console.

I didn't buy a 3DS because I said "Oh, man look at all those awesome ports!" I bought one to play original games built for the ground up for the system. Resident Evil Revelations was the big reason I bought the system, and while I'm a bit dissappointed it doesn't use touch screen aiming, but judging from my time with the demo and the Mercenaries game it will control well enough.

I don't agree with this quantity over quality approach. It didn't work on the Wii and it won't work on the 3DS. I was happy that the 3DS didn't have two circle pads so developers would try to shoe horn any old crap onto the 3DS.



Slapshot said:

@TheDarkness It's been awhile since I've revisited those Gamecube games, so my memory easily failed me. Wii's Metroid Prime: Corruption and it's motion controls were the best for the series in my opinion. I do agree with you though and if you read my post to completion, I clearly stated that "I wish this peripheral didn't exist as well."

As for Vita ports, so many people say that they don't care for ports, but it's the third party game ports that would add big value to the 3DS: Shinibido 2, Gravity Rush, BioShock, etc., are all creative games and need the second analogue stick. If those games released on 3DS, I seriously don't think we'd hear many complaints from 3DS owners.

As for Splinter Cell on 3DS, received a 4/10 here at NintendoLife, and the "lack of a second analogue stick" was one of the games major faults. Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater is also a game that would benefit highly from a second analogue stick as well.

To make a long story short, the old saying: "It's six one way, half dozen the other" fits the bill nicely here. The only thing we can do is sit back and see what happens and hope for the best.



Nin-freak said:

One thing is missing from the article. This add-on will give the 3DS full capability to be used as a Wii U controller.



ueI said:

I didn't buy a 3DS just to use as a wiiU controller. If that's a major reason for the second analogue, I don't see myself making use of it.



ThomasBW84 said:

@Nin-freak - You're right, good point! It will be interesting if they get that to work.

My focus was more on the issue of timing, and a concern that this could be another peripheral that gathers dust. I think it could have parallels to MotionPlus if there aren't enough games that utilise it, as my MotionPlus has done nothing for a long time; looking forward to Skyward Sword though

If this peripheral is an acknowledgment of an initial design oversight in missing the second stick, I'm a bit worried that a new 3DS model will actually arrive in 2012. Of course the 3DS will eventually be remodelled, but if it's released too quickly it could upset a lot of consumers. Not even necessarily the earliest adopters, but people who buy a 3DS this Christmas, for example.



Slapshot said:

@ThomasBW84 I truly hope that it collects dust too. Like the others, I enjoy the way that games are created for the DS/3DS and I don't feel that there is a need for the second analogue stick. Though I do see that there are some real benefits to the addition, I like my 3DS just the way that it is.

I actually just paid up my preorder for WayForward's DS game Aliens: Infestation, and guess what? It need a grand total of Zero Analogue Sticks to play it!



TheGreenSpiny said:

@slapshot: Hey man you can't have your cake and eat it too! I agree the MP series controlled best on Wii followed by Hunters on the DS. Bioshock doesn't need a second analog stick, they made FPS for the DS that control better than home console games why would I want to take steps backwards? 3DS owners wouldn't complain? You do realize that gamers are the whiniest b!tches on the planet right? ; ) People complained about the Wii's watered down and sometimes downright awful HD ports, I just don't care to see that here. It will only hurt the system in the long run.

Most of the time that "need" for the second analog stick is due to laziness on the developers part. As I said with MH, it's capcom's refusal to create a half decent auto camera system for the game. It's this "fall in line/ me too" attitude that is killing the games industry. People keep saying that dual analog is the "standard." I call BS. Every system has it's own standards. Just because Sony and MS want to play follow the leader, doesn't mean Nintendo has to.



Wolfenstein83 said:

I think this add-on is un-necessary, and will most likely drain the already low battery life of the 3DS.
How would the addition of another analog/circle pad make any significant difference?
Plus, I don't really care much for the rumble feature, I think it's annoying.
The 3DS is fine the way it is, why mess with it now?
I bet Nintendo will release a newer model down the road with this stuff built in anyways, and hopefully with a longer battery life too.
I think they should make a console that rumbles, you know, like the Wii could sit there and rumble where it sits, that would be just as useful.
Oh and, Secret Scoop get!



armoredghor said:

@TheDarkness It's not so much whether it controls better, it's what's easier to develop. Gearbox didn't build games for the Wii, not because of a vendetta but because it just takes too much work to build an engine and then lessen an engine, graphics, and rework an entire control scheme when the 360 and PS3 are so similar, that few adjustments need to be made. It's just more work develop a touch screen aiming system that may be new to some people than to just use an old easy to port interface.



shinobi88 said:

NO idea why Nintendo fanboys are up in arms about this. Let's doesn't remove ANYTHING from the 3DS while adding an XTREMELY crucial element, aka an extra input method. Specifically, a 2nd stick, which is something that EVERY 3rd party publisher has grown comfortable with over the last 10 years. In the long run, this new peripheral will mean more quality 3rd party software on 3DS. And a system's legacy is built on its software, NOT its hardware...or add-ons. And I hope they get out a new model w/ this built in b/c that would be a lot sexier than the current system that scratches itself and has a bulky thing attached to its butt.



SpaceKappa said:

Hm. If the 3DS had launched to critical acclaim, sold out everywhere consistently and been every bit as awesome as Nintendo had said it'd be, I would NOT be concerned about this.

However, that's not the case, and evidence has shown time and time again how rushed the 3DS was. As a day-one adopter who was already burned by an immediate price SLASH, now when an attachment is being provided to compensate for the device's shortcomings, I'm afraid I'm going to get burned AGAIN next year when a new model is launched with the extra circle pad and shoulder button built in.

As it stands, I'm very much hoping that this is more of a Capcom attachment than a Nintendo one.



shinobi88 said:

Do you understand how STUPID that logic is? You are saying that you'd rather have Nintendo NOT improve its hardware and software lineup than do something that bothers you. EVERY early adopter knew that a hardware revision would come, unless you're completely oblivious to history (gb-gba-gba SP, ds-ds lite, dsi, dsi XL). Every Nintendo hardware revision has guaranteed bigger or better screens, sleeker designs, and better battery life. Tell me again why you don't want that? Oh...that's right, you have no logical or intelligent reason besides your feelings are hurt. PLEASE grow up a little.



190halo said:

blarg ... if they come out with a new model that would just suck ah want a refund and my ambassador games still



190halo said:

oh and person up there yeah shinobi88 choo ... either you don't have a 3ds or you have a larger income then the average 15 year old like meh



190halo said:

or if they come out with a new system this soon I at least hope more free games are at bay foo meh...



Ultronator said:

Nintendo's primary method of control (Wiimote + nunchuck) for the Wii generation didn't need a second analog stick. Why do they all of a sudden think it's so critical to have one now? It almost seems as if the second analog stick is Nintendo's knee jerk reaction to not many people caring for the 3D aspect of the system. I can almost hear some top-ranking Nintendo exec saying, "Oh, the 3D is no longer a touted feature, so we need to add something else so the 3DS can have at least X cool features, otherwise, it'll never sell!" I say they shouldn't even bother with it. I think the 3DS has enough interesting features on its own that developers are going to be plenty interested in producing games for it.



DarkKirby said:

@People who say the 2nd analog stick for camera control and extra shoulder buttons isn't necessary.

Your right, it COULD have been worked around with the touch screen, but why should it have to be when everyone knows the 2nd analog works so well, already is used to using the 2nd analog stick, and the developers are comfortable with making 3D games with a 2nd analog for camera control in mind? For people who say even that isn't necessary, Zelda has always made it work, keep in mind combat in Zelda was never the point of the game, the combat is never difficult, and the number of enemies that can actually potentially kill you that you have to deal with at 1 time is often low. I've played many 3rd person action games, and not having a 2nd analog is always a hassle, especially for games where that combat is NOT easy and you are being swarmed by decently difficult enemies on all sides. And first person games (not just FPS), you can use the stylus but then 1 entire hand can do nothing but that. I actually prefer mouse (and my gaming mouse has 8 buttons, that can be customized) and keyboard controls over 2 analog stick controls for FP games, but I'd still pick 2 analog stick controls over stylus controls. MANY PSP 3rd person games suffer from "I can't see where I need to see" and "leap of faith platforming", and some on the Wii like Epic Mickey suffer badly from the camera constantly force panning to where the game thinks you should be looking, even if that's not where you want to go and resulting in blind jumps. Even a game like Bayonetta with lock on, there are so many enemies around you at a time, spinning and spamming lock would be a hassle over simply facing the enemy you want before locking on, and often you need to position yourself before locking on, in which the 2nd analog helps immensely. Or a game like Infamous 1 or 2 that has no lock on period, not just exploring and getting from place to place, aiming without a 2nd analog would be a nightmare.



SBOY said:

But those revision didn't cut out some game from my old version of the GBA or DS hardware... This may (maybe) cut out some game... And they cut the price + put out a new color but will come out with a revision after the 3DS goes up... I'm not crying over this but as a Nintendo fan I'm confuse and the next time I will probably wait 2 years after an hardware came out to be sure they won't cut out my chance of playing a game because they forgot somethings...
ANSWER to QUOTE from @shinobi88 ---
EVERY early adopter knew that a hardware revision would come, unless you're completely oblivious to history (gb-gba-gba SP, ds-ds lite, dsi, dsi XL). Every Nintendo hardware revision has guaranteed bigger or better screens, sleeker designs, and better battery life.



shinobi88 said:

seriously bro...are you drinking? all this add-on does is add 2 buttons. so...what games could POSSIBLY EVER get cut out by this. Um...extremely obviously answer is: NONE.

by the way, those other nintendo revisions DID cut out old games or make new games inaccesible. The DSi removed the GBA slot from the DS, so you CAN'T play GBA games on a DSi even though you could on a DS Lite. And you can't play DSiWare games on a DS Lite. So those are two examples where hardware revisions DID cut off games. But all this current revision will do is add a 2nd stick, make the system smaller than the original 3DS + add-on, make both screens a lil bigger, and increase batter life. Takes very few brain cells to not see that as a great thing.

anymore ridiculous reasons you guys are complaining that I need to put down??



CreaterCurator said:

a new re-design would be better than having a clunky add-on weigh down your system. Also, the game "Portal" for the 3ds would be awesome! especially when you gain momentum from traveling through portals!



TheGreenSpiny said:

@shinobi88: Hardware revisions have never come at the cost gaming funtionality. The GB, GBA, or DS revisions did not add new buttons or control sticks of any kind. I'm not interested in lazy excuses from developers. They can choose to use the touch screen they just don't want too. It's bad enough how bad industry practices have gotten, it's even worse when gamers advocate for them. The Wii should have been the easiest platform to develop for, all they had to do was keep using tech that was developed for PS2/XBOX/GCN era, but that wouldn't allow them to shoehorn multiplatform games onto the system.

@darkkirby: You ever heard of a little game called God of War? That used the second analog stick for dodging. You never had camera controls of any kind. And you get horded by enemies in that game too. All the examples you listed are games that had terrible cameras. Much like MH which forces you to move a slow and clumsy camera all the time. None of those games ever should have been released with those terrible cameras in place. Developers just didn't put the time and effort into creating a proper one. Simply forgoing a proper camera system and having the gamer fiddle with it the entire game is laziness. Advocating for a second analog stick is telling developers it's okay to be lazy.

Part of the appeal of the 3DS was that it didn't have dual analog controls. If I had wanted those I would have saved my money for a Vita. Now it's back to the same old, same old .



shinobi88 said:

@TheDarkness, lay off the Mountain Dew. Take a chill pill. Something. Any one who is actually using their brain listen up. Touch controls will never be as efficient as buttons. Not humanly possible. Guaranteed problems: won't read 100% of your inputs, doesn't read 100% of your inputs. Those are kind of major announcements. If you played Metroid Prime Hunters, whether you like to admit it or not, you had jagged movements when you tried to aim. If you played a game using the face buttons as a camera, you know that is not as fluid moving as a stick. If you played a game w/ a fixed camera, you will notice at least 50 instances in any game where the camera didn't look exactly where you wanted, and in 100% of the games you didn't have total control of where you wanted to look. Nintendo games are still 2D at heart, so no need for dual sticks. But for 3rd part 3rd and 1st person games, you NEED dual sticks. Otherwise you're purposely not living the best life possible.

Btw, show me ANY system that has touch or motion controls AND dual sticks and DOESN'T incorporate touch or motion and button control. Easy answer: there isn't any. A 2nd stick doesn't signal the end of touch controls. Quit living in the Mushroom Kingdom people. This is a lil place called Real Life



DarkKirby said:

@102. TheDarkness

You're using God of War as an example? Play Bayonetta and then come back and tell me how "great" God of War was. God of War was a button masher, and your basic, and best weapon, the Blades of Chaos (and its copies) required no thinking to attack enemies with, and the attack was wide and meant to sweep up large amounts of WEAK enemies.



SuperSonic said:

As long as people who already have a 3DS can get the add on for free or 70% off the remodeled one.

All of this "extra analogue" and "core games" makes me think: What would a Mario first person shooter be like?



TheGreenSpiny said:

@shinobi88: I think you need a little Mountain Dew yourself, maybe that caffeine will get the blood flowing to brain so you can have a decent thought for a change. I have played Metroid Prime Hunters... along with Dementium, Moon, Dementium 2, CoD Modern Warfare, and CoD WaW. The reason Hunters had jagged movements was because it runs at 30 fps, not 60. Dementium 1 & 2, and Moon ran a 60 fps and had much smoother controls. Funny because I've never had the touch screen not read my inputs ever, not in any of the above mentioned games. Don't blame game developers for lack of gaming skills. Truthfully you can find fifty instances where the camera won't look where you wanted to even in games when you can control the camera. No game is perfect. Nintendo games are 2D at heart? Where's the logic behind that statement? Again you don't need dual sticks. The fact that they made FPS for the DS makes your argument null and void. I will never argue however that Zelda and Starfox are better on the DS, because in truth they have crap controls. Stop being so terrified of change, or of something new and different.

It's this kind of dumb "me too" attitude that has flushed gaming down the toilet. By claiming that everything has "standards" sets a dangerous precedent. OMG it's a FPS/TPS is HAS to have dual analog it HAS to have online multiplay... Really did anyone care about the multiplayer for Dead Space 2? Bioshock 2? MGS3? Funny I haven't heard one person ask whether or not that would be included in the 3DS version of the game. Nobody cares really. I guess MGS3 sucks because it isn't up the "standards" for modern shooters.

Here's a idea stop bending over and taking it balls deep from major corperations. It's never okay for people to pay money for half finished products. It's okay that the game I paid $60 for is a buggy unplayable POS, they're gonna release an update in 3 weeks! It's okay that my 360 just RROD'd, it's gotta 2 year warranty! It's okay that Nintendo wants to add this crap attachment to the 3DS, we all know that they were gonna update it next year anyway! Seriously. When does it end?

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