Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is currently being enjoyed by many in Japan, while some Club Nintendo members in the West have also had an opportunity to put the demo through its paces over the past few days. It seems that fast paced brawling may not suit the 3DS as well as previously thought, however.
As you can see in the images above and below, gamers have been hitting up forums in Japan, particularly, to show how the rigours of Smash Bros. have damaged their Circle Pads. In some cases the whole pad comes apart, while on most occasions the rubber top comes off and leaves a semi-functional analogue controller underneath — plenty of pictures are of the standard model, though the XL has featured too. Problems with the Circle Pad have been reported in the past, but the impression seems to be that the new brawler has made the problem worse and more widespread.
It's impossible to tell, based on forum posts and tweets, what sort of percentage of 3DS owners are encountering Circle Pad problems with Smash Bros. in Japan — it's quite possibly a tiny minority. Even within the Nintendo Life team we've had some Circle Pad issues well before playing Smash Bros., with a bit of super glue being a useful fix in a crisis.
We're assuming that the final product will allow control customisation to switch out the D-Pad from taunts — as it is in the demo — to movement, to allow a bit of alternation and controller preservation. Be prepared to make some repairs if you get too carried away in Nintendo's upcoming fighting extravaganza.
Thanks to Benson Uii for the heads up.