3DS Circle Pad Attachment: Oh God, No
Bulky looking peripheral ruins the system's design.
There are certain things we wish never existed.
For now, the 3DS' new circle pad attachment is one of them.
When reports surfaced that Nintendo wanted to shoehorn another one of these "analog sticks" onto the system, we envisioned a tiny piece of plastic that sat on the touch screen, most likely in the bottom right corner. You know, something small and convenient.
So much for that idea. The popular Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu, has apparently lifted the curtain on what appears to be Nintendo's solution, and it isn't pretty.
What we have is some sort of bulky cradle that fits underneath the unit, putting the new circle pad all the way on the right, parallel to the face buttons; the device also adds an R2 button and blocks the Wi-Fi switch.
Furthermore, and judging from the photo, this second circle pad appears to be a bit smaller than the main one on the left, but it could be the angle.
We've yet to use one of these things, but it looks terrible. If Nintendo chooses to go with this design, it would add unnecessary bulk to the machine that may impair a person's ability to use the system effectively. We cannot envision playing games with one unless it served some dual function, like a portable battery charger and/or amplified external speaker. There, we just made it cool, sort of.
Good or no, this is just another story in the ongoing 3DS saga. One month, the portable appears to be on the right track. The next, it's in danger. We'll file this particular news under the latter.
This will also give rise to the 3DS redesign rumors suggesting the big N will discontinue the current model in favor of a dual stick unit. Ultimately, doing this would make the publisher appear mismanaged and wary of Sony's PlayStation Vita.
The best-case scenario? It's some sort of crude prototype that'll eventually wind up on the scrap heap, giving way to a more elegant solution.