Nintendo 3DS XL: Whatever Happened to the Second Circle Pad?

In an interview with the British newspaper- The Independant; Saturo Iwata has explained how trying to fit a second Circle Pad onto the upcoming Nintendo 3DS XL would have been almost an impossibility.

How the new console is designed is that it is obviously bigger and brighter, but all the controls pretty much are in exactly the same place as it’s little brother- the Nintendo 3DS. The XL was designed for those people who have issues with the smaller screen and the overall smaller console size. It was not designed to put in a second Circle Pad, this is why the extention plate of the Circle Pad Pro is available out there to buy. As a handheld Nintendo fan, do I believe that the second analogue stick is needed? I don’t believe so unless you’re really hardcore into games like Resident Evil. I personally, am not. I play handheld consoles for my fix of cutesy games like Mario, Spyro, Kirby, Pokemon, Final Fantasy. Etc, etc. If I want the bigger games like my Dead Island, Walking Dead, Max Payne 3- that’s what I have my Xbox for.

It’s been stated by Iwata that the N3DS is sold these days at a manufactoring loss to the company. With the price slashes in the recent month after the slump in initial 3DS sales- it was something that Nintendo felt like they had to do with the ever-burdening of the other Japanese company Sony hot on their heels. The PS Vita has proven popular with people that like more intense games and want the whole dual-analogue stick gaming experience. But Nintendo is very keen to stay away from that market, for whatever reason.

The company has been dissed every which way of Sunday for not having more multiplayer stuff, lack of online content, lack of hardcore games, etc, etc. It doesn’t really look like Saturo Iwata cares much. With games like Pikmin 4 and Super Mario Bros Wii U coming out- they’re still aiming for the cutesy, casual angle as well as trying to squash some of the ‘casual-friendly console’ whispers with games like one-life ZombiU. And with having no second Circle Pad  on the 3DS XL, they are once again coming under a massive amount of pressure from the hardcore gaming market who want the 3DS XL to be more like a full sized console than a handheld one.

And with iOS now joining the handheld party, Nintendo are under even more strain to perform as a gaming company with their roots purely in the handheld market. Apple are big supporters of the digital distribution movement, with the appeal that you can buy a game on the App Store and download it straight to your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad. The games are cheaper than buying for the DS/3DS and there’s no extra expense, no boxes gathering dust or leaflets kicking about under your bed. Nintendo is attempting to embrace this by announcing both the New Super Mario Bros 2 and Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon going straight onto the eShop, as well as being available to purchase in store. Is this something that we will see more often with Nintendo? Who knows, I would imagine that they are testing the waters with some of their bigger, more popular titles to see how the whole system works out.

Nintendo obviously knows that they need to stay more consistent, but also be individual in the handheld gaming market to stand apart from the companies like Apple and Sony. But as to what they have planned, we have no idea at this point.

Posted on: July 14, 2012, by : Nickie Williams

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