Nintendo’s 3DS XL release was met with some reluctance. The bulky 3DS XL is difficult to carry, somewhat awkward, and seems to be moving away from today’s slim craze. Yet, there’s still a market for the 3DS XL. Driven by this demand, Nintendo has just created a revamped Circle Pad Pro. The Circle Pad Pro is an accessory for the 3DS XL that creates an additional control stick to the device. Nintendo debuted the Circle Pad Pro at the Tokyo Game Show.
Testing the Circle Pad Pro
Gamers in attendance at the recent Tokyo show had a first glance at the Circle Pad Pro. Thus far, the reviews are mediocre. The new Circle Pad Pro looks and acts like the old one. The main difference is the newer version has a different overall feel. It has to be noted that adding the Circle Pad Pro to an existing 3DS XL will make the handheld large. Very large. So large that you might not want to carry this device around with you. The back of the Circle Pad Pro wraps around the entire 3DS XL device creating a sort of large, plastic, black shelf. While the addition might be convienent if you intend to play on a table, it’s not exactly portable.
The new Circle Pad Pro mimics the built-in circle controller included with the 3DS XL. The idea here is to have two analog controllers on either side of the device. Dual controllers will give gamers more control over 3DS XL games. Nintendo’s idea is clear, but I’m not so sure that the gaming company thought this one through. After all, who wants an accessory that adds a great deal of girth to an already large product? There’s also a design flaw at play here.
The original Circle Pad Pro had a problem. This accessory blocked the 3DS XL’s Stylus slot. Nintendo’s newly updated Circle Pad Pro has the same problem. You still can’t reach your Stylus without removing the entire accessory. Nintendo definitely overlooked this detail. In fact, the whole concept of the Circle Pad Pro seems to be overlooked. It’s tough to say something nice about this accessory. Nintendo could have added a second analog stick to the 3DS XL from the start. Or, the company could have made a smaller, more compact, more lightweight, accessory. Reviewers have stated that the new Circle Pad Pro is easy to use, but it still remains problematic.
Nintendo has announced pricing for the new accessory. A release date for the Circle Pad Pro also seems to be up in the air. But, the product has been devised, it is complete, and Nintendo is showing it around. All of these things may lead one to believe that Nintendo will be sending the updated accessory to market within the next few months. Whether or not the Circle Pad Pro will be available outside of Japan remains to be seen. What is more obvious is that Nintendo is trying to keep up with the tablet and notebook crowd by creating a gaming device that mimics what’s already on the market. The only problem here is that the 3DS XL isn’t a tablet or notebook, and it’s not much of a handheld either. The Circle Pad Pro just adds to the problem.