It seemed inevitable that Nintendo would give us a new version of the 3DS. However, while everyone assumed a redesign would mean the inclusion of a second circle pad, it seems Nintendo has other ideas.
The 3DS has just been announced. Much like the DSI XL, it will feature a 90% larger screen size than the original 3DS. It also features a better battery life extending play by approximately an hour. US citizens will be getting nice Mario esq red and blue models and Europe will also get a silver model. It will be coming to western shores at around $200 so we aren't looking at a mega price jump. The biggest face palm inducing factor is the lack of a second circle pad. Considering the Circle Pad Pro debacle which sent many gamers into a tirade, you would think Nintendo would have thought to include it in the XL model.....surely there was space? This is a major flaw because it restricts certain games for the XL. MGS3D is the obvious candidate as it has been frequently noted that the game is significantly poorer without the second circle pad. Other games such as Resident Evil Revelations have also been noted for showing an improved gameplay experience with the second circle pad. So why have Nintendo done this? A cynical part of me wonders if they would bring out a Circle Pad Pro XL but considering the lukewarm response to the peripheral in the first place, not to mention the difficulty in finding one to buy, this seems unlikely. A more annoying conclusion would be that Nintendo are not focusing the 3DS on hardcore games. So titles like MGS3d and Resident Evil Revelations, which gave hard core gamers hope that the 3DS would supply a stream of quality titles, may in fact be rarer than we once thought. This is further re-enforced by the lack of quality titles on the horizon. As an early supported of the 3DS it saddens me to see Nintendo seemingly following the strategies that made the DS a casual gamer's hand held. What the industry doesn't need right now is a string of crap clogging up the shelves. The casual gaming market is waning rapidly. Wii's are gathering dust and adult DS users have long left their Brain Training behind. Nintendo cleverly caught a big wave but if they aren't careful, they may well wipe out and get eaten by a big shark. Surfing metaphor....yeah!