Last weeks announcement that Nintendo were once again supersizing their hand held was met with a chorus of “where the hell is the second circle pad???” The missed opportunity to not only include a second circle pad but also shoulder triggers seemed to highlight a lack of support for CPP compatible games, many of which suck without it.
Nintendo have responded to this however by doing exactly what they did before and releasing a second circle pad peripheral. The Circle Pad Pro XL has been confirmed in Japanese gaming mag Famitsu this month but what does this mean for the 3DS? Well, not much really. The 3DS never really took off until the huge price reduction last year. The 3DSXL is going to be coming back in near the £200 mark again so once again I think we will find that sales are poor. The added peripheral is just salt in the wound really.
What it comes down to is that few people are happy to go into a games store and spend the same amount of money on handheld as a full spec Xbox 360. The 3DS isn’t close to the power of the Xbox, nor the functionality. Surely something so small should reflect this, I mean we aren’t talking about something as advanced as an Iphone. People were happy enough with the price cut but why should the XL be so much more expensive?
In fairness, the issue of price is actually due to the UK retailers as Nintendo haven’t set the bar. I think it screams of greed and stupidity to think that the XL will bring in new customers. It may have worked with older customers who struggled with the small stylus and small screen of the DS, but there are no titles on the 3DS that will appeal to senior gamers at the moment (excluding the minority of bad ass grandparents who are down with the hard core).
As it stands, the 3DSXL seems little more than an attempt to relive the glory days of the DS rather than carve out it’s own destiny. It is reassuring that games with CPP support wont be penalised on the XL but this isn’t the droid we were looking for. The problem with the CPP isn’t so much that it does a bad job as it doesn’t. The problem is none of the cases fit around a 3DS with the CPP attached and no one wants to spend a further £15 for the ability to control the camera.