Rant: Nintendo Explains 3DS XL’s Missing Second Circle Pad
I own a Nintendo 3DS. It’s a decent enough system, but it’s got its flaws, like any other gadget you might get. When the company finally announced the 3DS XL a few weeks ago, with its bigger screen and improved form factor, I was intrigued, if a little annoyed at the prospect of needing to upgrade so relatively soon after I bought the first thing.
But whether you’re interested or irritated at the prospect of a beefed up version of a console that’s only about a year and half old, there was one glaring omission from the 3DS XL: no second analogue circle pad.
The fact that the original 3DS’s lack of a second analogue input—now a standard for literally every other video game console that exists or will exist this year—was an issue became confirmed when the company released the “Circle Pad Pro” attachment for about $20 earlier this year. But with the upgraded hardware, the lack of a second pad seems like more than just an oversight…it seems like willful ignorance.
Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata explained the company’s reticence to add the pad to their new version of the 3DS in an interview with The Independent:
“When we looked at the design of the 3DS XL we had to look at various factors, one was battery life, one was the overall size of the unit, and we had to make some trade-offs. The choice, if we were going to include the second analogue stick, was to reduce the size of the batter[ies] or make the unit much bigger.
What we wanted to do was have a bigger screen in comparison with the overall size of the system, so [we] had various discussions and had to make trade-offs and this is the outcome.
Attaching a second analogue stick is possible but it would have made the system even bigger and, though it perhaps puts a burden on people that really want that second stick, it’s a call we had to make and these people will have to live with it.
This [the lack of a second stick] isn’t my main focus when I look at the 3DS XL, it’s one point we had to cover, but for me personally I’m quite happy with the product we’re able to offer.”
Just one thing really stuck out at me there: “it’s a call we had to make and these people will have to live with it.”
That is some stone cold bullshit right there.
What do you mean I’m going to have to “live with it”? Don’t you want me to buy your stupid system? Again? The system I already bought and paid for? And how is the system being bigger an issue? THE 3DS XL IS ALREADY A BIGGER SYSTEM. The whole point is that it’s bigger! What the heck am I missing?
I can appreciate that plenty of thought and testing and focus-grouping went into the creation of the 3DS XL, and that all these people have degrees in design and business, and I’m basically a professional troll who works in his pajamas. I get that there are some important differences between me and the people who work at Nintendo that make them qualified and make me an asshole.
But I have eyes, and I have hands. My eyes see that every system out there has a second analogue stick, and my hands really want to use that second analogue stick for all the games that they play. There’s no question that selling another Circle Pad Pro add-on is a cash-grab, plain and simple.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m mad about this.