It's real. Scans from the latest issue of Japanese magazine Famitsu have confirmed the Nintendo 3DS will receive a second analog stick as well as an extra pair of shoulder triggers with a bulky accessory. Yay, gamers and game developers win, right? Not exactly.
True, while the "cradle" or "dock" for the 3DS will make gaming on the struggling handheld more like gaming on home consoles, a few things are irking gamers across the Internet.
First, the "cradle" is kind of bulky, and actually — now this is subjective — a bit ugly. It's chunky and only makes the 3DS look even larger and fatter. Nobody likes adding more plastic on top of their handhelds. Why not just play console games then?
Second, the second Ciicle Pad is actually smaller than the 3DS one. Maybe that's not as important to some people, but a little symmetry doesn't hurt. A smaller Circle pad makes the attachment feel all the tacky.
Third, the cradle might be a Capcom-made accessory and not a product Nintendo plans to release widely. Think of this 3DS cradle like a controller and game bundle. So far, only one game has been confirmed for the accessory and that's Monster Hunter 3 (tri-)G. Capcom claims the second Circle Pad and extra L1 and R2 triggers will make playing Monster Hunter 3G feel more like gaming on the the Wii. Don't like Monster Hunter? Tough luck, for now.
Finally, there's the PS Vita. Comments across the web seem to be confused as to why Capcom or Nintendo even made such an add-on. Monster Hunter will make its way to Sony's PS Vita too, and that device already has two built-in analog sticks. Why buy the cradle when you can just wait and get the "superior" Vita version with PS3-graphics?
Let's not forget that the original Monster Hunter games on the PSP sold millions of copies and continue to sell in great quantities, and that handled only has one analog stick too. Is a second Circle pad really necessary for the 3DS? If if is, why didn't Nintendo built it directly into the 3DS in the first place?
Do Or Die
What this attachment oozes of is either: 1) differentiation or 2) desperation. Yeah, like most add-ons, it's only good for when a game supports it. However, gamers are sounding off that even developing any such attachment proves that the 3DS is flawed, with its single Circle pad.
We'll see how the reaction is when gamers actually get their hands on it (Tokyo Game Show is right around the corner). As of right now, I'm not really sold on a cumbersome add-on. What about battery life? The 3DS already has low enough battery life, how much juice is a second analog going to reduce? So many questions...