Having released the Circle Pad Pro in Japan over the weekend, all eyes turned to Nintendo to unveil when U.S. gamers would get in on the "dual-analog" fun. Without any fancy press conferences, Nintendo mentioned in passing that the dock will be released on Feb. 7 for $20 through Gamestop.
At press time Nintendo didn't make any mention of why Gamestop gets to exclusively sell the Circle Pad Pro. Gamers will be able to pick up Nintendo's add-on dock either at retail or online shops.
As I've voiced before, I can't say whether the accessory will be worth it or not (480 hours with one AAA battery is impressive), but Nintendo does explicitly say that the peripheral is optional. It should bring tighter controls to games compatible titles such as Resident Evil Revelations and Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater, the latter of which is a 3D remake of a PlayStation 2 game.
In order for games to use the Circle Pad Pro, they must be optimized for it. Gamers should not expect that buying a Circle Pad Pro will bring a second analog to older 3DS games, because it will not.
From the videos and first-impressions I've seen on YouTube and online game blogs, I can say that the anger towards Nintendo releasing a second Circle Pad as an accessory seems to have settled, and most users are happy with the low price and experience. It's actually not that bulky feeling is what I've read on many websites.
There's also a full list of games Nintendo has in the wings for the DS, 3DS and Wii in its press release below.
What's your feeling on the Circle Pad Pro? Cheap enough? Too expensive? Drop us your comments below.