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The 3DS' analogue slider add-on: Pros, cons, and potential screaming disasters

So that crazy-sounding gaffer-taped solution to the 3DS' non-problem of a not-actually-missing-because-it-doesn't-really-need-it second analogue stick actually appears to be real. Real and ugly. Coming in the form of a cradle attachment that the 3DS sits in, it adds a right analogue, a couple of extra triggers, a whole lot of extra bulk, and a torrent of aesthetic mockery potential for future PlayStation Vita owners sick of fielding digs at the GameGear-like countenance of Sony's new machine. Truly, it is a multi-faceted wonder.

But having looks that would make a baby cry isn't the device's only problem. Oh no, I see a whole bunch of potential mess-ups in its future, which I would now like to recount to you. Fear not though, there are good bits as well. Albeit, you know, way less of them.

Revealed by a feature in Famitsu regarding the upcoming 3DS Monster Hunter game (which will apparently make use of, and probably come bundled with, the gadget), the device has now been acknowledged by Nintendo UK, in one of those gloriously impotent PR statements that admit that a thing is happening but won't admit that the thing we've all seen that's forced them to admit that the thing is happening is actually the thing that is happening:

"We can confirm that Nintendo does plan to release the attachment but that any further announcements on the attachment will be made at some later time by Nintendo."

Nice. So then, pros and cons? Why, I have a bunch of those stacked up right here. Won't you take a moment to look at them? They're lovely, and fashioned from only the finest materials.

Pros

  • This thing will open up a whole load of new control options for the 3DS. With two sticks and potentially four triggers, it will have the same set-up as a Vita, or an Xbox 360 or PS3 for that matter, meaning that devs will have no reason not to make any sort of game for Nintendo's system. And let's face it, fully-featured 3D FPS with full, home-console controller options is a pretty nice idea.

Cons

  • This thing will split the market, and any hardware add-on that does so has historically done two things: confuse people and fail. With this thing remaining an optional extra for all four million early adopters, it will always be an optional extra for developers as well. With no guarantee that everyone has the add-on, games will need to be designed with two sets of controls available, or otherwise forgo support for the extra stick and buttons completely. Which makes fully optimised, dual analogue, four-trigger-specific games a bit of an unlikely prospect.


Above: At this rate, the new 3DS hardware revision will look like this

  • This thing will lead to a complete hardware revision, possibly to be announced at or around the Tokyo Game Show this month. And that will make things even messier. A twin-stick, four-trigger 3DS out of the box will further conflict devs, creating the impression that the fully-featured model is the de facto one to develop for, while still leaving the possibility of alienating four million customers if they do develop with its capabilities in mind. You either make your games unplayable by a potentially huge number of people, or you make Nintendo's up-specced revision a total waste of time and money.
  • This will cost Nintendo a stack of money. And at the moment it's money that Nintendo can't really afford to be losing. And for the reasons stated above, all the extra expenditure could end up being for nothing anyway.
  • It's going to piss early adopters off. If they have to pay for it, there will be a bloodbath, not to mention probably very low adoption rates, exacerbating all of the issues above. Even if Nintendo makes this thing free, convincing the masses that they actually need it is going to be an uphill struggle. Hell, Nintendo hasn't been great about convincing people that they even need the 3DS itself so far.
  • This add-on isn't necessary. The DS was fine without dual analogues. The 3DS is. The reason? That touch-screen covers all bases. Combine it with a d-pad or a left analogue and you've got a perfect approximation of keyboard-and-mouse control. The only real advantage here is the extra buttons, but as I said, they'll probably cause more trouble than benefits long-term.
Above: I can only imagine that Japanese text says "Holy shit, your 3DS is now the size of an N64!"
  • Look at it! Just look at it! It' s going to make the 3DS about as portable as a mountain. Though on the upside, it will stick out of your back pocket far enough to protect at least one of your kidneys from a gunshot, like some nouveaux World War II cigarette case.
  • It implies a worrying style of knee-jerking panic-management in Nintendo. For a company always so assured in its innovations to be freaking out and making such a severe step so quickly after a stumbling hardware launch is frankly disturbing. The PS3 had a bloody awful start, but Sony realised that all it had to do was take time solidifying the console's software line-up and (eventually) drop the price. Nintendo has done half of that already, but possibly due to the Wii's effortless success, it also seems to have gone nuts and forgotten how to properly manage and strengthen a gaming format in the case that it isn't a freakish over-night fad. And this point, way beyond all others, is the most worrying of the lot.

Sep 7, 2011

Topics

Nintendo

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76 comments

  • UsernameLoser - September 8, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    This retarded turd is going to render my $30 dollar Power Pak+ useless, and Nintendo expects me to go back to playing 5 hours? Bull$hit. Nintendo has made another dick move. Rest In Mutiny.
  • slimjim441 - September 8, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    ....piss
  • richard-j-murray - September 8, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    YOU GUYS DO KNOW THIS IS OPITIONAL RIGHT? maybe you should check out the Monster hunter tri G site, this hard ware is not really needed and is just for real monster hunter players who like the wii tri controls. http://www.capcom.co.jp/monsterhunter/3G/ THIS ARTICAL IS BAD
  • mockraven - September 8, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    Did you not read the article? GR explored the areas where such an add-on could cause a divide, especially if future models of the 3DS have the 2nd stick built in. Also, you should keep in mind it's not very profitable to create a hardware add-on for one specific game as it limits the demographic value of that product tremendously. That makes it safe to assume that Nintendo plans on releasing or at least promoting more games with the dual-analogue support. At this point it's speculation, but the arguments are sound... If you read the article, that is.
  • mothbanquet - September 10, 2011 4:02 a.m.

    As is your spelling.
  • yoshiking - September 8, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    I'm a big MH fan and anything but a second analog for camera controls just won't do it for me at all, so I commend Nintendo for trying. I mean I could also see this add-on for other games like FPS (especially wit the extra shoulder buttons), RPGS, or for a new Legend of Zelda 3DS? C'mon people, it's nice to look at the good things for once. Keeps us living longer
  • BlueScorpion91 - September 11, 2011 6:29 a.m.

    Agreed, people need to cheer up, lol. But in there defense( I'm no longer a Wii or DS owner, but still have my GBmicro :) ), I can see where people are coming from. If the rumours of a 3DS revamp are true, then Nintendo either expect them to go out and buy a new one, or make there 3DS look big and ugly with certain games. But the little PS-fan in me would like them to bring out a new 3DS just to watch the carnage. But that's a very small part of me(2%), and the rest of me hopes that Nintendo only bring this out, and reassure everyone that all is well in Iwota land. :)
  • cchen04 - September 8, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    Pretty sure this will be only for Monster Hunter.
  • cchen04 - September 8, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    well.. hopefully :S
  • philipshaw - September 8, 2011 3:48 a.m.

    This bad move on Nintendo's part, love my 3DS but it doesn't need another stick
  • bobob101 - September 8, 2011 3:43 a.m.

    I love my 3DS, but seeing this makes me want to cry.
  • nai1210 - September 7, 2011 6:57 p.m.

    just map right analogue controlls to the touch screen,using the stylus for the camera works fine there is no need for a hardware revission,nintendo have clearly lost confidence in there 3DS build and once gamers see this contraption they will lose confidence in it aswell,I certainly won't be picking one up for my 3DS will just have to play monster hunter with the alternative controls or stick with the Wii version,probably the latter to be honest
  • LordHyper - September 7, 2011 6:20 p.m.

    I know this add-on is weird looking, but you guys are acting like Nintendo went on a puppy massacre or something. Seriously, what the hell? I see this add-on as an add-on and nothing more. I don't believe that Nintendo will make a new version of the 3DS with the analog and extra buttons implemented. Nintendo may make weird hardware choices, but I doubt they'd go through with something like this.
  • UsernameLoser - September 8, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    If you knew what Nintendo was before, you'd have realized they don't deserve your money before they were born.
  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO - September 7, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    Damn thats uhhhhhhhh strange.
  • Unoriginal - September 7, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    They did it, they outdid the Wii Vitality Sensor in stupid add-ons.
  • EnigmaSpirit - September 7, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    That is a little bit of a stretch. Nothing will top that. It was so stupid they knew they had to kill it. >.>
  • Jared117 - September 7, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    Why didn't the 3DS just have 2 sticks from the beginning? And good games? I would have bought it if the day it came out, but i knew that they would have a newer and better version in a year. Nintendo shouldn't have rushed it and just did this from the start.
  • BlueScorpion91 - September 11, 2011 6:19 a.m.

    I don't think they rushed the 3DS, I think they just expected everyone who had a DS to buy one, and everybody else to buy one for the 3D and Zelda.
  • badgraphix1 - September 7, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    This is just going to give people even less of a reason to buy a 3DS, knowing they can just wait for the hardware revision. Honestly, Nintendo?

Showing 1-20 of 76 comments

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