5. Is there an actual future for the add-on?
Alright, real 3D camera controls are very important to you, you’re planning to play at least some of the known games the CPP works with, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, and you’re fine with spending money at GameStop. What about the nine months from now? Will the CPP just be collecting dust? Will Nintendo merely replace it with a redesigned system? Without the ability to see the future, we can only guess, but based on past history, the future seems murky.
Nintendo’s own history with add-ons is to start strong and then abandon it. The DS Rumble Pak had its share of supported games, but quickly became scarce at retail with little support from the publisher. And that just followed other peripheral flashes in the pan like N64’s Expansion Pak and GBC Transfer Pak, the GBA-to-GC connector cables, and the Wii’s Zapper. Aside from the moderately supported Wii Motion Plus, Nintendo has a poor history of really taking advantage of things like the CPP.
However, one factor might make this a bit different, as unlike most of those items, the third party publishers seem way more behind this one than Nintendo. Capcom, Square Enix, Namco and Konami have already made some of their biggest franchises work with the CPP, and in Japan millions of Monster Hunter diehards bought the add-on last December to use with 3G and the already announced Monster Hunter 4. That kind of support is hard for any company to ignore and leads us to believe that more unannounced Japanese-developed games will incorporate the optional controls this year.
Setting aside speculation over whether Nintendo will launch a 3DS redesign this year and that the hypothetical redesign will have a built-in right thumb pad, we’ve yet to see much proof that Nintendo themselves are supporting the add-on. While we could see it being used in Luigi’s Mansion 2, upcoming titles like Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario and Mario Tennis don’t look like they’d benefit from it. If you own a 3DS, Nintendo-exclusives were probably a big draw for you, and if they ignore the CPP, why bother getting it?
Our final verdict:
When it comes down to it, as 3DS owners, we think the Circle Pad Pro is ultimately worth it. We enjoyed using it with Resident Evil, it improves the feel of the system, and there are enough games coming out for it that should be similarly improved that the add-on won’t be collecting dust any time soon. Whether it’s abandoned or not, we feel like we’ll get $20 of use out of it over the next six months alone. Unless you can’t stand GameStop or aren’t buying any of the games the CPP uses, we say pick it up when it goes on sale.
Did we answer all your concerns? Have you made up your minds on the CPP? Let your voice be heard in the comments.