3. Are you fine with your system looking a lot less cool (even when it’s easier to hold)?
As far as functionality goes, we have no complaints with the CPP. Despite it speaking to the system through IR instead of wires, the new pad communicated with the system perfectly, but there was no denying the system instantly felt different in our hands. When the system is closed it’s basically twice the size when cradled in the CPP and despite being a first party peripheral, it doesn’t have that usual Nintendo style of simple design. But don’t judge too soon, because looks can be deceiving.
Though we don’t like how much space it takes up in our bags and we’ll need baggier pants to fit this in our pocket, once we’re actually holding it, the bulky concerns slipped away. The extra plastic adds virtually nothing to the machine’s heft, and the curved back and extended shoulder buttons rest in our hands perfectly. For grown-ups with regular-sized hands, this extra finger real estate was very welcoming.
We’ve enjoyed the Circle Pad Pro’s handling so much that in the days since we completed Revelations we’ve left the peripheral on the system when playing other games. The tiny amount we have to move our right thumb and index finger to reach the buttons is worth it for the extra comfort in the handling. When attached to the CPP your 3DS won’t win any beauty contests, but if you can deal with that and the pocket-unfriendly shape, there are definite benefits to be had.
4. Do you want to give money to GameStop?
Though many have no problem with the mega-corporation, others take issue with the company for one reason or another and choose to spend their gaming dollars elsewhere. While available at many stores in UK/Europe, in the US GameStop is the only retail choice for the Circle Pad Pro, as Nintendo decided to make it an exclusive item. If you want the add-on your only choice is putting down $20 (and tax) there, unless you’d rather order from Nintendo.com.
3DS owners in North America can head over to the product page on Nintendo’s online store, but don’t expect any special treatment. It’s still $20, and Nintendo charges tax, and then there’s the sizeable shipping charge. So you can pay more to Nintendo and wait for whenever they ship it (they’re hardly Amazon when it comes to delivery speed) or give GameStop your business and get it instantly without paying shipping. If neither option sounds viable to you, then maybe you should wait and see if other retailers carry it eventually.