Nintendo's 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro Hits Retail In America

Nintendo's 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro Hits Retail In America

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Finally, American gamers won't need to import an XL Circle Pad Pro from Japan to enjoy Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the 3DS with dual analog sticks.

To date I've made no secret of my affection for Capcom's hyper-addictive Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Whether its the more aesthetically impressive Wii U iteration or the portable 3DS version, the game is my newest, most pressing vice, though anyone who's played the title will agree that it has some peculiar control scheme options. The default 3DS controls, while functional, are far from a player's best bet when it comes to hunting beasties in comfort, and many prefer the additional stick offered by the 3DS' Circle Pad Pro accessory. Unfortunately, a Circle Pad Pro large enough to snap on to the 3DS XL has only been available to Japanese gamers - until now that is.

As of last night, ShopNintendo added a listing for a Western version of the 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro. While functionally identical to the larger Circle Pad Pro fanatic Monster Hunter fans have been importing from Japan, the US version of the peripheral features a price tag that makes it the new best option for those seeking a better way to hunt monsters. According to Amazon, I purchased my Japanese XL Circle Pad Pro for $47 less than a month ago, while buying one from Nintendo's online store will only set you back a mere $20 (plus whatever shipping and handling charges you might incur). That's an excellent deal, especially for those who desire better control over the in-game camera in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.

While MH3U isn't the only game the 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro works with, it is certainly the title that most demands the addition. Though there's only a small handful of games that fully take advantage of the device, titles like Kid Icarus Uprising use the Circle Pad Pro to great effect. It's by no means a must-have addition to your 3DS XL, but if you find yourself addicted to one of the games it supports, that $20 price tag is a low barrier of entry for improving the handheld's controls and ergonomics.

The one big caveat to this deal is that technically the 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro is not yet available in the United States. ShopNintendo is currently taking orders for the device and will be distributing them beginning on April 19. Thus, if you're planning to buy one, know that you may have a bit of a wait ahead of you before your new gadget arrives (though we don't expect it to be too terribly long, given the popularity of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and the growing desire for this product.

Source: ShopNintendo

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And to think, there's an empty spot just under the ABXY cross that's just perfect for a second analog that would've made a lot of people very happy to have.

Dr.Awkward:
And to think, there's an empty spot just under the ABXY cross that's just perfect for a second analog that would've made a lot of people very happy to have.

But then they couldn't charge extra for it. Why don't you want Nintendo to make money?

Eh, it didn't do squat for Kid Icarus when I tried it. All it really seemed to do was give another option for lefties. Didn't let me change the targeting reticule controls or anything. Unless I missed that option. :P

It's pretty much essential for Monster Hunter though.

Dr.Awkward:
And to think, there's an empty spot just under the ABXY cross that's just perfect for a second analog that would've made a lot of people very happy to have.

I don't know jack about hardware, but I think it's a little more complicated than "let's just slap buttons onto all the empty surfaces".

Mahorfeus:
Eh, it didn't do squat for Kid Icarus when I tried it. All it really seemed to do was give another option for lefties. Didn't let me change the targeting reticule controls or anything. Unless I missed that option. :P

You're correct, but it's very hard coming up with other examples of the Circle Pad Pro's usefulness.

Mahorfeus:
It's pretty much essential for Monster Hunter though.

You're absolutely right on this point.

Mahorfeus:

And to think, there's an empty spot just under the ABXY cross that's just perfect for a second analog that would've made a lot of people very happy to have.

I don't know jack about hardware, but I think it's a little more complicated than "let's just slap buttons onto all the empty surfaces".

You would be correct.
Under the shell, there is a lot of stuff packed into the 3DS, and buttons take a lot of volume.
(and analog pads are even worse since they're inlaid and need a little space to pivot)

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/108983-nintendo-3ds-insides-gutted-taken-apart

Unfortunately, I don't think we're ever going to see a re-engineered version of the 3DS with a lefty circle-pad. It'd probably cost Nintendo far too much in negotiating new parts and construction, since some components would have to be shrunk even further, and the rest of the internals re-arranged to accommodate it.

Just so I don't have to quote a shit-ton of people, here's why Nintendo didn't put the CCP on the 3DS XL

First, it alienates anyone with a 3DS who doesn't want to buy the CCP because as of now, only a few games make use of it and they all at least work with it.

Secondly, there is basically only two games that require it right now (MGS3 and Monster hunter), why would Nintendo both alienate a lot of their player and make life a pain for publishers making the system just for basically two games?

Thirdly, the XL is literally just a 3DS but bigger, it was never advertised as anything but that.

Fourth, all 3DS games that support the CCP do so by recognizing the CCP through the infrared sensor at the top of the console, so the developers of all the games would have to go back and entirely redo the support for a second analog stick.

Fifth, the battery is in the place many people want the CCP to go, and if you look at this picture of the 3ds' insides:
image
See where the battery is? notice how the circle pad's circuitry basically goes right down to the base of the system? This pretty much means that if Nintendo wanted to put a CCP onto the 3DS XL they would have to completely revamp how the 3DS is designed or make it much thicker, which does happen with the CCP but the CCP is actually comfortable if you've ever held it. Nintendo set out to make the 3DS XL pretty much just a 3DS but bigger, they only had rooms for improvements such as battery life and the start/select/home buttons.

Sixth, why is everyone forgetting the CCP doesn't just add a second analog stick, but two extra back buttons? Again, this would require a big revamp of the design of the XL and again, it would make both developers and consumers split because they would have to build their games using both control schemes because both sides would hate on them if they left them out.

Finally, do you really think Nintendo wouldn't put a second circle pad just because of "We've got to have... money!" reasons. That's a stupid move, if Nintendo was able to without causing the problems listed above then they would have done it because they would have had another feature to advertise on the XL, thus leading to more units sold.

Aren't many games where the pro-pad comes in handy, games that utilize it (like Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance) don't really need it because the camera works fine (unlike the first games camera, which hated your guts)

Played the Monster Hunter Demo, yes, pro-pad is bloody needed.

Earnest Cavalli:

You're correct, but it's very hard coming up with other examples of the Circle Pad Pro's usefulness.

Well it's pretty much required for Snake Eater 3D unless you wish to play the game wailing your gun about like a guy with a broken arm. Resident Evil also greatly improves with the second circle pad, adding moving whilst shooting and extra buttons to go along with that. Kingdom Hearts also has improved camera controls and more buttons. That's it, really.

ToastiestZombie:

See where the battery is? notice how the circle pad's circuitry basically goes right down to the base of the system? This pretty much means that if Nintendo wanted to put a CCP onto the 3DS XL they would have to completely revamp how the 3DS is designed or make it much thicker, which does happen with the CCP but the CCP is actually comfortable if you've ever held it. Nintendo set out to make the 3DS XL pretty much just a 3DS but bigger, they only had rooms for improvements such as battery life and the start/select/home buttons.

^This is a much better explanation than mine.

Finally, do you really think Nintendo wouldn't put a second circle pad just because of "We've got to have... money!" reasons. That's a stupid move, if Nintendo was able to without causing the problems listed above then they would have done it because they would have had another feature to advertise on the XL, thus leading to more units sold.

It's not about milking more money, but I suspect it was about keeping the cost of production down.

At the time of the 3DS's announcement, Nintendo must have known that the mainstream market was were pushing for more games with 3D cameras (and I don't mean that stupid parallax gimmick) and must have known that the player needs two CCPs for that; it must have been a calculated risk, with the Circle Pad Pro being a compromise.

A compromise that raises some interesting questions:
-Was the 3DS rushed out the door?
-Is the reason for the CCP compromise based on engineering difficulties, fixed costs, or something else?

You correctly identify that very few games are being made to use the CCP, with even fewer requiring it.
This presents a chicken and egg dilemma:
-Are developers avoiding making 3D camera games because of the lack of camera support, or did Nintendo know that AAA developer support for the 3DS was evaporating rapidly after their showing at E3 2010, and ditch it to save time and money?

Whatever the reason, the lack of a second integrated circle pad hurt game design space considerably, but there's nothing more to be done about that than what has been done.

ToastiestZombie:
snip

The 3DS should have had them in from the outset, Nintendo didn't learn from the same mistake the PSP made. The handheld would be better off for having one, not many games take advantage of the add on but if it had a second circle pad from the start a lot more games could have used it.

J Tyran:

ToastiestZombie:
snip

The 3DS should have had them in from the outset, Nintendo didn't learn from the same mistake the PSP made. The handheld would be better off for having one, not many games take advantage of the add on but if it had a second circle pad from the start a lot more games could have used it.

I'm wasn't really saying I think the lack of a second circle pad from the outset was a good idea, I was simply making my post so people who immediatly shout "Nintendo y u no build it into the XL? It's big enough!" can have something to prove them wrong.

J Tyran:

ToastiestZombie:
snip

The 3DS should have had them in from the outset, Nintendo didn't learn from the same mistake the PSP made. The handheld would be better off for having one, not many games take advantage of the add on but if it had a second circle pad from the start a lot more games could have used it.

Sega Saturn, PS, N64, Dreamcast, PSP, DS all featured just one/no analog sticks (at the start) so you'd think they'd have learned from more than JUST the PSP's previous mistakes.

ToastiestZombie:

J Tyran:

ToastiestZombie:
snip

The 3DS should have had them in from the outset, Nintendo didn't learn from the same mistake the PSP made. The handheld would be better off for having one, not many games take advantage of the add on but if it had a second circle pad from the start a lot more games could have used it.

I'm wasn't really saying I think the lack of a second circle pad from the outset was a good idea, I was simply making my post so people who immediatly shout "Nintendo y u no build it into the XL? It's big enough!" can have something to prove them wrong.

Totally, I wasn't trying to argue your point that they cannot really retrofit one in now. Just making the (slightly redundant) point it should have been in from the start.

Snotnarok:

J Tyran:

ToastiestZombie:
snip

The 3DS should have had them in from the outset, Nintendo didn't learn from the same mistake the PSP made. The handheld would be better off for having one, not many games take advantage of the add on but if it had a second circle pad from the start a lot more games could have used it.

Sega Saturn, PS, N64, Dreamcast, PSP, DS all featured just one/no analog sticks (at the start) so you'd think they'd have learned from more than JUST the PSP's previous mistakes.

Some of those machines got around the limitation, the PSP is just the most recent and obvious one because its a handheld. The 3Ds could have got additional really great games if it had two circle pads.

Earnest Cavalli:

Mahorfeus:
Eh, it didn't do squat for Kid Icarus when I tried it. All it really seemed to do was give another option for lefties. Didn't let me change the targeting reticule controls or anything. Unless I missed that option. :P

You're correct, but it's very hard coming up with other examples of the Circle Pad Pro's usefulness.

Mahorfeus:
It's pretty much essential for Monster Hunter though.

You're absolutely right on this point.

Well Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, Resident Evil Revelations, Metal gear Solid Snake Eater 3D, and Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy all use it as well. I am probably gonna get Ace Combat soon cause of my love for the franchise (Hopefully it is not as big a trainwreck as the normal Assult horizon), and Resident Evil.

J Tyran:
Snip

I'm aware, I'm just saying they and Sony even when the DS & PSP were launching had a lot of reasons to put in a second stick but they neglected it again.

I'm not sure why they skipped it, I'm sure the 3DS was because they assumed the touch screen could make up for the lack of stick (it doesn't) but yeah I dunno.

I see Nintendo's still too busy "innovating" to put things on their consoles that were established as helpful years ago

 

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