Recent news regarding the 3DS XL has set a significant portion of the internet ablaze. Why could this be? Are people averse to playing their games upscaled? Do they think the 3DS is large enough and that this is unwieldy?
Nope. The problem is that it doesn’t have a second circle pad on it… Wait, what?
Yes, people are up in arms because they don’t have dual analog. Nevermind that they don’t need it, and it would make no sense to force it in after the first 3DS didn’t have it.
Let me take you though why adding one would be an utterly stupid move on Nintendo’s part to add one in by default instead of the Circle Pad Pro optional add-on they made.
First off, the first 3DS, that’s already moved 17 million copies, didn’t have a second circle pad.
Therefore, adding one in a revised design would do nothing but annoy people who already bought a 3DS into either boycotting Nintendo or not buying a game that uses it. That, or it would simply never be used. Developers would have to decide whether they want to cater to people who have a second pad or people who don’t. I can almost guarantee you that the developers would opt for supporting the people who don’t have one, since doing so would allow all 3DS owners to play their title with full capabilities. This has shown in the all of 3 or so titles that allow the circle pad being set to not use it by default.
And, indeed, this is why most console add-ons fail – developers cannot guarantee that all interested consumers will have one. This is also a problem when developing for smartphones and tablets – you have to assume the consumer is running a relatively weak device, or you’re sealing off a significant consumer base.
Add to that how we don’t have three hands. Hard to use a stylus and two circle pads at once. Plus, the gyroscope and the touch screen provide quite solid, and dare I say more accurate, alternatives for camera control that tend to only get complaints mostly from people who can’t be arsed to learn a new control scheme. People gave Kid Icarus: Uprising flack for that, but it really wan’t anywhere near as big a deal as they claimed, not to mention that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D made quite good use of the gyroscope to show how useful it is for aiming.
If anything, I’d consider picking up the 3DS XL simply for how much easier it is to use the gyroscope with 3D on if the screens are bigger and therefore the proper 3D viewing area is likely larger.
Another point is that adding the second circle pad makes the 3DS too much like an underpowered Vita with 3D and a second screen. I mean, think about it, look at what the two systems have that the other doesn’t (games excluded):
- Dual Analog
- Rear Touch
- 3G (optional)
- Proprietary Memory Cards Required for Everything
- No Region Lock Except PSN
- More Power, Slightly Worse Battery Life
- Second Screen
- SD Cards for Memory, Games Save in the Game Card Itself, Some Internal Memory
- Region Lock
As you can see, Nintendo’s already on thin ice in terms of not being a weaker Vita. I don’t think they want to edge themselves closer by catering to shooters with dual analog.
And, honestly, if the two systems are exactly the same, then the 3DS loses as soon as the Vita finally gets a decent install base.
Plus, there’s enough precedent for Nintendo to think that the consumers are just plain not worth listening to. Case in point:
I know this post won’t slow down the idiots, but I hope that the few who read this realize how unreasonable they’re being.