news\ Jul 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm

A second, built-in circle pad was possible with the 3DS XL, claims Iwata


One of the major questions surrounding the 3DS XL when it was first announced was why Nintendo chose not to include a second circle pad on its larger handheld system.

The newer, larger 3DS system has it all: a larger screen, better battery life, but no extra circle pad - despite seemingly having the extra space for one in its lower right corner. That's right, the 3DS XL, like its predecessor, will not have a second analog stick.

Nintendo has since confirmed that this will be the last 3DS model we'll see for a while, meaning we won't see a second analog stick any time soon. However, Nintendo has said that a Circle Pad Pro peripheral will be coming out when the system launches later this summer.

With all that being said, attaching a second analog stick would've been possible this whole time. This whole conversation, controversy, whatever you want to call it, could've been avoided; but there would've been a sacrifice. According to Nintendo global president Satoru Iwata, adding a second analog stick was possible, but it would have made the system even larger.

"Attaching a second analog stick is possible but it would have made the system even bigger," Iwata admitted to UK Independent. "It perhaps puts a burden on people that really want that second stick, [but] it’s a call we had to make and these people will have to live with it.


"When we looked at the design of the 3DS XL we had to look at various factors," Iwata explained. "One was battery life, one was the overall size of the unit, and we had to make some trade-offs. The choice, if we were going to include the second analog stick, was to reduce the size of the battery or make the unit much bigger.


At least now we have an answer, but I have to ask you, which would you have preferred to get a second circle pad? A shorter battery life or an even larger 3DS? Or do you think the current 3DS XL is just fine?

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