Nintendo prepping 3DS right analog pad attachment?

French site reports plug-in peripheral on the way for beleaguered 3D handheld, redesigned version of hardware supposedly set for release next year.

Source: A report on French site 01net, as spotted and translated on NeoGAF.

What we heard: According to 01net, a Nintendo employee has provided the site with some hush-hush details about future 3DS plans. The French site has appeared in Rumor Control before, with a report describing the Wii U's tabletlike controller nearly two months before the official unveiling.

The two big points are that Nintendo is working on a right analog pad/stick attachment for its 3DS handheld for about $10 and that it is planning a complete redesign of the system with reduced emphasis on 3D visuals for release next year. It's unclear both how the 3DS attachment would connect to the system and if 01net believes that the redesigned hardware would include a second analog circle pad/stick.

Does this need another circle pad?

On the plus side, a second analog controller would allow companies who have developed games on the PlayStation Vita or one of the major consoles to more easily port their titles to the 3DS without redesigning the controls from scratch. That it would take one of the Sony handheld's competitive advantages away in the process is a nice bonus.

However, introducing the add-on would run the risk of splitting a 3DS installed base that is already so small that third-party publishers have been reluctant to vigorously support it. And depending on the configuration, the stick attachment could make the 3DS slightly less appealing to take on the go, making it a relatively sleek piece of electronics saddled with an extra piece jutting out.

A second analog stick attachment could be seen as an admission that the company lacked critical foresight in developing the 3DS and is now offering a knee-jerk reaction to follow along with what the competition has already done. That would be an unusual course of action for Nintendo, considering the company has traditionally avoided such moves and made much of its "Blue Ocean" strategy of pioneering new fields instead of competing where its rivals already have a position of strength.

The redesigned 3DS hardware is much more in keeping with the company's history (see the DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL most recently). Even if a 2012 release seems sudden for a second 3DS, the gap could be on par with that of the original DS (launched in the US November of 2004) and its immediate successor, the DS Lite (which debuted a year and a half later in June of 2006). However, the functionality of those two systems was essentially identical. If a new 3DS debuted with a right analog stick next year, early adopters, some of the most loyal customers the company has, could feel jilted.

It wouldn't be the first time Nintendo "patched" its hardware with a post-launch peripheral.

Regardless, both moves smack of desperation. Then again, given the state of Nintendo these days, it's possible the people within the company are reaching for the panic button. After years of phenomenal success, the Wii and DS markets have significantly cooled in the last year. The highly touted 3DS debuted with a thud at retail. Third-party publishers have been slow to embrace the system, with some cancelling announced titles in significant series like Assassin's Creed and Saints Row. On top of that, Nintendo debuted its successor to the Wii at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, sparking an investor sell-off that shed nearly 6 percent of the company's value in a single day.

Last month marked a potential low point for Nintendo, as company executives confirmed they would drastically miss its profit forecast, slashed the price of the 3DS less than six months after the system launched, apologized to early adopters with an unprecedented promise of 20 free games, and voluntarily took drastic pay cuts. Now the big questions are, "How desperate is Nintendo?" and "What else does it have up its sleeve?"

The official story: "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation."--A Nintendo representative.

Bogus or not bogus?: Sounds bogus, but desperation can push a company to try some pretty unorthodox--and sometimes successful--moves.

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Discussion

168 comments
BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

So some of you would rather see Samus, Mario, Zelda, Link, Yoshi, and friends just disappear or be sold off than have them show up on systems that are not run by Nintendo?

sknight175216
sknight175216

Make some damn GAMES. I'm so tired of the hardware, hardware, hardware. It's about the games...jeez.

sknight175216
sknight175216

Make some damn GAMES. I'm so tired of the hardware, hardware, hardware. It's about the games...jeez.

jhpeter
jhpeter

That´s explain the vast companies lefting 3DS. Nintendo is stupid, why not add asecond analog in the first case? Of course she needs to make a an attach and this is so real news as the tablet wii months before !!!!

mamajoe
mamajoe

I really think this rumor is a way to undermine the sales of the 3DS at its reduced price. Making consumers believe that they should wait and buy a redesigned model next year could seriously erode consumer confidence in the device. The results of this kind of rumor could be financially damaging to Nintendo, especially with the importance of the upcoming Christmas season.

samurai123666
samurai123666

I gave the exact same idea to nintendo about a month ago... an attatchment analog stick tht attatches though the auxilary outlet

otanikun
otanikun

@nintendoboy16 yeah I suppose that's true, but wasn't that done after the system came out?

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@otanikun The Wii had two analog sticks with the CIassic Controller and CIassic Controller Pro.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@BlueFlameBat "It seems like Nintendo is turning into the next SEGA at this point. If that happens, I hope Nintendo has the grace become a third party rather than die, and realize that developing games for former rivals does not necessarily mean admitting defeat or being submissive." No, Nintendo would lose A LOT of reputation (worse than what happened since the N64 era) if that happens. It's better off if they just leave gaming, especially since their reception is as bad as the Sonic franchise.

DryMaster
DryMaster

For the record, I did suggest another analogue stick for lefties on a SF643D forum about two weeks ago. just sayin

guilhem_r
guilhem_r

"@guilhem_r "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation."-- its as simple as that. if they only said that to rumors that were true then everyone would know if they were BS or not" Fine then, I'm not buying one. If I was considering buying one, but without a clear denial I'm just not putting my money on this product. This rumour does seem far fetched, simply because I'm not sure the average Nintendo customer is going to change his opinion of the product based on a 2nd analog. I would, but I'm not sure the casual fan would. So I don't see how this would change their fortunes, except if they hope it will help publishers to devise games that can be developed for the Vita and 3DS at the same time. But at the same time, this rumour comes from a rather reputable source, so I can't take the risk to invest in the product without a clear denial on Nintendo's part.

justinka777
justinka777

@guilhem_r "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation."-- its as simple as that. if they only said that to rumors that were true then everyone would know if they were BS or not

Superzone
Superzone

3DS Lite coming next year? Believable. Addition of a second analog stick? I call BS.

digi-demon
digi-demon

@mickyfinn84 I have a 3DS - I have RE: Mercenaries 3D - so I have played the Revelations demo - there is NOTHING wrong with the aiming - it plays like a Resi Evil - like RE4 - only played the demo so hope the quality of the final game follows thru'. To all - Imo people should play these systems before casting their verdict

mickyfinn84
mickyfinn84

From looking at videos of resi evil revelations, it is clear the 3ds really could do with a second analogue stick. I probably would have bought a 3ds when the price was cut to play that game, but the aiming looks like it will ruin it.

digi-demon
digi-demon

100% BS - deal with the fact that there is no way 3DS is going down the redesign path this year or next - and this ridiculous 2nd nub 'add-on' story is a total work of fantasy - probably fabricated by pro-sony audience :lol:. Imo 3DS will continue as Nintendo's flagship handheld - until release of DS2 - this have 2 analog nubs when released (my guess maybe 2013) and will be back-compatible with 3DS (even including a 3D screen).

guilhem_r
guilhem_r

If it's bogus, why don't they just say "No we're not doing it!"? Refusing to comment on something as major as this is not going to help sales. Why would I buy a 3DS now, if I can get a dual analog system in a few months? When rumours spread about the PS Vita's reduced RAM, higher ups at Sony were quick to dispell them, and with good reason. This is not just a menial rumour you can shrug off "per company policy". If there's one rumour you want to dispell, it's this one.

megakick
megakick

Why would a redesign in a year make anybody angry? Sony and Apple have been getting away with it for years?

Serious
Serious

If they gave a $200 discount to early adopters. Make the redesign Dsi XL size for a larger sweet spot, make it able to record 3d\2d video, make flash enabled with a one touch youtube upload, and bring back all of the camera lens from the DSi. and I`ll do it.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

Actually, lilflex1 does sort of have a point. It seems that whenever you buy a handheld Nintendo system these days, it becomes obsolete in too short a time. We're not PC gamers who like to continually update our hardware every two years. On the other hand, if you keep skipping on Nintendo's handhelds, you're not gonna end up with any of them ... which is fine if you don't like what they have to offer. It seems like Nintendo is turning into the next SEGA at this point. If that happens, I hope Nintendo has the grace become a third party rather than die, and realize that developing games for former rivals does not necessarily mean admitting defeat or being submissive.

Serious
Serious

a redesign within a year would make me so angry I would gve my 3Ds to my niece. And going forward I would be exclusively PSV.

Linkari
Linkari

The redesign in 18 months complete with second analog stick? Maybe. I'll even accept sometime in the future period. This attachment thing? Doubtful, but if this thing is true, I'm glad Nintendo won't punish early adopters by making them unable to play any games that require the second stick.

calvinsora
calvinsora

I don't think they'll be doing this, sounds bizarre.

lilflex1
lilflex1

this is why i didnt buy any of the previous versions they're coming out with new types basically come out every 1-2 yrs

AvatarMan96
AvatarMan96

Get rid of the "sweet spot" idea, make the battery life longer and I'm in. I don't care for the second analog.

otanikun
otanikun

That would be pretty cool but seeing as no Nintendo system to my knowledge has ever had a 2nd analog stick (with the exception of the Gamecube), I find myself wondering why would they do it now?

moutaindewkid
moutaindewkid

The only reason that i am thinking about getting a 3ds is for Paper Mario

rydamusprime
rydamusprime

oh, and i wouldn't be surprised if the attachment for the 3DS is just something that covers the ABXY buttons to make it kind of like an analog control, then companies can make shooters like they have on the PSP where you use the 4 buttons to aim... an attachment that covered those buttons to give better control could work really well

rydamusprime
rydamusprime

the 3DS will see more sales in the coming months im sure, with Star Fox, Super Mario, Mario Kart, Paper Mario and Kid Icarus on the horizon... it will be just like the Wii, the 1st party titles will be the main reason to buy the system. Also, i don't think Nintendo is caring about the Wii so much since they are releasing a new stripped down model soon (no Game Cube support) and the last game they are making for it is Skyward Sword (out in November) they know there is not much else to do to bring in the sales until the the Wii U is out.

walders
walders

It doesn't need anything else, it just needs games that people want to play.

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

I'd rather buy an attachment then fork out another £160 on what is essentially the same system; trouble is the second analog stick is necessary. Nintendo should have done more market research, I may sell up and buy a Vita, this is ridiculous.

salvucci91
salvucci91

Oh man, I managed to wait this long, but should I wait for a bundle pack? Definitely would rather a righteous limited edition 3DS over saving money on this unnecessary peripheral.

starkastor
starkastor

NO NO NO NO! I Just got that sucker for $249! I am NOT shelling out more money because Nintendo want's to try and take the Vita's hardcore market! If I wanted a second analog stick, I'd get the Vita*! *I actually plan on picking up a PS Vita system...

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

A "3DS lite" with a second analogue stick? That's the kind of modification that would make me rage a little if I'd bought the original model. If it's true, later generations of games will simply not be playable on the first generation 3DS.

packtop
packtop

This kind of news seriously start to be annoying yeah the 3DS didn't sell really well, but come on releasing a new handheld in march so far from the holiday time,at 250$ and with no good game really worth buying a 3DS for what did they expect with that -_- Wait until after Holiday time and if the 3DS still don't do well then it would be time to start talking of thing like this.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@SolidTy Yes, I read articles on it too, not trying to bash you or anything. If Nintendo did decide to have another 3DS model, they should make it so that first time 3DS buyers could trade the first model in and get a fair exchange for the new one. I'm just wondering because the first DS lasted two-three years before the Lite model came out.

shadow580
shadow580

I think a redesign would be a smart choice, along with free a trade in option. Another analogue stick along with improved battery life would make this into a strong system. That would definitely put the system back on the map. Seriously, if Microsoft can afford to have a 50% failure rate on their console, I'm sure Nintendo can replace their handhelds at least once.

jamyskis
jamyskis

The point is that investors are nervous about 3D. They know that the market isn't developing the way they had hoped and that many people are actually avoiding the 3DS because they think the 3D can't be switched off (I, for my part, am so glad it can). Not sure what the business with the second analogue stick is, but I would wager it's to do with the positive reaction that the Vita's second stick has been receiving. The problem is, with the 3DS' touchscreen where it is, the 3DS doesn't need it. And to those people complaining that the price is dropping after they bought it - welcome to Economics 101, people. Do you complain when you buy a game for $60 and it gets reduced to $30 a few months down the line?

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

why in the hell would they "planning a complete redesign of the system with reduced emphasis on 3D visuals" why the F did i pay $250 then for something that wont even be focusing on 3d. The price drop to $169 was ridiculous enough after i had paid $250 for it, now your trying to tell me they wont even be releasing games with a 3d emphasis, What the H!!!!!!!!! I will be very upset if that proves true in any form or fashion.

Blanka13
Blanka13

im happy with the current 3ds as it is!!!just make good games

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

This is only one very small way in which they might play catch-up. It will be a lot more difficult for them to produce add-on attachments that include 2 capacitive touch panels or 20 times the graphical power. Nintendo will go the way of SEGA, at least in the handheld realm. Good riddance.

Asuran_Oberoth
Asuran_Oberoth

Is 4 million units sold in 6 months really that bad? I don't see what all the fuss is about a second analog stick, why does a portable gaming device require 2 analog sticks? No portable gaming device except for the PSV has 2 analog sticks. And although I like dual analog sticks on controllers I don't really see the point of them on portable systems since games on portable systems aren't like the games on PC or consoles so don't generally require a second analog stick. Why would Pokemon require 2 analog sticks? I think the biggest reason the 3DS isn't selling well is because it had no great games at release and still doesn't. The good games on the 3DS right now are remakes. I hope if they do release a new 3DS with better hardware that all those who purchased a 3DS get a really nice trade in deal, like trade in 3DS and get the new 1 for £50 or something like that.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

Pass. Why did I ever get a 3ds... rrrg. You suck nintendo!

SuplexKirby
SuplexKirby

If so I'll just trade in a 3DS for the PSV and wait a full year to buy their next handheld with long lasting battery life. Ridiculous

jhpeter
jhpeter

Nintendo should look to launch the next 3ds model with a next generation 3d, without the steroscopic with its problems to some people. I ´m mad to see the 3ds that I bought earlie is at half of price, and now, the good companies are jumping the boat, problaby most coz the second analog fault. At least, make a good add on.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@SolidTy A redesign this early? The 3DS hasn't even been on store shelves for 6 months yet! Even though Nintendo could make a new model with a second stick and longer battery life, there really isn't anything else they could do to upgrade it. If anything, they might make an XL model, but until then, the 3DS is fine. I would apt to have attachments over a whole new model.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

I've decided. I don't care how people think it "looks" for Nintendo to do it. If they make a cheap 2nd analog stick attachment that works well and gets used by a lot of games,both 1st and 3rd party,I'm all good with it. If they make another iteration with a second stick,I want some sort of ultra discount and the ability to move ALL my games,data,pictures,etc.,for being an "ambassador" of the first one. And if they don't do any of that,well....then nothing.Good games are all I need,and they're coming soon.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

I don't care if they add a second analog, as long as they make the battery life longer, I'll buy one.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@moviequest14 yep... We put the @$$ in Ambassador ;)