Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad Pro launching Feb. 7 for $20

The device adds a right thumbstick to the 3DS portable in order to extend what developers can do with their games.

Nintendo's 3DS before it gets the Circle Pad Pro attachment.
Nintendo's 3DS before it gets the Circle Pad Pro attachment. Nintendo

Nintendo 3DS owners who are looking for a right thumbstick will have the chance to buy one in February.

The game company announced yesterday that its Circle Pad Pro accessory, which attaches to the 3DS base and adds a right thumbstick and shoulder buttons, will launch on February 7. The accessory will set customers back $20.

Surprisingly, the attachment will be available exclusively at GameStop stores. Nintendo didn't give any indication why it would offer an exclusive on its accessory, but the move might have something to do with the small number of games that will support the Circle Pad Pro, including Resident Evil Revelations and Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater.

The right thumbstick accessory is a problem for developers. Since many 3DS owners won't have the accessory, it's not necessarily a good idea to create a game that requires the right thumbstick. Plus, with Nintendo calling the add-on an "optional accessory" and limiting its availability, it doesn't appear the company is trying to change the scenario all that much.

Nintendo announced its right thumbstick attachment in September. The add-on is currently available in Japan and boasts 450 hours of battery life on a single AAA battery.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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