Nintendo confirms right thumbstick coming to 3DS

Company tells CNET that a right thumbstick add-on will be released, though details about the attachment itself are currently undisclosed.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor 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.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
A Nintendo 3DS  with the upcoming Circle Pad.
A Nintendo 3DS with the upcoming Circle Pad. Scanned image by @South1996

Nintendo will be bringing the rumored right thumbstick to its 3DS, the company confirmed in an e-mail to CNET today.

According to Nintendo, the thumbstick will be part of an attachment called the Circle Pad. In addition, the company has confirmed to CNET that the image of the attachment shown in the latest release of Japan's Famitsu magazine is, in fact, the real add-on.

Just yesterday, CNET reported that a Twitter user, @South1996, posted a snapshot of a page in Famitsu showing a 3DS with a right-thumbstick add-on. The device wraps around the bottom panel of the 3DS, placing the additional thumbstick to the right of the device's action buttons.

Although Nintendo hadn't confirmed the attachment at the time, some CNET readers expressed displeasure with it. One commenter said that the attachment "doesn't look good, it's bulky, and it's just another thing for current 3DS owners to buy." Another commenter complained about the attachment's size, calling it a "gigantic monster."

The addition of a right thumbstick will be the second attempt on Nintendo's part to give its ailing portable a boost. Last month, the company reduced the price of its 3DS from $249 to $169 to try to bolster sales.

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During Nintendo's last-reported quarter that ended June 30, the company sold just 710,000 3DS units worldwide. In the U.S., sales reached just 110,000 units.

However, Nintendo's troubles go beyond pricing and a right thumbstick. The company has also acknowledged that it's having trouble getting people to see the value of the device's 3D effect.

"The value of 3D images without the need for special glasses is hard to be understood through the existing media," Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata said at an investor briefing in April.

"There is no easy road to making people understand the attraction of glassless 3D images and making Nintendo 3DS widespread," Iwata continued.

Nintendo has yet to reveal further details about the Circle Pad, including launch date and price. The company told CNET it will offer up such details "at a later date."