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Nintendo adds more buttons to 3DS with bulky expansion

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Oh, Nintendo. What are you doing? As if confidence in Nintendo wasn’t low enough, the newest issue of Famitsu details out a new peripheral for the 3DS. According to Kotaku, the Japanese magazine claims that Nintendo will soon release a cradle dock for its struggling 3DS handheld. The new peripheral, possibly dubbed the “3DS Expansion Slide Pad,” adds a second control pad (“circle pad”) as well as PlayStation-like L2 and R2 shoulder buttons. Oddly, it also appears that the 3DS game cartridge slot and wireless switch, meaning you may have to take it off to change games. There is no word whether the peripheral extends battery life, but it is rumored to be announced by Nintendo at a press conference scheduled for Sept. 13, just prior to the Tokyo Game Show. It may work with a new Monster Hunter game from Capcom. 

Early criticism on the web has been negative. Longtime Nintendo writer Matt Behrens, a Senior Staff Writer at N-Sider.com, was especially vocal about the add-on, which he doesn’t see as a solution to the problems facing the 3DS: “This has got to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in my life, and it will accomplish nothing,writes Behrens, who helped us cover Nintendo during E3 2011. “It doesn’t do a thing to fix the 3DS’ core problems. ‘I don’t have a second analog stick’ is not a problem. It is a slight thing that makes it a little tricky to port one or two existing games.” 

He has a point. The 3DS already has L and R shoulder buttons, ABYX face buttons, Start/Select/Home buttons, a directional pad, an analog control pad, and a touchscreen. Does Nintendo really believe that adding more shoulder buttons and another control pad–or, in essence, turning the 3DS into a Sony dual-shock controller–is needed or justifiable? The 3DS is already facing early extinction due to poor sales. Will an old-school bulky expansion still work in the age of the iPhone and iPad?

Behrens went on to say the big problem the 3DS faces is a lack of original software. We couldn’t agree more. For our take on the many problems facing the 3DS, check out: Five reasons why the 3DS is bob-ombing.

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