Roughly a year and a half after the 3DS launched in 2010, the Circle Pad Pro was announced. Due to numerous complaints about the lack of a second analog stick on the portable, Nintendo relented, in the weirdest way possible — a bulky, limited-run accessory that you tack onto your portable.
Yes, I was one of those people who bought the Circle Pad Pro. And then promptly upgraded to the XL, and had to buy another Circle Pad. Like pretty much everyone else, I was severely disappointed. I ended up using it for a whopping three games — Resident Evil: Revelations, Kid Icarus: Uprising (left-handed mode), and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. In total, there are only roughly 10 games that are supported by the CPP after four years.
Why was there such a low adoption rate from developers? Years later, we found out, from Super Smash Bros.producer Masashiro Sakurai and a few other indie developers. In short, the CPP requires roughly 5% extra processing power. Since first-party devs and AAA third-parties tend to pack their games to the absolute limit, there’s often no room left to “fit” the CPP in their plans. So they dumped it.
But the New 3DS nubbin’ (the built-in tiny right analog stick) seems to be a different story. Not only areSuper Smash Bros.,Majora’s Mask 3D, and Monster Hunter 4going to support it, but at least one developer has noted that they will add innubbin’ support retroactively in an older game (Retro City Rampage DX)now that it’s less daunting.
Play control options are the main reason why I love the Wii U so much in comparison to the Wii. Now instead of forced Wiimote-only controls, we’re often given the chance to use the GamePad, a Wiimote, a Wii U Pro Controller, and in one case, a GameCube controller. With the nubbin’ in place on the New 3DS, another avenue has opened up, despite how small the addition is.
The system isn’t even out yet in the US, and the nubbin’ still seems to have a better adoption rate than the Circle Pad Pro. I hope more developers add in support in the future.