Rumor has it that Nintendo is working on a redesigned 3DS handheld that does away with the Circle Pad in favor of a more traditionally-styled analog stick, and that if they go this route, they’re going to add a second one as well.
While the 3DS has fared relatively well in the market, it hasn’t been doing phenomenally well due to a lack of quality games at launch. In the past year, we have in fact seen a crop of incredible titles come to the platform, including Super Mario 3D Land and Kid Icarus: Uprising. Reportedly, however, Nintendo is still unsatisfied with the portable console’s performance, and it looks like it might be getting a refresh sooner than ever expected.
The recent Wii U controller leak that came out of Tt Games shows that Nintendo probably isn’t as emphatic about Circle Pads as they were at last year’s conference when they first unveiled the controller. Could it be that they’re taking the scalpel to the Nintendo 3DS and adding some quasi-analog sticks to their portable as well?
We’re saying yes, and while it is unclear whether it will be unveiled at E3 in just over a week (Nintendo will likely want to keep the spotlight on its new Wii U), the redesign will come some time this year.
We’d like there to not only be two analog sticks, but it wouldn’t hurt if the design of the 3DS was tweaked a bit elsewhere. The glossy screen is a total fingerprint magnet, and we wouldn’t mind a capacitive touch screen, but we understand why the latter likely won’t happen until Nintendo’s next portable, if at all. The size of the 3DS is actually okay and it feels good to hold, but we wonder if Nintendo can in fact squeeze the components a bit and make the device smaller while maintaining the same price. One thing is for sure: Nintendo can’t raise the price on the handheld. First, because they’ve dropped it once, and second because of the PS Vita’s impending price drop likely to happen at E3.