We reported on a rumor dug up by 01net, a site that’s had a history of both accurate and inaccurate “scoops,” a few weeks back about the potential for Nintendo to refresh the 3DS with less of an emphasis on 3D and a second circle pad for control. That second circle pad was, supposedly, to come by way of a hardware refresh or an add-on for current owners.
Well, while no other pieces of that set of rumors were confirmed, a leaked scan of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu reveals that the additional circle pad is actually going to release.
Before you ready the pitchforks or get your hopes up, depending on your stance, the circle pad is not meant to be a hardware refresh. Check it out in the scan to the right, click it to see a larger version. Okay, this add-on is actually a piece of hardware that’s been designed with a specific game in mind. That game? Monster Hunter Tri G for the 3DS.
Monster Hunter is absolutely massive in Japan. The franchise consistently dominates sales charts regardless of release platform. Part and parcel of that success is the extremely large amount of time Japanese gamers will dump into play sessions. This is not the first time new hardware has been introduced to ergonomically complement the gaming experience. It happened once before with the Classic Controller Pro for the Wii. The gamepad was designed with longer play sessions in mind. It was available for games like Monster Hunter or Goldeneye, and it was completely and entirely optional.
Below the image of the add-on to the right, you’ll see some Japanese text that reads “カンタンに装着できて、より快適な狩猟が可能に！” That basically says that this add-on can be easily installed for users to comfortably enjoy [Monster] hunting. The cradle is said to add extra battery storage for longer play sessions as well.
So, that hardware refresh we were hearing about? Who knows … But this new circle pad attachment is, apparently, the real deal. If you have games you’re looking to play for long stints, it may be a good idea to snag one. There’s no news yet on its worldwide release, but it is set to debut in Japan, if these scans are to be believed, by the end of this year.