When I heard Nintendo was gearing up to launch the Nintendo 3DS XL this summer, my first thought was whether the company decided to integrate a second circle pad to negate the need for that bulky Circle Pad Pro accessory. As it turns out, the Japanese company decided against it, and its President, Satoru Iwata, has explained why.
According to Iwata, it would have been literally impossible to add a second circle pad to the Nintendo 3DS XL, without making drastic changes to the portable that none of us would have appreciated. Iwata admitted that although Nintendo had considered the move, its main priorities during the design and development process were screen size and extended battery life.
To include the second circle pad, Nintendo would have had to either reduce the size of the battery in the portable console — thus reducing battery life — or make the unit “much bigger.”
“When we looked at the design of the 3DS XL, we had to look at various factors. One was battery life. One was the overall size of the unit. And we had to make some trade-offs,” Iwata revealed to NintendoLife.
“The choice, if we were going to include the second analog stick, was to reduce the size of the batteries or make the unit much bigger. What we wanted to do was have a bigger screen in comparison with the overall size of the system, so we had various discussions and had to make trade-offs, and this is the outcome.”
As nice as it would have been to have that second circle pad, I think we can all agree that Nintendo made the right decision, and that a bigger display, better battery life, and a relatively small form factor are more important; especially when we can add that second circle pad ourselves with the company’s upcoming Circle Pad Pro XL add-on.