3DS Owners, You Just Helped Nintendo Beta Test A Product

3DS Owners, You Just Helped Nintendo Beta Test A Product

Nintendo is no stranger to hardware iterations. Its last portable, the Nintendo DS, saw several major revisions. The 3DS is a different story. It just came out a few months ago but is already seeing half-hearted hardware upgrades. (A snap-on second slide pad? Ugh.) And 3DS owners should be pissed.

The 3DS has been a cold, greasy buffet of Nintendo mistakes. Even for Nintendo, from whom we can expect multiple hardware iterations, everything was so sloppy, so unpolished, so expensive, and ultimately, so un-Nintendo.

What current 3DS owners should be ticked about is that Nintendo is releasing a second circular slide pad. It’s a tack-on peripheral, and it’s not free. Nintendo is releasing the AA battery-powered peripheral for ¥1500 ($19) this December in Japan. That’s right, battery-powered, so the hidden costs don’t stop at ¥1500.

Nintendo isn’t adding a second slide pad because it’s a bad idea, but because it’s a good one.

A handful of big 3DS titles — titles I want to play on my 3DS — support the second control scheme. I imagine the game will support stand alone single circle pads controls, too.

If given the choice between have two slide pads or having one, I’d chose two. I think most people would. Nintendo isn’t adding a second slide pad because it’s a bad idea, but because it’s a good one.

If big games support the “3DS Kakuchou Slide Pad” or “3DS Expansion Slide Pad”, then that means more and more games will support it. Ultimately, I might be pressured into buying one, meaning that I will have to spend more money than the original ¥25,000. And then I must feed it batteries to keep it running.

There will inevitably be a new hardware iteration, because as former Halo developer Ryan Payton said on Twitter, no way is Nintendo going to have a celebrity spokesperson hold up that ugly 3DS Expansion Slide Pad.

The new 3DS will be remarkably different, far different than the thinner and brighter DS Lite. With dual thumb pads, the way players control games will change. It’s essentially a different product and not simply a new feature. It changes gameplay to its core.

When I bought the 3DS back in February, customers didn’t have a choice between one thumb pad or two. There was only one. While developing the 3DS — a handheld that Nintendo said would not be subjected to a new iteration anytime soon — Nintendo had that choice, but went with a single pad.

That choice was a mistake. If you bought a 3DS early, you helped Nintendo discover that. You paid Nintendo to beta test a product for them. And soon, you’ll be footing another bill.

Nintendo doesn’t just owe gamers twenty free digital games. It owes them a free second circle pad.

Top photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP


  • So wait. You think Nintendo owes you something because you bought a bad product? You think something is a bad piece of hardware, you do not like much of the software on it, but you bought it, and now it’s Nintendo’s fault?

    I hate Nintendo and I hate the 3DS but ffs you have nobody to blame for buying that hunk of crap but yourself.

    • So you’re shifting the blame back on the consumer instead of the producer of a bad inferior product?

      You sir, are an idiot.

      • How can Shinkada hate a 3DS? How can a person hate an inanimate object? Did Nintendo kill his family in an airstrike or something? We should have a moratorium on the word hate. Be more articulate with your pissy comments about reasonable articles, please!

        Also, Shinkada: is it Nintendo’s fault that the 3DS is not a good piece of hardware? Which company’s name is stamped all over the not-very-good thing?

      • It’s the consumer’s own fault for buying the poor, inferior product. If it was poorly manufactured, unreliable etc then that’s the manufacturer’s fault. But acting like you’ve somehow been ripped off because it doesn’t have a 2nd slider? No, sorry.

        If you thought it should have 2 sliders and it only had 1, why would you buy it? The fact is that everybody who bought it with 1 slider KNEW it had one slider, and therefore a 3DS with 1 slider is completely acceptable to those people. If not, they wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) have bought it.

        It’s like the people who bought it at $350 who then complained when it got cut to $250 (at least they complained until Nintendo said they’d give them some free games to compensate). The only reason you’d pay $350 is because you thought it was WORTH $350. This is how the market economy works. If you paid $350 you must have thought it was worth $350, so you got your money’s worth and didn’t get ripped off. It was a nice (and, from a PR point of view, very sensible) gesture of Nintendo to offer some free games to keep those people happy, just as it’d be nice of them to offer a free second slider, too. But claiming (as this article does) that Nintendo somehow “owe” people those free games or a second slider is a case of people refusing to take responsibility for their own purchasing decisions.

        • I’m of the opinion that if Nintendo had spent a little bit more time developing their product, they would have decided that their system needed a second thumb stick (they would probably have had more games at launch too, but that’s not my point). The fact that it doesn’t and that users will now be FORCED to buy the slider attachment to have the optimal, proper gaming experience isn’t the fault of the consumer, who bought the device with the best of intentions and expectations. It’s Nintendo’s fault. They were sold an incomplete, rushed product. You need only look at the “Ambassador” program to see that Nintendo themselves do not have a great deal of faith in their product.

          Saying that it’s the fault of the consumer is just thumbing your nose at people who bought the 3DS. Plain and simple. It is petty and unfair.

          • More to the point, the second slider fundamentally changes the core gameplay experience of the device. If all of the games on the system suddenly require this unforseen afterthought of an accessory to play them properly, it’s only fair that the people who already own the system be able to access this thing for free. It’s like having to buy a second thumbstick for your PS3 or Xbox controller.

      • If it was bad in some way you had no way of knowing before you got it, alright. If it fell apart in your hands, sure.

        But you’re complaining about something you can CLEARLY SEE RIGHT THERE. There is no second thumbstick. Nintendo did not claim there was one. And now suddenly, AFTER you bought it, this is a problem?

        If new games play better using a second thumbstick, well, then you buy the addon. Are Nintendo stupid for not adding one in the first place? Incredibly. Not nearly as stupid as the person who bought something without two thumbsticks while thinking two thumbsticks would be a good idea though.

        “Excuse me. I don’t like this hamburger. There aren’t any chips with it. Yes I know that it doesn’t say it comes with chips anywhere, but it SHOULD come with chips! Plus that other guy has chips! Now I want a NEW burger that comes WITH the chips! For free!”

        Good luck with that.

  • Holding out for the PSV, everytime i went to buy any itterations of DS a new one was about to release.
    screw noobtendo at least sony’s hardware is decent.

  • I’m absolutely disgusted with how shoddy, unprepared, underwhelming the 3ds is. I paid £260 back in march for mine. Now I’m being told that I need to buy an add on to play the games I originally bought the system for. This is after the price drop. Will be trading my 3ds in for a psvita. And its starting to make me think twice about the WiiU as well.

  • Personally, they owe me a new 3DS with two thumbsticks. In would be an investment in one way or another as I’m not planning on buying a Nintendo console ever again after the crap I’ve copped in regards to the 3DS.

  • I’m constantly surprised that in all these addon articles, no journalist ever mentions that the psp has suffered by having one stick it’s whole life.

    How did Nintendo go and make the same mistake?

    • It was pointed out when it was announced that it was a stupid move

      Slot of people I guess though they would have access to the awesome nun that we had for metroid hunters but it seems nintendo has decided to pretend it doesn’t exist

  • There is no way in hell I’m giving Nintendo a pass for this one just because I have a nostalgic love for their games

    Plain and simple…they screwed up with the 3DS Big Time…and why should anyone give them an automatic pass for this?

    Back in the 90’s, Sega was ridiculed for pulling the same crap with the 32X and Mega CD. And that’s exactly what this whole 2nd Slide Pad Boat reminds me off. I think its Nintendo admitting “Oh s**t, we screwed up the design to begin with”

    I own a 3DS, you know what I would rather have then a 2nd Analog Nub? GAMES…and that is exactly what the system is sorely lacking…I haven’t touched my system since Zelda Ocarina of Time.

    I’m not giving Nintendo a pass on this, they’ve consistently screwed up with this system in every way thus far

  • It’s not really hard to put this into perspective…
    Simply put, when 1 thunstick was announced it was like, ‘oh ok! Maybe not what I would have done but sure’… The expectation then game that all games would be optimized to play with 1 thumbstick in mind.

    But then… Some one said, ‘hey! Our game needs 2’… So then people got pissed because having a 3DS is nOt good enough to be able to play any game on the system without adding a peripheral that SHOULD have been integrated initially!

  • In my opinion they should just get a new version of the 3DS (with dual analogue pads) out asap to save face, and then allow people to trade in their old 3DSs for the new one.

    Maybe they could say “Trade in + $50” to ‘sweeten’ it for them, but no more than an addition $50.

    Looking forward to the Vita anyway, after seeing the new MH4 for the 3DS I’m a bit disgusted at the graphics.

  • – $20.
    – Batteries that will last ages due to the low power consumption of a basic device.
    – An extra control stick, to open up new gameplay styles.

    Wah, waaaaah!

    Also, I didn’t realise that the 3DS was a fashion statement. Now I won’t be able to pick up chicks with my 3DS. Oh dear.

  • Well, I was getting awfully tempted to buy a 3DS (nearly did when GameStation were selling second-hand ones for £130 JUST before the price drop) but I’m now glad I held off.

    Will a lot of potential buyers now be waiting for one with another thumb-pad built in? I know I will.

  • I’m not going to mind this so much, if Nintendo allows me to transfer everything over to the new model when it happens. Everything including my streetpass data, and my ambassador status.

  • Nintendo deserves some harsh criticism for this, certainly. I am however, annoyed how so many people shift blame away from whatever position they’re in. Of course it could NEVER be the consumer’s fault when we (i have a 3ds) knew of; the battery life, the lack of titles, the unopened Nintendo store and (as evidenced by ALL of Nintendo’s previous handheld systems) the possibility of further changes, iterations and improvements. We were all called stupid by our friends for buying what OBVIOUSLY was a very average system launch and then we start complaining and accept zero responsibility for any if this? Even when the upgrade is actually available for said console? Where did this sense of entitlement come from?

    Kids these days.

  • Yeah, I predicted they’d need another analogue. Didn’t realize they’d make such a ridiculous attachment, though. Seems like their only priority was to make sure the thing still folds shut.

  • ITT: Early adopters pretend they don’t know the risks implicit in buying a new technology as soon as it’s released, just so they can cry a bit about the butthurtedness of it all.

    You didn’t pay for “beta-testing” as this inflammatory article alleges fully intently into provoking a response from you. You paid for the privilege of owning a piece of technology before your peers. It was shiny, new and most importantly, relatively unknown which means -if you are paying any amount of attention at all- as further separated as possible as the last, stable and well-proven version this technology will see.

    You’ve been playing with it and using it at your heart’s content. You most likely didn’t realize you needed a second pad until now, and certainly the games you were playing with didn’t require that feature. You’ve got your money’s worth.

    Now, Nintendo realizes they can improve the product. Sure, they could have realized that before they went into production, but didn’t. It’s not like the machine was totally nonfunctional and useless without it and you cannot delay a product indefinitely while you see what other ideas can you tack on it to improve it: You’ll never run out of ideas and the product will never see the light as you keep revising it over and over.

    Is the add-on rather a shoddy and inelegant piece of hardware? Yes, it is, but I think it’s likely to improve the experience, so it’s worth of it for the early adopters. For everyone else, we’ll wait until the new, redesigned model comes out, and then we’ll probably wait a bit more to see what the early adopters of that one says. The early adopters get bragging rights and more time of exposure to the technology, the savvy consumers save money. Everyone is happy (or /should be/ but thankfully we’ll always have articles like this to reminds us why we need to be so angry about everything.)

  • I’m not mad.

    Got the 3DS on release day, could tell almost straight away a revised model is needed.
    Low sound volume, poor stylus position, pinchy hinge, low battery life, top screen presses on the bottom screen, poor power button position.

    The post seems a bit exaggerated though IMO.
    AFAIK the track pad is Capcom’s thing rather than Nintendo, and it’s only optional as far as Monster Hunter goes (you can use the touch screen as the second directional pad.) I don’t think any other games have even been announced to support it. Might not even be release outside of Japan?

    Just scanned through the actual whole article. That was it? I thought there was TGS news of a new revision. This is just about the extra Track Pad add on? LOL.

    I don’t think we’ll see a new 3DS with the second pad, doesn’t really seem needed to me.
    Lets just hope the extension fails hard & no one buys or supports it.

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