Okay, it's ugly. We know that, but how does it feel in the hand? Today at the Tokyo Game Show, I checked out the brand new second slide pad for the Nintendo 3DS.
The "3DS Kakuchou Slide Pad" or "3DS Expansion Slide Pad" is powered by a AA battery. It is surprisingly light in the hand. It's large and bulky looking, but it doesn't feel like it would be a drag to hold. But is it?
The add-on does feel reasonably solid. The backside, with numerous exposed holes for screws looks cheap.
The material is a light finish, and since I've been blogging all morning in a humid convention centre, my hands are on the sweaty side. Before I even touched it, I felt compelled to wipe my hands on the jean — as a courtesy. It's unfinished, so it could have been a bigger fingerprint monster, but make no mistake, this will pick up prints.
With all the nice materials third party peripheral makers use, a rubberised finished would have been preferable.
Using the second slide pad was easier and less awkward than I thought. It is not graceful, but seems serviceable. The response on the pad was the same as the original 3DS slide pad. If you like that, you'll like this. If you hate it, you'll hate this.
Looking at the screen, I did have the feeling that I was peering around a corner, because your hands are not perfectly positioned behind the screen.
As previously posted, there are three buttons. They are, R, ZR, and ZL. ZR and ZL ar the two trigger buttons. The 3DS Expansion Slide Pad has pistol type grips that were confortable to hold, and the ZL and ZR buttons work well. They are not clicky, and might be a bit too squishy for some, but I found them responsive.
Where things go wrong is the R button. I felt as though I had to reach up, going from the ZR button. The left side was worse, because it doesn't have an add on button. Rather, it uses the 3DS's left shoulder button. So I had to reach up and back.
All of these weakness should be sorted in the inevitable hardware revision.
Until then, the 3DS Expansion Slide Pad will be out on Dec. 10 for ¥1,500 (US$19).