The 3DS Circle Pad Pro Is Mostly Great, Actually

The 3DS Circle Pad Pro Is Mostly Great, Actually

It sure has been a week for twin-thumbstick portable gaming. In addition to the PlayStation Vita (which has two thumbsticks built in), I’ve been playing around the the “Circle Pad Pro” attachment for the Nintendo 3DS.

The Circle Pad Pro is a chunky plastic contraption that fits around the 3DS, retrofitting it with a right circle-pad (basically, a right thumbstick), as well as a second set of shoulder buttons on the back. I haven’t been using it for too long, but I gotta say, despite some annoyances, I like it!

It is still clearly a retrofit — it blocks access to some of the 3DS’ vitals, so you’ll have to put it on for some games and take it off for others. That’s annoying. But all the same, it’s already significantly improved my experience with Resident Evil Revelations, to the point that I would no longer want to play the game without it.

Check out the video above, in which I demonstrate how the Circle Pad Pro works.


    • You’ll be waiting a while and in the meantime miss out on quite a few good games. The circle pad pro isn’t that bad…. I don’t know how they could do a redesign without making the console quite a bit larger. I like the option of being able to use two thumbsticks when I like but also have a small console when I want for portability.

  • So the game that was designed with two sticks in mind, plays best when using an attachment that adds a second stick to a handheld that should have had it at launch?

  • I used it with the MGS: Snake Eater 3D demo last night, it was a god send. Without the Circlepad add on the games controls suck balls. With it, the game is very playable

  • I’m thinking of picking one up. Not that I have any games that will use it apart from the demos (I might import RE at some stage) but I want the bigger grip so that I can play the thing without my man-sized hands cramping up.

    • bought one.

      booo I was hoping to just keep in in there all the time but on older games like Mario Kart, while I wouldn’t expect it to recognise the 2nd circle pad it doesn’t even recognise the shoulder buttons.

      Certainly makes MGS a lot better though.

      • How are your man sized hands coping with the change? Seeing as how I have that problem too, i’m really looking forward to a noticeable change. How big of a change can I expect?

        • It is more comfortable to hold but I’m finding it a little awkward to reach the front shoulder buttons, the rear ones feel good though.

  • Please explain to me why the 3DS needed a seconed stick on go? No other bigN handeld, or Consle has ever had a seconed stick on it to begin with???

    Every game playes really well on the 3DS without the stick, so I am not sure why everyone is all up in arms over this at all. And TBH, I am going to get this simply due to it giving me more to hold. That, I think, is the 3DS’s biggest flaw. Its size.

    • Revelations is horrible with one thumbstick IMO. There’s no way I could play without the circle pad pro now. I personally really like it and would highly recommend it. It’s also needed to make some games playable to people that are left handed (Kid Icarus) so in that regard it’s a necessity for some.

  • So you ranted on and on about how bad this would be and, when it isn’t so bad, there’s no apology? Great work.

  • I just love how people are like this; raging about how bad something’s gonna be, like they know Everything. It’s out here, “Hey! It’s not so bad after all!”. I really get a laugh out of it.

      • The 3DS shouldn’t have needed it, true. But it still works well and people will buy it.

        Not so bad after all the bashing it got.

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