3DS Circle Pad accessory to launch Feb 7

Posted by Mike Luttrell

The accessory that will add a second joystick controller to the 3DS will be making its way to the US in less than two months.

One of the main criticisms about Nintendo's glasses-free 3D system is that lack of a second thumb pad, a feature that has become commonplace and is widely expected among gamers today.

The attachment was first rumored a couple months ago, with one source reportedly saying Nintendo was working "sleepless nights" to get it finished as quickly as possible. The same report also claimed the dual-stick design was part of the 3DS from the outset but had to be scrapped to get the system out well ahead of Sony's new handheld.

So now players will need a bulky attachment, at an extra fee, to get what was in Nintendo's thought process from the beginning.

The Circle Pad Pro will be available from for $19.99, and according to Nintendo's press release, it looks like Gamestop may be the exclusive retailer at least at launch.

So far, compatible titles include Resident Evil Revelations and Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater, two ambitious titles that are slated to come out within the same time frame as the new peripheral.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has admitted there were many faults with the release of the 3DS. In addition to the lack of launch titles, the company missed its target of a holiday 2010 release, which could have spurred significantly more sales and given it much more traction out of the gate.

The system appears to be on a recent climb, though, thanks to killer titles like Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, and a price drop that drastically cut the cost of the system from $250 to $170.