When Nintendo first revealed the Circle Pad Pro for the then-struggling 3DS, reactions ranged from puzzled to angry. After all, the system had only been available for a few months. Particularly in light of the dual analog sticks firmly ensconced on Sony's Vita, the add-on gave the impression that Nintendo was playing catch up, and that the 3DS should have had dual analog sticks from the beginning.
Of course, the Circle Pad Pro was unveiled alongside Monster Hunter 3G, and that announcement had a major impact on the 3DS's fortunes. The game releases in Japan this week (and scored an enviable 39 from Famitsu), and is sure to help sell a ton of Circle Pad Pros.
We've known for some time that the add-on requires its own power, but now we know how long the Circle Pad Pro can run on a single battery, and the figure is impressive: 480 hours. That figure allegedly comes from the unit's own manual, as obtained by a clever Japanese gamer ahead of the peripheral's launch on December 10.
If the battery life is the good news -- and how can 480 hours of playtime NOT be good news -- the battery's location is the bad. Not only does the battery compartment sit between the 3DS and the Circle Pad Pro, it requires a screwdriver to open. Still, 480 hours between changes (that's 20 full days of non-stop, 24 hour playing) should more than make up for the inconvenience of having to grab a screwdriver once in a while.
While the Circle Pad Pro is on its way to North America in 2012, there is still no US release planned for its current killer app, Monster Hunter 3G (or the game's limited demo). That leaves Capcom's Resident Evil: Revelations as the go-to game for players who'd like to put the peripheral through its paces.
Granted, the Circle Pad Pro may not be the most elegant solution to the 3DS's single-stick affliction, but at least now we know its battery life is good.
Ranters, will you pick up a Circle Pad Pro next year? What games would you like to see support it? Let us know in the comments below.
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