When we first brought you news of the circle pad attachment for the 3DS, it was called the "Expansion Slide Pad". This was the Japanese title for the peripheral, and it was expected the the North American market would get it with a different name. Today we have confirmation that this Nintendo 3DS add-on will be called the Circle Pad Pro. The add-on is still hard on the eyes, but at least it's got a better title.
The additional circle pad was announced alongside the news that the 3DS will be getting Monster Hunter 3G. It Early reports made it seem that the game would come with the peripheral included, which hasn't been officially announced. Although that wouldn't be a surprise since Nintendo is known for packing its peripherals along with games.
The Wii MotionPlus and Wii Zapper came packed in with games, along with the Wii Wheel which shipped with Mario Kart Wii. The upcoming racing wheel for Mario Kart 7 will also probably come in a bundle with the game when it launches in Japan. Given this track record, it's a good bet we'll see the Circle Pad Pro bundled with a specific title when it launches.
Word has it that the Circle Pad Pro will be making it's way stateside when Resident Evil: Revelations is released in North America, since that is at least one more game that will be able to fully support the add-on along with the new Monster Hunter. Activision has expressed support for the Circle Pad Pro and the new input would definitely make a 3D Call of Duty title far more appealing for the 3DS. The new title may not do much to sway the public opinion on the attachment, but if any franchise could peak people's interest, Call of Duty would be just that. Some alternate-reality AC-130 missions using the handheld's camera would be too good to pass up.
We've expressed our views on the circle pad add-on in our Game Rant Minute feature and in our special Nintendo edition of Ranter Banter. The unit turns the sleek 3DS into a bulky mess, and Nintendo could certainly have found a better power source than a AAA battery. Let's just hope they are able to integrate the extra slide pad in a more attractive "3DS Lite."
How do you feel about the official name of Circle Pad Pro?
Love it or hate it, the Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad Pro will be available in Japan on December 10th and will make its way to the United States sometime in 2012.
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