Nintendo has traditionally never attended Tokyo Game Shows, but that doesn’t mean their presence cannot be felt still. At the Capcom Monster Hunter 4 booth at this year’s TGS, Nintendo has sneakily showed off its latest hardware accessory: The Circle Pad Pro for the 3DS XL.
Like last year’s model for the vanilla 3DS handheld, the really beefy-looking cradle puts the already large 3DS XL even more unwieldy. But with that said, the XL’s supersized form is already in itself a non-contender for our trousers’ pockets. On the brighter side, the new Circle Pad Pro provides a thicker grip for the XL, and then some. Especially if you have ever felt that the handheld’s slim profile was a tad too flat for your liking – indeed, the thicker grip provided by the accessory actually makes the XL more comfortable to grip and hold.
Design wise, the new Circle Pad Pro doesn’t deviate from its smaller sibling – a smooth, slightly contoured back, larger shoulder buttons and then the starboard analog pad. But that also meant that flaws from the original design is also present here: It still blocks the 3DS cartridge slot, so you’ll still have to undock it from your handheld in order to replace game cartridges. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but you’d expect Nintendo to have made some noticeable improvements on it.
There’s no word on pricing nor availability, and Capcom’s PR folks had nothing to say about that – even if they were awesomely kind enough to let us play on the new Circle Pad Pro. It was only shown at Capcom and its Monster Hunter 4 booth. Since the game is only due in March 2013, we can probably make some smart guesses here.