Nintendo preps huge 3DS overhaul: report

Dual analogue, re-branding planned?

Nintendo is preparing both an external second circle pad add-on for the 3DS, as well as an entirely new model which "radically tones down" the system's 3D capabilities, according to insider sources.

French site 01Net has published the first in a four part report detailing how the platform holder is currently in turmoil over the direction to take its new handheld following disappointing launch sales.

While some of its claims seem rather out-there, the site has pedigree - it correctly broke news of Wii U and PlayStation Vita specs before both machines' respective announcements earlier this year.

According to its source, who it describes as "one of the very few Nintendo employees to dare break the code of silence", the company is currently working on a detachable second circle pad for the handheld.

Apparently the decision not to include two analogue sticks in the initial system build is a source of great regret at Nintendo HQ and was a result of the production process being rushed to ensure the system launched before the PlayStation Vita.

Nintendo's engineers are reportedly spending "sleepless nights" fine-tuning the add-on, which will sell for "about $10".

The source added that the platform holder has asked "a select group of developers" to work on titles for the peripheral, though third parties are growing increasingly disgruntled at Nintendo's approach.

As well as the dual analogue attachment, the insider also claimed that Nintendo is preparing a second iteration of the console for release in 2012.

The new version will "radically tone down" the system's 3D features, possibly rebranding the machine entirely. It was suggested that the recent price cut was planned partly as a means to get rid of stocks of the launch 3DS, clearing the way for a successor.

Finally, the source reported widespread third party frustration at the limited availability of 3DS dev kits. There is still reportedly a long waiting list for the units nearly six months after launch, with only 300 units being made a month.

According to 01Net's mole, development of the kits has been outsourced away from Nintendo's internal Intelligent Systems division to Tokyo Electric and Marubeni.

We've contacted Nintendo for comment.

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