Nintendo: 3DS XL not big enough to fit second circle pad

"It's a call we had to make and people will have to live with it."

The new Nintendo 3DS XL is not big enough to squeeze in a second circle pad, company president Satoru Iwata has explained.

While such an addition was technically "possible", Iwata admitted, it would have made the system even bigger.

"Attaching a second analog stick is possible, but it would have made the system even bigger, and, though it perhaps puts a burden on people that really want that second stick, it's a call we had to make and these people will have to live with it," Iwata told The Independent.

"This isn't my main focus when I look at the 3DS XL, it's one point we had to cover, but for me personally I'm quite happy with the product we're able to offer."

It was more important to create a system with bigger screens, Iwata continued.

"When we looked at the design of the 3DS XL, we had to look at various factors. One was battery life. One was the overall size of the unit. And we had to make some trade-offs. The choice, if we were going to include the second analog stick, was to reduce the size of the batteries or make the unit much bigger.

"What we wanted to do was have a bigger screen in comparison with the overall size of the system, so we had various discussions and had to make trade-offs, and this is the outcome."

Nintendo previously expanded the original 3DS with a second circle pad via its Circle Pad Pro peripheral. Support for the device remains limited, however, with only a handful of games able to use the add-on.

A 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro was confirmed by Nintendo earlier this month. It will launch later this year.

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Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


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