updated 08:40 am EDT, Tue September 13, 2011
Nintendo 3DS gets slew of Tokyo Game Show extras
Nintendo used the run-up to the Tokyo Game Show to add a wide range of extras to the 3DS to keep interest up. Gamers everywhere will get an update in November that lets them use the twin rear cameras to record 3D movies, addressing one of the most common requests since the system shipped at the start of the spring. Also coming with the update is an unspecified eShop upgrade and extra content for those who have finished the dungeons and all the other challenges in the StreetPass Mii Plaza.
New hardware is coming at the same time. The new slide pad add-on is real and docks with the 3DS to provide a second analog controller for Monster Hunter 3G, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, and anything else that can use control closer to a traditional console. A lone AAA battery keeps the extra pad powered without cutting into the main 3DS battery.
The controller will be available in Japan on December 10 for the equivalent of $19. US plans haven't been mentioned and might depend on whether US games can take advantage of the stick.
Completing the additions is a new Misty Pink color for the 3DS itself. The choice ads to the black, blue, and flame red colors already on tap. It ships to Japan on October 20 without a price premium. Not every Nintendo color option reaches the US, but any release would likely come some weeks after the Japanese launch regardless.
All of the introductions are part of an emergency shift in direction after take-up of the 3DS plunged shortly after it released. The 3DS' high $250 original price and a lack of system sellers has been partly to blame, and Nintendo noticed an immediate increase in sales when it cut the 3D system down to $170. Many, however, have attributed Nintendo's decline to the rise of the iPod touch and iPhone in mobile gaming, where both are much more general purpose and often have much less expensive games, even when at the same depth as 3DS titles.