Last month, Bloomberg Japan reported that Nintendo was preparing to make an announcement around September 13th, right before the Tokyo Game Show, regarding an add-on for the 3DS that would bring a second analog stick to the 3DS and a 3DS redesign that would focus less on 3D. Now, a Famitsu article has surfaced detailing the add-on device. Nintendo has since confirmed the add-on in a statement made to Edge:
We can confirm that Nintendo does plan to release the attachment but that any further announcements on the attachment will be made at some later time by Nintendo.
The device has been designed so that it locks to the bottom of the 3DS, making it significantly larger. However, it does not block the headphone jack or volume switch. Famitsu has noted that the wireless switch may not have received the same treatment. The add-on places the extra analog stick to the right of the A, B, X, and Y buttons, and an R2 button behind the original R button.
The report from Famitsu also mentioned Capcom was working on a new Monster Hunter for the 3DS designed to utilize the second analog stick. An interview with series supervisor Ryozo Tsujimoto confirmed that the add-on would allow the game to feel similar to the Wii game, but it was completely optional.
Analysis: Considering the initial reports of the event were reported by Bloomberg Japan, I have been expecting them to be true. The fact Nintendo stated they will make further announcements regarding the add-on in the future points to the September 13th date being true. Additionally, given they really are making an add-on, I am willing to bet the redesign rumors are likewise true. It would make little sense to release an add-on but not a new revision that allows a much smaller model of the same thing. Nintendo has made millions off the near-yearly revisions of the DS, so a new revision of the 3DS so soon is not surprising, but this is also likely driven at least partly by investors.
The last thing about this matter is the size of the add-on. Just a quick glance will note the massive size. This leads me to believe this will also serve as a battery extension to fix the shoddy, roughly-four-hour battery life of the 3DS. If it isn’t, then this add-on is simply ridiculous.