A few weeks ago, rumors started swirling that the Nintendo was working on an attachment for the 3DS which would add a second analog stick to the device. It seems those rumors were true, as Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu, has the first shot of the attachment and it's, well...yeah.
I had initially suspected that the analog stick addition would simply be a piece of plastic that would snap on to the four face buttons on the right side. In reality, Nintendo's solution appears to be far more unwieldy. The attachment is a large case which snaps around the entire bottom half of the 3DS, giving it Game Gear-esque dimensions.
To make matters worse, the case seems to block many of features of the 3DS, including the cartridge slot and the wireless switch, so changing games and turning on WiFi will require removing the attachment first.
For a company that has always been extremely strong with their design know-how, this seems like a big step in the wrong direction. Granted, it is an effort to appease fans who were upset by the lack of a second analog stick in the first place, but it also feels like a stop-gap solution until Nintendo can release a fully redesigned 3DS that integrates the second analog stick right into the body.
At present there has been no official announcement regarding the analog attachment and no word of whether it'll be available outside of Japan, but it does seem likely, given that games will probably start supporting the device at or near its launch. After all, why would you buy a second analog stick attachment if no games actually make use of it?
Really all this announcement does is start the clock on the inevitable 3DS redesign, which we all knew was coming sooner or later. Now we know it's sooner.