Nintendo has formalized plans to bring its Circle Pad Pro accessory for the 3DS in North America, though it will only be available at one outlet: major video game retailer GameStop.
The Circle Pad Pro attaches to the 3DS and provides a second analog stick for those games that support it. The company hasn't explained why the peripheral won't see a wider release, and tells Gamasutra that there are no current plans to make it available elsewhere in the future.
Nintendo of America has previously put out first-party games with limited appeal, such as Electroplankton
and Chibi-Robo! Park Patrol
for DS, through limited distribution deals with retailers like GameStop and Wal-Mart.
Most recently, it announced that critically acclaimed and cult favorite Wii RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles
, will ship in North America through GameStop
and Nintendo's own website next April.
Since the Circle Pad Pro's unveiling in September, many gamers and analysts were skeptical of the accessory, questioning why its features -- a second analog pad and additional shoulder buttons -- weren't built into the 3DS when it launched.
Nintendo hasn't announced retailer-exclusive releases for the Circle Pad Pro in other territories, and in fact bundled it with Capcom's Monster Hunter Tri-G
in Japan and Resident Evil: Revelations in Europe
(where Nintendo is distributing the game).
Resident Evil: Revelations
will ship in North America on the same day as the Circle Pad Pro, February. Other upcoming 3DS titles including Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D
and Kingdom Hearts 3D
will feature support for optional Circle Pad Pro controls.
The Circle Pad Pro itself will sell for $19.99.