Still wish the 3DS had a second circle pad? Do you secretly wish that your 3DS was bulkier and less sleek? Well, for $20 and a trip to Gamestop, your wishes will soon be answered, as Nintendo announced today that the Circle Pad Pro attachment (better known as the “Frankenstick”) will be coming to North America on February 7th, and will be sold exclusively at Gamestop.
Now while the Frankenstick has been the butt of jokes ever since it was revealed this past September, hands-on impressions with the attachment have been surprisingly favorable. The special attachment was released this past week in Japan, where, thanks to compatibility with Japan’s favorite game, Monster Hunter, it promptly sold out. The 3DS has exploded in sales recently thanks to the popularity of Capcom’s multiplayer blockbuster, and sales of the Frankenstick seem to be at a 1:1 ratio with sales of the newest version of MH. Strong sales of the attachment almost guarantee that future 3DS ganes will make, at the very least, optional use of it.
The situation is very different for the peripheral here in the US, where Monster Hunter is a niche title (that has yet to be announced for a US release.) The two highest profile titles that use the optional attachment in the US are Capcom’s Resident Evil Revelations and Konami’s 3D remake of Metal Gear Solid 3. Capcom has already announced that Resident Evil will boost a higher-than-normal $50 price tag, so the $20 Circle Pad Pro might be a tough sell, considering RE fans are already paying $20 more than the average 3DS game for their latest fix.
The peripheral, while successful in Nintendo’s home territory, seems to be an afterthought for Nintendo of America. By limiting sales of the unit to Gamestop only, and selling the attachment on its own rather than packing it in with a game as they did in Japan with Monster Hunter, they’re limiting the potential exposure of the unit and showing a lack of confidence in its appeal. Still, if you want to play MGS3 or RE: Revelations with a proper dual-analog set-up, get ready to take a trip to Gamestop.