One of the main criticisms about Nintendo’s glasses-free 3D system is that lack of a second thumb pad, a feature that has become commonplace and is widely expected among gamers today.
So instead of making it available on the device from day one, Nintendo decided to launch it without the attachment, and then release it later as an add-on accessory. Nintendo worked “sleepless nights” to get the 3DS Circle Pad out as quickly as possible.
The dual-stick design was in fact part of the 3DS from the outset but had to be scrapped to get the system out well ahead of Sony’s new handheld.
So now players need a bulky attachment, at an extra fee, to get what was in Nintendo’s thought process from the beginning.
Although it is most certainly guaranteed for other markets, right now the 3DS XL Circle Pad has only been revealed for Japan. It will be compatible with all 3DS Circle Pad-compatible titles.