TSA Talks #1

We’re an opinionated lot here at TheSixthAxis, and though some of us are more vocal than others, we’ve all got our bit to say about current and persistent topics in the gaming industry.

Our brand new weekly feature, TSA Talks, is a platform for our writing team to sound off on a pool of major news stories selected every week, inviting the community to chip in with your own thoughts and opinions. Now then, let’s get down to business.


One of the first news stories to come from this year’s Tokyo Game Show was the official announcement of Nintendo’s 3DS hardware expansion. The first party peripheral bolts awkwardly onto the side of the device, effectively adding a second thumbstick as well as two additional shoulder buttons. Though fairly cumbersome and ghastly in appearance, could the “Expansion Slide Pad” actually be a winner for Nintendo?

[drop2]Al: I think I summed this up quite neatly in the post – it’s ridiculous.  Not just in terms of how it looks – although it’s clearly an unattractive lump of plastic – but also in how it’s been presented to 3DS owners.  The timing’s terrible, the implementation is ridiculous (batteries, really?) and frankly Nintendo should have either had the second stick in from the start, or told developers to just use the bloody touch screen.I’m shocked that this thing is going ahead, I’ve not seen such wonky, misplaced sticky-out peripherals since the Currah Microspeech on the Spectrum.  At least that had some kind of form factor, mind, the Frankenstick is a complete and utter mess and should never have left the warped mind of whoever thought it was worth spending five minutes sketching it out on the back of an acid-fuelled session of Microsoft Paint.

I will, of course, buy one.

Joe: I was praying the rumours about this weren’t true, but sadly I was mistaken. As an early 3DS adopter I really hope this doesn’t signal a hardware revision because if it does I can see games down the line requiring the second circle pad and I don’t want to be forced into buying a new 3DS.

I’m sure the addition of a second analog stick will benefit a ton of games: camera control tends to be difficult without it. Still, I feel as though lugging around a 3DS with a huge attachment kind of defeats the purpose of its portability…

Kris: Nintendo seem more and more intent on annoying their customers, and there’s only so much they can give back in an attempt to make it up. No, this isn’t a new SKU, but it’s still bound to fracture the userbase and leave no-one happy. Those who get the add on will be annoyed that there aren’t enough games that support it, and those that don’t will be annoyed that there are even a few games they can’t pick up.

Isaac: The 3DS getting a second analog stick is a smart, albeit shady move from Nintendo. Why it didn’t have one in the first place will forever remain a mystery. Regardless, I’m excited for games like Snake Eater 3D since we’re now getting a proper control scheme. It’s just a shame that we have to pay for such a luxury.

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  1. Great feature. The hardware expansion looks ghastly for the 3DS, as said it’s ridiculous. As for The Vita, I don’t mind the memory stick but the price of an official Sony one is going to be astronomical. Hoping for cheaper third party ones. All in all by the looks of it the line up looks to be great and the current price of the Vita is reasonable, looks to be a winner.

  2. They should simply release a new model with dual sticks. The expansion is hideous yet essential. It’s like looking at that super nanny. You shouldnt but you probably would…..

    • They will, its just like the wii motion plus, starts as an attachment, then a redesign, although it is too early for that, it is probably on the way.

    • LMAO there is just something about her lol

  3. Brilliant new feature! Can’t really say much on this topic as I’m not much of a portable gamer, but really looking forward to future talks!

  4. The Vita’s memory stick liiks just like an M2, minus a notch. Plus squeezing 32GB on something that weights about 1g is astonishing.

  5. Apparently the expansion feels good to hold according to IGN and isn’t actually that heavy, but by god is it an ugly beast, not to mention the device is asymmetrical with it! Would someone please think of the symmetry?!

  6. The 3DS-attachment looks like such an afterthought (which it is) that it’s ridiculous. Surely it can’t be nice to use as it looks ergonomically incorrect on several levels. It wont be a hit as it wont get the support it needs from devs since it will split the userbase. So if Ninty is serious about it then they must release a new model with it built in.

    The Vita seems too good to be true, but let’s hope not. Recent intel about memory-sticks seems scary. But I don’t think there will be any problem, they’ll get cheaper as/and third-parties will get involved. When the Vita was known as the NGP, people where concerned about the battery-life, 3-5 hours was to be expected really, so I don’t know why that’s putting people off (if it is). It’s about the same as the PSP and the Vita has got a helluva lot more power under the hood. Plus there’s that portable charger, that can charge it fully 2 times or something without the need for a socket. The big concern is the battery lifespan, but I think it’ll be fine. Also, the console sure doesn’t have a problem with the software line-up, unlike a certain other handheld that needs to get it act together real quick. Some of the upcoming 3DS titles look like great games, but that’s the problem; they’re upcoming, not out like they should have been.

    Sorry for long comment, but I don’t have many people to talk about these subjects with IRL.

    Good feature though, it’s nice with a weekend recap with different opinions chiming in.

  7. I just can’t was u

  8. I just can’t wait until Luigi’s Mansion 2! My first and one of my favourite games on the gamecube.

  9. The fact that MK 7 is coming out just before Christmas and isn’t simply a Wii port, will be the 3DSs strongest move yet. I know some people who weren’t too interested in the 3DS until I mentioned a new Mario Kart on it coming soon. Now it’s a “I might buy my daughter a 3DS” now.
    All they need is for the momentum to keep going, but that means strong titles at the right time, on time.

  10. I think that as the games flow the 3DS will be a slow burner in much the same way as the PS3. Does anyone else remember when people were comparing it to the Dreamcast? Although, I do think that the next iteration of the 3DS will come with a second circle pad as standard.

    After buying a PSP on launch when it was suppossed to be a portable PS2 and it never came, I can’t help but see the same thing happening to the Vita. It already seemd to be sharing a lot of games with the PS360 and unless it starts to get some games that are unique to the console I can’t really see the point. Just for clarity I don’t really consider Uncharted and Wipeout to be unique to Vita and I can’t see reality fighters or whatever it’s called being any good.

    • That’s one of the reasons I am unsure about whether to get one or not. I want it to have more unique and exclusive games. If everything that is released for Vita is going to be released on PS3 too then I won’t be forking out the cash for one.

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