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 new feature guys, nice to read alternative staff opinions on different subjects like this.
    It is both unfortunate and a bit shocking that Nintendo didn’t include a second stick from the beginning but now that they’re planning a redesign of course they have to address the lack of it for current 3DS owners with the add-on and also to prevent the current design becoming worthless when the redesign is launched and more games are using dual sticks. It’s a shame the add-on had to be so ugly but personally I’ve always thought Nintendos hardware looks a bit Fisher-Price. I wonder if people who were considering buying a 3DS soon will wait instead for the redesign or what sort of further price-drop we might see before/when the redesign launches.
    Of course Vita has it’s foibles too and although I’m excited about it I don’t know if I will jump on it day one. Queue-ing up at launch to pay €630 for a console only to have some features removed blah blah etc.. That’s had some effect on me :)
    I’ll probably wait for a good ratio of cost vs range of games available.. Well that’s the plan anyway..impulse might prove me wrong! :)

  2. Interesting feature but isn’t it just a podcast in written form? Anyhoo’s….. I have now taken to ignoring just about all Ninty related news as they are no longer pushing boundries but appear to just be finding ways of pushing shovelware. Yes the control method of the Wii was new and innovative but the software and graphics are not moving forward. As for 3ds?? Meh. IMO.

  3. Pure ugly, glad I didn’t “waste” my money on a 3DS.

  4. As far as the Monster Hunter thing goes – Capcom’s been rehashing the same idea ever since they released the first game on Ps2. All of the games that came out later were mere add-ons with new skins, few weapons and new monsters.

    Monster Hunter 4 is coming to 3DS because Capcom can still use pretty much the same crappy engine they’ve been using all this time. And well… IT’S LIKE PRINTING MONEY!

    And about the engine thing – MH “HD” for PS3 is a freakin’ joke.

    • I see what you mean by “printing money,” but when Capcom tried it with the Wii (which was vastly more popular than the 3DS is now) when they launched Monster Hunter Tri, they only shipped a million units in Japan when they could have tripled that simply by developing for the PSP instead. Very strange.

      • I think they were pressured to release a home-console game (after all, there was so many handheld MHs already) and they chose Wii simply because it had more units sold than Ps3 and X0 combined.

        And since that failed, they’re not going to create a new engine for a PS3 release now, they’re just going to try with 3DS.

        Oh – and they’re making MH4 AND a port of MH Tri for 3DS – that’s ridiculous.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this one, here’s hoping for a TSA Talks #2!

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