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Nintendo 3DS Expansion Slide Pad Add-On Is Officially Real

Nintendo 3DS Expansion Slide Pad Nintendo of Japan held a media briefing earlier today in which it announced that the previously rumored expansion add-on for the Nintendo 3DS that adds a second slide pad and buttons to the system is actually a real thing and will be available in Japan later this yearat a price of ¥1,500 (approximately $20).  Requring a AAA battery to power the bafflingly unwieldy peripheral, you'll need probably want one of these to play upcoming 3DS titles such as Monster Hunter Tri G, Resident Evil: Revelations, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, and several other major releases, so, like it or not, you're probably going to end up with one of these if you're a current 3DS owner.  Everyone else may as well wait for the 3DS Lite.  There isn't a release date for the Expansion Slide Pad outside of Japan, but you know it's coming.  Japan isn't going to keep these big games all to itself.  Games that require the pad will sport a special logo on the case to let you know that you'll need probably want the expansion to play.

Slide Pad logoI can't help but notice that every one of the games announced for the expansion unit is a third-party release.  While Nintendo may be keeping some secondary slide pad functionality up its sleeve for its own projects, I have to wonder if influential third-party developers such as Capcom, Konami, and Square-Enix basically came to Nintendo and demanded the addition of a second slide pad.  With 3DS sales landing below expectations before last month's price cut, Nintendo wasn't exactly in a position to throw its weight around.  We've already seen Nintendo capitulate to its customers with a cheaper 3DS for would-be buyers and free Ambassador games for existing owners.  We may be seeing the company's attempt at placating the other side of the industry now.