Nintendo 3DS' right thumbstick accessory mystery solved

Japan will be getting the cumbersome, cradle-like 3DS peripheral this December to coincide with the release of Monster Hunter 3G. An American roll-out seems imminent.

We finally got some answers about this bulky, cradle-like right thumbstick peripheral for the 3DS from Nintendo today, but you may not like what we learned.

The 3DS Expansion Slide Pad (rather than "circle pad" as CNET reported last week) was first revealed in the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, which got everyone speculating about the future of the beleaguered console to upcoming 3DS titles.

The good news: the slide pad is optional and compatible with more games than just the much anticipated Monster Hunter 3G. It even works with the upcoming Resident Evil: Revelations, Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Ace Combat 3D Cross Rumble, as well as Dynasty Warriors VS, according to Kotaku. Since Monster Hunter 3G is only releasing in Japan (for now), the device is heading to just that country this December, with no date set for an American arrival yet.

Early adopters will not be amused that this add-on costs an extra 1500 yen (about $19 US) after paying a premium for the 3DS, or that a not-too-dist a 3DS redesign will probably include the right thumbstick for less. To add insult to injury, the slide pad not only looks cumbersome to hold (especially if you have small hands) but actually requires its own AA battery to run -- so much for hoping it would double as a charger to boost the 3DS' weak battery life.

Assuming the games that the slide pad is compatible with will be coming to America as well, it's just a matter of time before the slide pad will be landing on our shores too. Hopefully, Nintendo America will keep the peripheral's price tag affordable, and not introduce a revamped 3DS any time soon.

[Source: Kotaku, Kotaku]

Updated at 4:21pm PT: Added a link to photo gallery of upcoming 3DS titles.