Nintendo has finally given a U.S. launch date and price point for its 3DS Circle Pad, which it announced in September.
Available February 7th, the device will be sold for $20. Nintendo also revealed that GameStop will be the exclusive retailer for the device, which is probably a good indication that the company isn't betting too big on it.
That's not surprising. Like most add-ons, the Circle Pad Pro faces an existential catch-22. On one hand, developers are unlikely to create games that rely on it until it reaches a sizable consumer base. On the other hand, consumers are unlikely to pick it up until developers create enough games to justify buying it. Right now the number of supported titles is fairly small, limited so far to, among others, Monster Hunter Tri G, Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater, and Resident Evil Revelations. So it's a tight spot to be in.
Fortunately, at $20, the Circle Pad Pro's price isn't so high that that investment is a dangerous one. But it's still a wonder that Nintendo didn't make its functionality a part of the 3DS in the first place.