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Nintendo 3DS to get a second control stick

Plugged In

Sometimes even the strangest rumors turn out to be true.

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Nintendo 3DS (Nintendo)

Whispers that Nintendo might be adding a second analog stick controller to its 3DS handheld system started circulating a few days ago, but few gave them much credence.

But a leaked photo from the Japanese video game magazine Famitsu indeed shows a new peripheral for the 3DS called the "Expansion Slide Pad." The idea's simple: Clip it onto your 3DS (like a cradle) and you've instantly got another circle pad, not to mention the capacity for dual-stick control. The second stick will sit to the right of the system's face buttons.

Nintendo confirmed that the device is not only real, it's something the company's creating in-house. However, it stopped short on providing additional details. (The company has a press conference planned for Sept. 13 where a formal announcement is likely.)

"We can confirm that Nintendo does plan to release the attachment but that any further announcements on the attachment will be made at some later time by Nintendo," the company told Edge.

For now, it looks like the add-on will be limited to the Japanese market and will be used in conjunction with a 3DS version of Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise, which will be on display at the Tokyo Game Show later this month.

The 3DS has had a rocky road since its launch five months ago. While curiosity seekers snapped it up initially, sales plunged quickly due to the system's $250 price and the lack of quality games backing it up.

Last month, Nintendo slashed the price of the 3DS to $170 to stimulate sales. The company is also hoping to see an uptick thanks to several big titles en route this holiday, but with increased competition from mobile phones and the upcoming launch of the PlayStation Vita, the 3DS still faces an uphill battle.

And a tacked-on extra controller doesn't seem to be convincing many people to support the system.

"This thing was DOA for a lot of us. This only confirms diagnosis," said 'geneshifter,' a commenter on Shacknews.

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