Tag Archives: Peripherals

The 3DS XL Gets Even Bigger

For those of us out there that are considering upgrading to the 3DS XL, but are worried that we’d lose some functionality of some games that use the Circle Pad Pro Nintendo has some news for you. Andriasang is reporting that the 3DS XL will be getting its own version of the peripheral. No pictures of the device are yet available, but it will add the second circle pad and the extra shoulder buttons to the system.

No release date is yet known, but the outlet reports that it will go on sale in Japan (and presumably North American and Europe) later this year.

Tony’s Time: Peripherals Aren’t Useless

Nintendo has gotten a reputation over the last six years of being a peripheral heavy company. The company has released a number of add-ons for their devices that they designed as a way to enhance a players gaming experience. Many of them are nothing more than a piece of plastic that you strap the Wii Remote into, or attach to the 3DS. Not only Nintendo themselves, but a number of third party companies have also created peripherals for not only the Wii and the 3DS, but the Xbox 360, the PS3, the iPhone and any other gaming device out there. Despite the fact that many people say that it’s a new thing peripherals have been around since the beginning of the era of video games.

These devices are designed because companies, like Nintendo or Mad Catz, think that there is a need or a desire for these devices. The Wii Remote is used as a steering wheel in a number of games and many people actually play the game that way. I’ve tried using the Wii Remote by itself to play Mario Kart Wii and it doesn’t work. The controller is not actually designed to be held in that manner to play the game and many of the buttons are hard or uncomfortable to reach. However, if you strap that controller into one of the plastic wheel shells it becomes immediately intuitive and easy to use. The peripheral did its job. Continue reading Tony’s Time: Peripherals Aren’t Useless

Kid Icarus Gets a Bundle

Japanese gamers worried about getting sore wrists from playing hours upon hours of Kid Icarus: Uprising need fear any longer. Project Lead Masahiro Sakurai has confirmed that the game will be coming bundled with a stand that will allow you to rest the 3DS on a table, or perhaps your lap while playing. It hasn’t been confirmed yet that this device will be coming to North America, just yet. However, I’m actually pretty interested in this little piece of plastic.

I don’t know that I’m really interested in playing the game while it’s resting on this little dock. I’ve spent numerous hours playing Call of Duty on the DS, which has a very similar control method and I found that I never really had any issues with hand cramping or fatigue. I don’t expect this game to be any different. I do, on the other hand, watch a lot of Netflix on my 3DS. It comes in handy writing content for the site late in the evening sitting at my table away from my TV. I would like to have this to get the system up off the table a little bit more so I would buy it just for that purpose. It might also be a good conversation starter. You never know when people will come to your house and ask about random video game peripherals.

Con-soul Searching: Bringing the Plastic Home

Guitar Hero, Rock Band, DJ Hero and now Tony Hawk Ride; if you are anything like me, you are running out of room for all of these plastic peripherals.  I already have a hall closet devoted to video game controllers, but now a separate bedroom closet has to be used to hold my Rock Band and Guitar Hero instruments.  I made a rule to not buy anymore colossal controllers, but now DJ Hero and Tony Hawk Ride have been released, and their price tags are almost as big as the boxes they come in.

I wasn’t really interested in the two games until I was watching some off-screen game play for Tony Hawk Ride.  Half-way through the video I realized the Ride controller was what I always wanted; an arcade machine in my own home.  Think about it, what were the arcade machines you always played in the arcade?  You played that X-men beat’em up sure, but also Time Crisis, Cruisin’ World and all those others that you had to pay more than a dollar for.  Now with games like Tony Hawk Ride and DJ Hero, we can get that arcade experience at home without waiting in line or worrying about the bratty kid in front of you breaking the controller.

Honestly, this wave of home arcade experiences is long overdue.  Unless you live in Japan, you probably haven’t been to an arcade that doesn’t have an overgrown rodent problem in a long time.  The classic arcades of my generation have all but died out now.  I shudder to think about younger generations that have never felt the rush of anticipation from waiting in line to play Mortal Kombat 2. (ed. Note: Or Street Fighter II) Sadly, those days are long gone, but perhaps with services like Xbox live and these plastic peripherals, we will be able to preserve a small taste of the arcade experience in our homes.

The special controllers aren’t anything new either.  Think back to some of the early home consoles.  The Atari 5200 had a track ball controller, the Sega Master System had a pair of 3D glasses and the NES had the Zapper, you could fill a garage with these old school controllers.  Some people do.  Now that video games are one of the major players in the entertainment market, we are starting to see a new influx of these controllers spring up on stores shelves.   The question is, will it last?

I worry that games like Rock Band and Tony Hawk Ride will follow in the footsteps of their older arcade brethren and become all but extinct.  Hopefully miniscule issues like storage space won’t cripple this new home arcade experience before it has an opportunity to show its potential.  Like I said before, I only have so many closets.  So the next time I am shocked by the price tag on a Tony Hawk Ride or a Guitar Hero bundle, I am going to remind myself that it is cheaper than the room full of arcade machines I wanted as a kid.