Weekly News Roundup: 09.11.2011

A wave of rumors turns into a week of big news.

By Andy Hoover. Posted 09/11/2011 12:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

What may have appeared to be a regular new week at the outset later proved to one of surprise and controversy. At times it may have appeared laughably off-beat but in all seriousness, this week turned out to be a doozy.

At first, talk of the Monster Hunter series coming to 3DS was a reasonably realistic rumor and the notion of a second Slide Pad being added to the handheld was little more than baseless speculation. However, scans from the latest issue of Famitsu quickly revealed all of this crazy to talk to be reality. Now 3DS is the talk of the town, some of it good and some of it bad, and for very good reasons.

Starting out away from the controversy, Capcom announced Monster Hunter 3G, an upgraded version of Wii’s Monster Hunter Tri that thankfully has nothing to do with smart phones and everything to do with 3DS. The newest entry in the popular series will feature new weapons, monsters, and areas designed with the system’s 3D effect specifically in mind. The series will also take advantage of the system by featuring customizable touch controls via the bottom screen.

Monster Hunter 3G has only been confirmed for a Japanese release but launches throughout the rest of the world are probably quite likely. Monster Hunter has been hugely successful in Japan, frequently topping sales charts and pretty much single handily keeping PSP viable; and while that level of popularity doesn’t exist in the rest of the world, there is definitely a large enough fan base to keep series going strong outside of its home country. At the very least, we do know that Japan should be enjoying the game before the year is out.

Right alongside the Famitsu scans of Monster Hunter 3G were shots of a rather peculiar looking contraption, a cradle-like add-on that wraps around 3DS and adds a second Slide Pad just to the right of the face buttons. Many reactions criticized the device for looking bulky and ugly while others saw its practical benefit for many gaming genres; however, many specifics were, and remain, somewhat unclear. Its revelation, alongside Monster Hunter 3G, led some to ask if it would function with other games and whether it was confirmed. Thankfully Nintendo has confirmed the expansion’s existence and commented on the issue, “We can confirm that Nintendo plans to release the Circle Pad attachment, but Nintendo’s regional subsidiaries will make further announcements about its availability at a later date.” Hopefully Nintendo’s pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference next week will provide a few answers.

When will the peripheral be released? How much will it cost? Will it feel better than it looks?

To end on news most people would have a hard time bad mouthing, Nintendo has revealed that last month’s 3DS price drop has been quite successful. Sales for the handheld in the US increased 260% over July for a total of 235,000 units. Hopefully the combination of the new price point, the addition of Monster Hunter 3G to the library of great games, and this significant peripheral will finally be enough to to silence the still far too prevalent naysayers. But of course we won’t see how these dramatic events conclude until each factor has had the chance to make its impact felt.

And now it’s your turn! What do you think about Monster Hunter 3G and the new 3DS add-on? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

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