'The Slide Pad does nothing but show 3DS's shortcomings'

Mailbox: Is the peripheral bad news?

On last week's mailbox Harry Sherlock e-mailed in to extol the virtues of renting video games, which he siad can be an excellent alternative to shelling out £40 every time a new game comes out.

This week Eelco De Vries e-mailed NGamer to discuss whether the recently revealed Nintendo 3DS Slide Pad does more harm than good to Nintendo's latest handheld.

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I woke up today to find there's a bulky Monster Hunter add-on controller for 3DS in the works. Many people have expressed their desire to get a 3DS if it has a proper Monster Hunter - but this isn't a new Monster Hunter. It's a rerun of Monster Hunter Tri. And I had a far more fun, lasting online experience with Tri, which isn't included on 3DS.

So while Nintendo were right about Monster Hunter selling me a 3DS, this is not it: a fun but plasticky handheld featuring a neutered version of a great game and a bulky controller. This does nothing for me but show 3DS's shortcomings a bit better.

What are those shortcomings? The 3DS is, though fun, a rushed-to-market item. Its chassis, its battery life, its plasticky slider - they all reek of great ideas but sloppy execution. And this has me worried about Wii U. Will that controller screen need physical pressure to read my touches? Will that drive die on me the way my Wii wasn't built to last? Will it feature noisy fans and mooing airblowers in order to provide horsepower? Will it be an almost bendable plastic console like I feel 3DS is? Or will it be strong and stay alive for its entire generation? Will it be quiet and clean, and have a proper online experience for all those brilliant games to make great use of? I hope that, in contrast to the 3DS, Nintendo will execute Wii U more solidly than we dare dream.

NGamer says: The 3DS slide-pad add-on thingy is a bit of a mis-step, sure, but there's still time for Nintendo to get Wii U absolutely right. And yes, Monster Hunter Tri-G is a remake, but if you take a look at our hands-on impressions you'll see that it's different enough to be worth a look. Panic over, eh?

CVG says: We're not sure if that's enough to calm the panic, we're inclined to agree with Eelco, we can't help but feel the add-on will splinter the already fragile Nintendo 3DS audience and potentially have the same effect on developers. Only time will tell.