Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has said the company rejected the idea of adding a second Circle Pad to the 3DS XL in favour of offering greater battery life and a smaller form factor.
"When we looked at the design of the 3DS XL we had to look at various factors," he told The Independent. "One was battery life, one was the overall size of the unit, and we had to make some trade-offs.
"The choice, if we were going to include the second analogue stick, was to reduce the size of the batteries or make the unit much bigger.
"What we wanted to do was have a bigger screen in comparison with the overall size of the system, so had various discussions and had to make trade-offs and this is the outcome."
Leaving out the second Circle Pad also enabled the platform holder to keep the handheld's size in check.
"Attaching a second analogue stick is possible but it would have made the system even bigger and, though it perhaps puts a burden on people that really want that second stick, it's a call we had to make and these people will have to live with it
"This [the lack of a second stick] isn't my main focus when I look at the 3DS XL, it's one point we had to cover, but for me personally I'm quite happy with the product we're able to offer."
The NPD Group revealed last night that 3DS has sold over five million units in the US.