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It may not arrive in the West for another couple of weeks yet, but Japanese gamers are already tearing their way through Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS following its release last Saturday, and by all accounts the game was well worth the long, teaser-filled wait.

There is, however, a little bit of worrying news regarding the 3DS’s suitability for a game of Smash Bros‘ frenetic nature. After just a few days of smash-tastic gameplay, a number of 3DS owners have begun uploading photos showing their consoles’ circular Slide Pads torn clean off.

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The early Wii U gamepad also featured Slide Pads instead of analogue sticks

After decades of controlling games with traditional d-pads and analogue sticks, the 3DS’s Slide Pad can take a little bit of getting used to. Rather than tilting or pressing on its edges, the Slide Pad requires players to, as its name implies, slide the entire disc around by keeping their thumb in its centre the entire time. It’s a bit like controlling a game by placing your thumb on top of a coin and skating it around in tiny circles.

Due to its low profile, however, the Slide Pad works well for the 3DS and allows the portable to retain the same clamshell design as its predecessors. After a few minutes of use, few would especially miss their old analogue sticks, and the controller suits many of the console’s games well.

It would seem that the little rubber disc on which the player’s thumb rests is not the most durable creation, though, as dozens of 3DS owners have recently begun uploading photos showing their consoles minus either their Slide Pad’s rubber cover or the entire Slide Pad itself; damage which the photos’ uploaders claim happened after playing Super Smash Bros.

▼ “My Slide Pad’s cover came off…”

▼ This person looks to have lost not just the rubber top but the entire slide pad.

▼ “I can’t be the only person whose Slide Pad broke after playing Smash Bros.”

▼ Another busted disc.

▼ It looks like gluing the rubber disc back on is always an option…

There has been no official word from Nintendo about the problem yet, and it is still unclear exactly how many Smash Bros players have experienced this sudden deterioration of their portable’s controller, so there’s probably no need to panic just yet if you’ve pre-ordered the game and are awaiting its release in your country. For all we know, this could all simply be the fault of some over-zealous players who need to learn to be a little gentler with their stuff.

Then again, as older gamers will no doubt recall, pretty much every generation of Nintendo hardware has suffered casualties at the hands of certain titles, with controllers being broken or worn out long before their time because of some game or other. Perhaps Super Smash Bros 3DS is simply this generation’s Mario Party?

Source: Hachima Kikou 
Feature image: Twitter – Megaman177 , Wii U gamepad image via Nintendolife