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Ten most ridiculous gaming peripherals

Updated on November 20, 2016
all this firepower and not a duck in sight
all this firepower and not a duck in sight | Source

10.Superscope (Nintendo Scope)

Light guns are awesome, there is no better feeling then slaughtering countless avian creatures in the comfort of your living room. Unless your brother plugs in the second controller and takes control of said animals, next thing you know you can't hit them and this damn dog is snickering at you like Muttley from Wacky Races. If the NES Zapper was so great (which it was) then why in the world did Nintendo decided that the next logical step from a light pistol was a bazooka? This is definitely a case of going from one extreme to the other and it was so over the top it was laughable.With very few games that supported the SuperScope, and no duck hunt it was destined for failure from day one. Aside from the size and odd way you had to wield it (and I mean wield) the biggest problem was no matter what game you played you felt like you should be blowing things up.When someone shoots the machine gun pick up in game with a plastic pistol you just accept that you are using a machine gun because it is bigger and better. There is really nothing gratifying when you shoot the same pick up with a bazooka because in regards to man portable weaponry it doesn't get much better then a rocket launcher.

the iconic first game genie for the NES
the iconic first game genie for the NES
game genie for the SNES, alas this one did not have gold anywhere on it
game genie for the SNES, alas this one did not have gold anywhere on it
game genie for the game boy, its just that big
game genie for the game boy, its just that big
Sega Genesis game genie, the most normal looking of the bunch
Sega Genesis game genie, the most normal looking of the bunch

9. Game Genie

There was a time when gaming took some skill, and games where hard to beat. Some games where in fact so hard that cheat codes where needed when one wanted to complete a level, but what do you do when up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, doesn't work? Enter the game genie, a tool designed to allow almost anyone to hack straight into their console by bypassing the code in the cartridge and supplementing your own. What made the game genie so ridiculous was not what it did but rather the way it looked and the way you received your codes for the latest, greatest game. Every system that the game genie was made for had a different looking genie, and they where all really large and gawdy. The other side of the coin was the way game genie codes would become obsolete or new ones would be discovered.The only way to get said new codes was to subscribe to a newsletter and wait for the mailman every quarter. While people would wear the fact that they owned one like a badge of honor and the code delivery method was the best we could do in the pre-internet days, by modern standards the idea of the game genie is pretty out there.

it kinda looks like an egg with buttons
it kinda looks like an egg with buttons

8. Pocketstation

I remember seeing ads for these in the '90s in magazines, and boy did I want one. In those days of gaming there's was something alluring about the idea of plugging an LCD display device into your game console, as evidence by the VMU for the Dreamcast. Alas the Pocketstation never made the journey across the pond because for some reason Sony decided to only release 60,000 units in Japan to start. These all sold out and Sony was not able to make the over glorified calculator fast enough for demand in Japan, let alone the rest of us. Serving no real purpose beyond being able to monitor stats for rpgs, and acting like the red headed stepchild of the Tamagotchi, the Pocketstation was still a hit overseas. Today you can get them from amazon for around $70 if you are looking for a piece of gaming history most people do not remember.

in hindsight that ad is a lot less cool
in hindsight that ad is a lot less cool

7.Sega Activator

Between the Sega Cd add-on,the 32x and the power base converter by the end of its lifetime the Sega Genesis had become the transformer of the console gaming world. While neither of these additions really saw a lot of success and would lead Sega to eventually build the Dreamcast and then promptly shrivel up and die, they where not the worst addition to the Genesis line. That honor goes to the Sega Activator which was basically a octagon of plastic and wire that you stood in to play. The Activator was marketed as a martial arts simulator, and while ironic that MMA rings are the same shape the UFC this was not. The concept was that infrared beams would capture the players movement and transfer it to the avatar on screen and it did, just not very well. Aside from fighting games you could use the Activator as a normal Genesis controller, to get an idea of how this worked picture trying to play Sonic the Hedgehog with your whole body instead of just your thumbs. So let's see, it did not work right, it was awkward, took up space on the ground, and on top of that it cost $80 when released. The console itself released at $189.99 making the $80 price point even less appealing. I will admit those old magazine ads with the stereotypical '90s teen doing kung-fu in the ring looked amazing, I am glad I never convinced my parents to buy into this.

Now your playing with power, body power

6. Nintendo Power Pad

The DDR craze may have caused families to rearrange closets to find room for unwieldy dance mats but long before most DDR players where born there was another fitness mat for fitness-centric gamers to get their dance on with. The power pad was released with the NES console, the zapper and a three game cartridge featuring Mario, duck hunt, and world class track meet. With only seven US releases that took advantage of the power pad and a second side of the mat that was used as much as the "B" side of a cassette the power pad never really got off the ground. I owned one of these as a kid and my only real memory is stomping erratically back and forth on the buttons with the occasion jump thrown it to get over the on screen hurdle. While the argument can be made that the power pad paved the way for the dance game craze as well as the wii fit boards, the fact that it was bundled with the console and still only saw support from seven games across its lifetime is a slap in the face to those of us who conned our parents into getting one.

how to make an interactive skating game.......
how to make an interactive skating game.......
..and how not to
..and how not to

5.Skateboard from Tony Hawk Ride

I played and loved Top Skater back in my arcade days, although to this day I am still not sure what motions to make to preform a kickflip vs an olie. While I may not have been able to remember or execute most of the actions required to play Top Skater, it did at least respond to my feeble attempt. Ride's skateboard did not respond to me, or anyone else for that matter. After the release of the Skate franchise Activision and Tony Hawk realized their game series was in trouble. Tony Hawk had moved so far from the basics of the old games, and what mad them fun that they had to do something and do it fast. The logical answer was to create their own motion sensor skateboard in the vein of Pro Skater, they just forgot to make it work. Aside from the horrid motion detection there was another fatal flaw with the board from Ride that I feel gets over looked. When you are jumping around and heel flipping your self into nausea in Top Skater there are rails to hold onto to ensure that you do not end up face down on the floor. The board that came with Ride did not have such a device but rather sat alone on your living room floor taunting you to attempt to play without face planting into your mothers potted petunia on the end table.It did not work, people hated it, and it had nothing going for it in sales. Yet despite all this Mr Hawk continued to defend Ride and the board on twitter. I have to give it to him, the man stands behind his work.

There he is in all his robot glory
There he is in all his robot glory

4. R.O.B

When the Nintendo Entertainment System released in the USA the Japanese company new exactly what it needed to do to market to the American youth, build a robot. In the '80s every kid loved robots, hell most still do but they like robots that do stuff. R.O.B, or Robbie as some called it was a robot friend that was bundled with the NES deluxe bundle, the idea was to give lonely kids someone to play games with. The fact that Robbie was so slow to react meant that kids with no friends where better off plugging in two controllers and playing them simultaneously then trying to play with their robot buddy. R.O.B has sort of become the poster child for useless peripherals but he is not the worst simply because he is a robot. I refuse to allow something as cool to the six year old in me as a robot to be the worst thing on any list ( unless that list is the top ten worst robots ever). Ironically because Robbie was so useless that he sat around collected dust and was eventually sold at a yard sale he is now rather rare these days. It is funny how something deemed so useless in its time now sells for between $50 and $100 on ebay.

just look at those curves
just look at those curves

3.Playstation Move

Just when I thought we where down with all the sexual innuendo that the Wii prompted along comes Sony with the move controller. With the addition of sensual curves and a large glowing ball on top the Playstation Move controller puts the Wiimote to shame in terms of jokes about waggling. I am cannot verify this but for me the Move, with the exception of the addition of the Eye feels and looks a hell of a lot like the Wii. Once Sony saw the success that Nintendo was having with the Wii and realized that there where gamers who would be willing to get off their couch and dance around like fools while handing over piles of money they knew what they had to do. Microsoft and Sony both answered with their own motion sensor designs, and at least Kinect looks different. The biggest problem with Move is the desire of developers to include it in games that it has no right being in. Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny was a fun RPG in the spirit of Harvest Moon but I failed to find the benefit of making everything just a little more awkward by using motion controls. There have been some good games that have released for the Move system since its debut but out of the motion control wars Move is the clear loser, even if it does have the most sex appeal.

it did look kinda cool in that creepy '80s sci-fi kind of way.
it did look kinda cool in that creepy '80s sci-fi kind of way.

2. Nintendo Power Glove

The first motion controller ever, "I love the power glove. It's so bad." This thing has become an icon of '80s gaming, but not because you could really game with it. The esteemed "power glove gaming series." contain a whole two games, both of which received low critic scores and where never released in Japan. The decision to not release the games in Japan would have been no big deal had Nintendo not decided to release the glove itself there. With so few exclusive games for the glove itself gamers where left with the option of using the wrist mounted traditional controller to play other games. I know the idea of playing games with your controller attached to your wrist might sound appealing, but trust me it is not. The glove was featured in the movie length advertisement The Wizard and today has attained a cult like status among gamers.

its just so red
its just so red

1.Virtual Boy

I guess the Virtual Boy was technically a system of its own but since its lifespan was shorter that a third party guitar hero drum set and there is no denying it is was a game boy gone red I have included it. So what makes it deserve the number one spot on this list? The life span of the Virtual Boy lasted all the way from July of 1995 into early 1996 and was discontinued with no press release or fanfare, much like everyone else by that point Nintendo wanted it to just go away. While taking a name similar to the popular Game boy no one in a proper state of mind would consider wearing this things while mobile. it was designed to sit on a desk attached to a tripod that was just short enough to give neck cramps. If you are completely in love with the color red, I mean if you eat, sleep and dream in red you may like this console. Everything from the console itself to the graphics in game was bathed in rage-inducing red. Speaking of the graphics, in the eve of the playstation and Nintendo 64 being released the idea of playing games with vector graphics was not a high selling point for the Virtual Boy. After release there where also numerous complaints of physiological problems during and after playing the Virtual Boy. So to recap it was not mobile, it made you mad with its color choice, the graphics where abysmal, and it gave you headaches and eye strain, and all for the low low price of $180. Today there is an active homebrew community that creates software for the system, for some reason.

That's it, the ten most ridiculous peripherals in gaming. Comment below and let me know what you think as well as any other suggestions you may have. You can also check out my list of the top ten fps weapons here, You can also find a list of JRPGs on the Xbox 360 here

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    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Fantastic list you've got here, some of which I didn't even know about or had completely forgotten (the Activator and Pocket Station). I like the concept of all these items, but most of them were poorly executed. The SNES Super Scope was OK, but it drained batteries like there was no tomorrow, and it required a LOT of power - another reason why wireless wasn't always good in its time.

      Most of these devices like the Virtual Boy and the Power Glove I learnt about from the Angry Video Game Nerd, both of which he's reviewed to a great extent, and they're a joy to watch too. The Power Glove is my favourite accessory out of all the ones you've listed, mostly because it looks badass and even though it doesn't work well, it's still got one of the highest novelty factors in video gaming history.

      Voted up, useful, interesting, funny and awesome! Not to mention a share amongst my followers! Also, my personal thanks for the shoutout! ^^

    • Geekdom profile image

      Geekdom 4 years ago

      Great Hub! I never had any of these, but my friend had the glove and power pad. The power pad could have been great but it just did not have the game support. the Power Glove was a totally AWESOME and useless device. My friend did let me borrow it for a Halloween costume. That might have been the most use it ever got.

    • toptendeals profile image

      Jason Benedict 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida

      Hi, just started following your hub :) This article made me think of the NES mat for track and field? You had to step on it to race, jump for the triple jump, and do hurdles and such. Was pretty ridiculous but fun back in the day.

    • Rabidwombat profile image
      Author

      Rabidwombat 4 years ago

      Thanks for the comment toptendeals. I had and loved my Powerpad and track and field when I was younger as well. Many people feel that the Powerpad was the precursor to the Dance Dance Revolution mats but I feel that it is more like an archaic version of Kinect.

    • Tonyx35 profile image

      J Antonio Marcelino 4 years ago from Illinois, USA

      This is truly a great list of gaming accessories. I actually played the Nintendo Virtual Boy for a few minutes. A retail display unit, many years ago. I had to stop since I got a headache. The game was Mario Clash. Now we have the 3DS that actually works and is in color!

      The Sega Activator, I only remember seeing an ad or two about it in Gaming mags and comic books. Now we have the Microsoft Kinect. I Saw the PocketStation while vacationing in Asia and never knew what it did until I this hub. Thanks for the info. When anyone mentions the Super Scope, I think of the Super Mario Bros. Live Action film. "King Koopa" firing a Bazooka.

      I would throw in a vote for The Konami Laser Scope for the NES. A headset with single eyepiece and a mic. The print ad has a kid seriously sweating, while using the thing.

      Vote up, +1 Interesting,

    • Rabidwombat profile image
      Author

      Rabidwombat 4 years ago

      Thanks for the comment and vote Tony. I forgot about the laser scope until you mentioned it, that was definitely another great one. If I ever do a round two of the list you can bet it will be on there.

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