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Top 10 Lame Nintendo Made Peripherals And Accessories

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Michael Wynands Hey, even the best companies make mistakes from time to time. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Lame Nintendo Made Peripherals And Accessories. For this list we’re taking a look at special peripherals and accessories that were designed by the big N themselves, as opposed to third party peripherals that were made for Nintendo systems. That means if you were expecting the Power Glove, that was actually made by Mattel, so it doesn’t count for this list. Special Thanks to our user "Kadeem Gomez" for suggesting this topic on our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comSuggest
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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Lame Nintendo-made Peripherals and Accessories


Hey, even the best companies make mistakes from time to time. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Lame Nintendo-made Peripherals and Accessories.

For this list we’re taking a look at special peripherals and accessories that were designed by the big N themselves, as opposed to third party peripherals that were made for Nintendo systems. That means if you were expecting the Power Glove, that was actually made by Mattel, so it doesn’t count for this list.

#10: 64DD


No product should have “DD” in the title unless it wants people to think of large breasts – in which case, great success. At Nintendo, “DD” stood for “disc drive”, but it should’ve stood for “Designated Driver”, something this project was clearly lacking, as development drove off-course repeatedly. The magnetic disk drive was ambitious. It promised added storage, rudimentary internet connection for media sharing and online gaming, creative arts based games, and expansion discs for existing titles. It was also so large it was nicknamed “bulky drive” and failed to deliver much of the promised software. Launched in Japan in 1999, it sold an abysmal 15,000 units were sold, the unsold units were destroyed and it was discontinued two years later.

#9: 3DS Circle Pad Pro


In the defense of the Circle Pad Pro, it deserves credit for addressing a major shortcoming of the 3DS - the lack of a second circle pad. It addresses that issue at a reasonable price, with the added bonus of new triggers. Unfortunately, it also turns your 3DS into a bulky monster, seriously undermining the concept of the portable, handheld console. You’ll need to start wearing a fanny pack to carry it around, because your 3DS will no longer fit in any reasonably-sized pocket. It’s finish also looks cheap, clashing with the 3DS body. This promising peripheral seriously fell short of it’s potential with lazy design choices. Bottom line, the 3DS should have launched with a second circle pad built in.

#8: Gamecube Broadband/Modem Adapter


Nintendo failed to successfully bring internet connection to the N64 with the 64DD, but with the release of the Gamecube, they were finally going to get it right, calling it a “top priority”. You have to admire the company - from the Famicom Modem to Satellaview, they were always ambitiously pushing for the integration of internet connection into their consoles. Sadly, it was not be. The adapter was sold separately and fit into a port on the gamecube, but only a handful of games were released that supported the feature, most of which were only released in Japan. Mario Kart: Double Dash and Kirby Air Ride supported LAN connection though, which was pretty cool.

#7: Wii Fit Balance Board


Over the years, various developers have released titles that encourage gamers to get off the couch and get moving. Unfortunately, most of them are gimmicky, and boring (a notable exception being Stadium Events on the NES). Wii Fit is undeniably the most commercially-successful attempt yet at fitness-based gaming, but the balance board… leaves something to be desired. It generally works well, but is prone to incorrect readings, which is really frustrating if you’re using it as a serious exercise tool. As many fitness trainers have pointed, it’s also no substitute for real exercise, regardless of how Nintendo markets it. Nonetheless, over 42 million units have sold.

#6: Game Boy Camera


Cool idea. I mean, who would’ve thought you could take photos on your Game Boy? In 1998, Game Boy users around the world proudly declared “the future is now!” and rushed out to buy this accessory. Was it technologically impressive for the time? Sure. In fact, in 1999 it was crowned as the smallest digital camera by the Guinness Book of World Records. But the bundled games were silly and the photos were terrifying thanks to the limitations of the Game Boy display. Seriously, portrait pictures look like plot devices from a horror movie. Don’t forget the Game Boy Printer, which let you print these terrible photos on thermal paper.

#5: N64 Voice Recognition Unit


What do you mean you don’t remember the N64 VRU? It was a must-have accessory and took your gameplay experience to a whole new level! Oh wait, that’s entirely inaccurate. In fact, it was only ever compatible with two titles, “Hey You, Pikachu!” the game that it was packaged with and “Densha de Go! 64”, A train-driving simulator that was only released in Japan. In “Hey You, Pikachu!” it allowed you to interact with your beloved pokemon using voice commands, but the microphone was poorly designed and more often than not, failed to recognize your voice. The Gamecube microphone was a decent improvement, but given that it only worked with 5 or 6 games, it was equally forgettable.

#4: Wii Zapper


In the magical world of Wii, your remote can basically be anything you want it to be, thanks to an endless slew of cheap plastic shapes that the remote can fit into. Named after the original NES Zapper light gun, this peripheral has slots for both the remote and nunchuk, turning them into a single gun-shaped controller. It’s a pretty cool design, shaped somewhat like a tommy gun, that looks much better than most Wii remote accessories. Unfortunately, the end result is awkward, and it offered very little (if any) Improvement on any sort of shooting game that the standard Wiimote already offered, making it one of the most useless peripheral’s made by Nintendo.

#3: Game Boy Advanced E-Reader



Before Nintendo used Amiibo’s to unlock new content, they actually tried a similar scheme earlier with trading cards and the results were less than impressive. With this accessory for the GBA, players would scan cards to either play retro games or unlock new content for select GBA titles. However the classic games required players to scan multiple cards, meaning if you lost one, you’d be screwed. The extra content had an even bigger design flaw, as it required the player to own 2 Game Boy Advance’s and a link cable in order for the game and the reader to communicate with each other. That’s one hell of an oversight.

#2: Super Scope



Do you also love the oversized guns that featured prominently in comics, movies and video games in the 90s? Finally, are you indifferent to the functionality of the products you buy? If yes, then the Super Scope is the product for you! Marketed as the coolest video game gun ever, it looked more like a shoulder-mounted bazooka, that weighed about as much as one too. Honestly, this thing could knock you over. It also consumed batteries at a staggeringly fast rate, as it required 6 AA’s that only lasted about 4 hours. Plus, it required a sensor be mounted on your TV. That would all be forgivable if it worked well. But it doesn’t, and the games that supported it were generally worth 30 mins of your time.

#1: R.O.B.


Oh Nintendo… what were you thinking? Admittedly, every video game company has a few ridiculous accessories to their name, but Nintendo failures are always so much weirder than those of their competitors. R.O.B., the “Robotic Operating Buddy”, (an admittedly cute acronym) was an actual robot who connected to your NES. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a cyborg second player, but a Wall-E looking little guy that was compatible with only two games, and responded to on-screen flashes, much like the NES Zapper. Was he a sign of Nintendo’s innovative thinking? Yes? Was he also a ridiculous commercial failure, with horrible sales and poor reviews. Yes.

Do you agree with our list? What’s the worst first-party Nintendo or accessory or peripheral you ever made the mistake of putting on your wishlist? For more memorable top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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