Unless you’ve taken a recent and extended holiday off the planet, you know that in just a few days Nintendo will officially begin selling Wii Fit. This particular item is much more than just software however, it also marks the most recent in a long line of awkward peripherals Nintendo has been peddling for over two decades.
Sure, we all have fond memories of R.O.B. single-handedly saving the game industry. Plus, who can forget spending a summer sliding across the floor on their Power Pad, competing for the gold medal in Track and Field? Not to mention the Pink Power Boots of Style that helped you overcome your aversion to all things couture. Ok that last one was a singular experience, but you get the point.
Since Nintendo’s introduction into the US, they have released a number of innovative products that have enhanced the gaming experience. At the same time, they have haphazardly released some that just don’t live up to their hype. Just take a gander below at just a few of Nintendo’s failed products.
The Power Glove (1989): We all had the dream of being as cool as Lucas Barton, and for those of us that bought the Power Glove we know we all stood in front of the mirror exclaiming, “I love the Power Glove. It’s so bad.” Seriously though, did anyone have success using this as a controller? Between adding codes for every game, odd finger positions, and permanent Velcro on your TV, it was a disaster. Though, for some of us it did make a great edition to our RoboCop Halloween costume that year.
Virtual Boy (1995): To date, the Virtual Boy is Nintendo’s first and only console failure. Why, you ask? Well, apparently in 1995 virtual meant red monochromatic graphics. In my case it also meant I had to sit at the kitchen table to play this thing. This all translated to an industry agreement that it “flopped.” My theory: this was secret R&D for a mass produced version of the Hypnotoad.
The Game Boy Camera and Printer (1998): I don’t know about you, but if there was something I really needed, it was the ability to take 4-color, pixilated pictures on my Game Boy. Well, that’s not completely true. I also wanted a way to transfer those grainy pictures to stickers. I must admit that the camera had certain applications in college dorm rooms. Thank you for fulfilling some of my wildest dreams Nintendo.
Nintendo 64 Expansion Pack (1998): When the Expansion Pack was released the Nintendo 64 had at least double the processing bits of every other system on the market. Expanding it would surely make it the raddest console to ever see the light of day. So, after installing my expansion pack, you understand while I was disappointed that my console didn’t turn into a small robot force to do my bidding. Unfortunately, all it did was let me play certain Nintendo 64 games or access specific features. Shouldn’t that functionality be included with the initial console purchase?
Cleaning Kits (Cartridge Era): This is perhaps Nintendo’s biggest slap to the public’s face. As any gamer knows, blowing into a console’s cartridge slot, or the cartridge itself, is simply the best way to clean a game. Unfortunately, OCD mom’s everywhere didn’t know this, but wanted to make sure our gaming was free of evil dirt and dust. The worst part was opening one of these on Christmas morning. Given the likeness in size and shape to a normal game, unsuspecting children everywhere were soon disappointed.
For nearly a decade, we have been spared from the onslaught of the likes of wayard waggling wands. The Wii has changed all this, and with its popularity, consumers are once again under assault. So I proffer a warning to all you Soccer Moms and Wii Bowling league members. “Buyer Beware.” While you’re busy gripping your Wii…Wheel, and salivating over your Wii Fit preorder, don’t forget the past. Then again, perhaps a Nobel Prize for finally solving “America’s Obesity Crisis” is well deserved.