From gimmicky and ultimately useless motion control devices to a plank of wood attached to a controller, we count 15 of the least useful gaming peripherals ever made.
15 – Xbox 360 – SpeakerCom,
- There was this weird phenomenon on the 360 voice chat where if you set voice communication to go through your TV’s speakers all you could hear was a mumbled garbage that can only be likened to a series of farts echoing through a tin pipe.
- Well this device was supposed to fix that problem, it plugged into your controller and played the voice over a small speaker, as well as having an external mic and a set of crappy ear buds that fit more comfortably up your nose than in your ears.
- The main problem with it was that the external mic recorded the audio playing from the speaker causing a feedback loop, thus rendering the main function of the device as useful as a Mad Catz controller covered in Cheeto dust.
14 – Atari 2600 – Stick Station,
- The Atari joystick tended to give you cramps if you played it for too long, so a company named Skystation released a peripheral that tried to fix this issue in a way so awkward that it makes the Xbox Duke controller look like the GBA micro.
- They didn’t make a more ergonomic controller; instead they implanted the joystick into a slab of wood so big that it required you to put it on a coffee table, however, most people used the device under a table to keep it from wobbling.
- Of course they probably didn’t realise that the Atari joystick could have been put on a coffee table by itself quite easily and kept there with some tape or Blu-Tac with pretty much the same result, but I guess that wouldn’t leave you with a device that doubles as a doorstop.
13 – Wii – Boxing Gloves,
- Ever accidentally clocked someone in the fact whilst playing a Wii boxing game? If so these gloves have been tailor made to soften the blow, quite literally, since all they are are boxing gloves with some straps added so that a wiimote and nun-chuck would fit in.
- The manufacturers of the gloves must not own a Wii because there’s no window for the IR sensors, which dramatically reduces the accuracy of the motion controls, but on the plus side the added frustration behind this will give you the motivation to go and box for real.
- The other issue is that you can’t use any of the buttons, thus locking you out of any attack apart from the default one; luckily all of these issues can be fixed with a pair of scissors but you’re probably better off saving your $20 and spending it on boxing classes.
12 – Gameboy – Printer,
- There was a decent amount of fun to be had with the Gameboy camera and it makes sense that you’d want to print out the weird photos that you took, but it doesn’t make any sense when the printed copy is about a tenth of the quality of your average big foot picture.
- To make matters worse the printer runs on six AA batteries and requires thermal paper that gives you one colour per type of paper.
- This device seemed to have entertained someone, because Neil Young decided to use a printout as one of his album covers and the results are simply stunning, but luckily your best friend ‘imagination’ will help fill in the blanks.
11 –PlayStation – Jogcon,
- Back when 3D gaming was coming into its own and analogue sticks were becoming big Namco decided to ‘revolutionise’ racing controls with a turning wheel attached to a controller.
- However, most people who wanted a better racing experience simply bought a racing wheel with force feedback, a stick and pedals, none of which were featured in the Jogcon.
- Naming devices can’t be easy but it seems clear Namco just put two random syllables and called it day, I mean, unless they originally wanted you to jog on a treadmill whilst controlling the game.