Over the years, many game accessories have launched with the hope of improving the gameplay experience. In fact, most gamers will probably have a dedicated corner in their attic that acts as a graveyard to the accessories they once cherished; from plastic guitars to dance mats and oddly-shaped controllers to console faceplates/skins.
While they are in short supply these days (mostly because of motion-sensor technology such as Kinect and the PlayStation Camera) Wriggy looks at five of the most bizarre gaming accessories to ever go on sale:
As the name suggests, The Power Glove is a controller accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which is described as “the first peripheral interface controller to recreate human hand movements on a television or computer screen in real time”. Released in 1989, the glove itself is only compatible with two titles and proved to be a massive flop (though paved the way for the Nintendo Wii some 17 years later).
Console: SEGA Genesis
The SEGA Activator is an accessory for the Genesis that consists of an octagonal ring of sensors, which control the on-screen movement when players strike over a specific section. Released in the mid 90s, the Activator is the first full-body motion controller (Microsoft may beg to differ though). Whereas the Activator is only fully compatible with three games (Eternal Champions, Mortal Kombat, and Comix Zone), gamers can assign the controller to work with any Genesis title with the 3-button pad emulator.
Console: Nintendo Game Boy
Price: £100 (approx)
Compatible with the Game Boy Camera and a very small selection of games, the Game Boy Printer is an attachment for Nintendo’s handheld console. A small chip in the printer is controlled by pulses that come from the camera/the game, thus creating various temperatures. These temperatures, in turn, shade the points heated on the special paper (which has to be specially purchased) into various shades of gray, creating the image. The Game Boy Printer proved very popular in 1998. Nowadays, you may be better off sticking to a regular printer.
Console: Nintendo Wii
Trauma Centre is a popular Wii title in which players assume the role of a surgeon in a fictional hospital, using the Wii remote to carry out surgical operations. The CTA Trauma Centre Surgical Kit works similarly to a penknife, giving gamers access to a stethoscope, tweezers, scalpel, syringe and thermometer. Unsurprisingly, the CTA Trauma Centre Surgical Kit doesn’t improve the gameplay in any way and is somewhat of a novelty.
Console: Xbox 360
Atomic Accessories’ Game Boat is a real-size replica of the dinghy in Kinect Adventures. The inflatable boat (which can also be used in real water) is intended to make the whole experience feel more realistic. However, as you’d expect, the main issue with the Game Boat is that it proves more of an obstacle due to the fact you have to move in order to control the game and, as a result, makes it a lot more difficult to play.