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The worst gaming peripherals to have ever existed

I don’t game without my Konami Laserscope on my head.

Image: KnowTechie

Looking back at gaming history often throws up some questionable things. Whether that is an awful game, a crappy console, or a weird accessory, there are plenty of WTF moments in the gaming universe. You can’t deny that a peripheral collection appeals to retro gamers. But, sometimes, you will wonder why brands have even bothered. We’re talking about the worst game accessories to ever exist.

Have you ever shouted at your controller to play your games? Did you ever wear your controller on your hand? How about standing in a dinghy to play your favorite video games? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you probably had one or more of the items on our list. So, without further ado, let’s take a look-see at some of the shittest gaming peripherals ever to have existed.

Tony Hawk: RIDE Skateboard

tony hawk ride accessory

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Excited to play the remastered Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2? We’re sure you are. But at no time during the media hype following the announcement did anyone say “Erm, you’ve missed Tony Hawk: RIDE out of this equation”. Why? Because it was awful. Not only that, but the controller bundled with the game was even worse.

Imagine flying across the city on your board, wheels clacking against the pavement, plenty of curbs and benches to bunny hop off and grind on. Now imagine you took the wheels off your skateboard. Fun? No, it isn’t, its rubbish. This was exactly the same experience provided by the Tony Hawk: Ride skateboard.

Standing in your living room performing stationary skateboarding gestures isn’t a great way to play a game. Sure, it is a novel control method, but it is also a wholly unresponsive one. That makes this one of the worst gaming peripherals ever.

Game Boy Camera and Printer

game boy printer and camera

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Did you know that dick-pics were invented by twenty-something users of the Game Boy Camera and Printer? No, we didn’t either because that is a blatant lie, but why the hell would you want a picture taken by your Game Boy and printed out on a roll of receipt paper? Hardly Carl Zeiss with this peripheral, are you?

The Game Boy Camera and Printer may have seemed revolutionary at the time. However, the visual results were more in line with dubious teabag readings than the photograph of the year. Remember drawing with magnets and iron filings in elementary school? Yeah, you’d get a similar standard of imagery with the printed pictures from the Game Boy Camera and Printer.

If you like your photos to look like someone rubbed soil on a sheet of toilet paper, then this is the gaming peripheral for you. Otherwise…why? Just why?!

Konami LaserScope

konami lasercope

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A fly on the wall in any modern gaming household is likely to hear the angry screams of someone who has just lost out to a blue turtle on Mario Kart. Or cries of “FUCK OFF, YOU CAMPING BASTARD.” But what you are unlikely to hear is anyone controlling their game by screaming at it. Not unless they are rocking some serious head-based game controllers, right?

The Konami LaserScope for the NES is one such accessory. Donning the LaserScope makes you look like the bastard lovechild of a mic-wearing Britney Spears and Justice League’s Victor Stone. Even more ridiculous is the inclusion of the crosshair eyepiece for aiming whatever gun you were firing. More ridiculous still is the manner in which firing would take place; by actually shouting “FIRE” into the microphone.

Not only is it pretty useless for controlling games, then, but it is also a surefire way to have the stupid thing confiscated because your parents are sick of your constant racket. Just shut up and play with a normal controller.

The U-Force

u-force gaming peripheral

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I must confess to having a soft spot for Broderbund Software. This is likely down to my playing Prince of Persia and MYST on my Amiga 500 as a kid. However, at the time, I had no idea they had released a controller for the NES; the U-Force. The U-Force was kind of a motion detector that could be used to control games, but it was also kind of a complete and utter flop.

The device would open up like a modern-day laptop would. A hinged lid would reveal the hi-tech gaming surface (or lack thereof) with which you could control the games. The surfaces of the U-Force had designated zones so you could wave your hands over each area for a different on-screen effect. The trouble is, though, that it wasn’t particularly good at its job. While this obviously precursors the likes of the Nintendo Wii by many years, it failed to take off and was forever consigned to the dustbin of whack peripheral history.

Wii Bowling Ball

wii bowling ball

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Speaking of the Nintendo Wii, let’s take a look at this rather odd peripheral. Pretty much everyone who owned a Wii loved the bowling game that came with the bundled Wii Sports disk. It was great fun, although you did have to be careful not to accidentally fling the entire controller at your brittle TV screen. That kind of accident would often spell disaster for your expensive home theater setup.

How to get past this constant worry? That’s right, let’s shove the easily grip-able Wii controller into a smooth sphere and make wild throwing gestures in the direction of the new smart TV. What could possibly go wrong? There was also some sort of football which was similar except this time you had to pretend you were kicking the thing toward your TV instead. As expected, this peripheral didn’t make it into many households. Probably because people don’t like to game with the constant threat of smashing one of the most important components of their console gaming rig.

Intel Wireless Series Gamepad

intel gaming controller

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Who likes inflatable flight pillows? Aren’t they just great for catching a few comfortable Z’s while you’re in the middle of a long-haul flight? They are! But what they are not good for is controlling video games, which is what the Intel Wireless Flight Pillow Gamepad wants to do. It just didn’t do it particularly well, with ropey controls and the requirement for even more ephemera to work it. Plus, once again, it is Tony fucking Hawk’s fault that anyone had to endure this steaming pile of gaming turd.

The controller was bundled with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 when it arrived on PC. The problem was you couldn’t even use the thing without the wireless receiver to plug into your computer. Of course, this was sold separately, so the whole process involved an extra financial layout in order to make it work. Yeah thanks, Intel. Not only did this lumber you with a shit controller, but you now also have to pay for more shit to make your existing shit less shit. Down the toilet with you!

Kinect Gameboat

kinect game boat accessory

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Sorry, but what the act-u-al fuck? I’d have loved to have been at this board meeting.

Person A: “So, team, we need to come up with a game and peripheral that fits easily in a player’s lounge and they’ve always dreamt of controlling.”
Person B“A dragon for Skyrim!”
Person A: “Mmyeeaaah, bit mythical that one.”
Person C“A full-sized combined harvester for Farming Simulator!”
Person A“Hmmm…they already have tractor controls…”
Person D“AN INFLATABLE DINGHY FOR KINECT ADVENTURES!!”
*rapturous applause

Obviously this didn’t happen, but how on earth did anyone arrive at using a seaside inflatable as a controller? This is worse than a flight pillow! The Kinect Game Boat was designed to use with Kinect Adventures. Thankfully everyone realized it was nothing more than a balloon filled with hot farts, so it wasn’t very popular. No surprise there, really.

THE worst gaming peripherals

I’m struggling, here. Some of these peripherals are quite old, so I’m happy to give them the benefit of the doubt. Some of them were also using technology that hadn’t been fully explored at the time, so they have the benefit of the doubt, too.

However, if you’re telling me that I should buy an inflatable dinghy or a flight pillow to control my games, I’m going to swiftly introduce your face to a chair. So, Kinect Game Boat and Intel Wireless Series Gamepad, off you go to sit with the rest of the idiots in the “massive videogame errors” pile. If this kind of nonsense floats your boat (sorry), then take a look at these games consoles you possibly have never heard of.

Do you own any of these weird and wonderful controllers? If you do, do you actually like them? If so, what the hell is the matter with you? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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