The video game industry has always had a reputation for creativity and technological advancement. The incredible leap in graphical and audio quality of the modern computer can be attributed almost entirely to the existence of the video game industry. Similarly, the video game industry is largely responsible for the technology that currently powers iPhones and similar devices. Of course, not every creative attempt by the video game industry is actually successful. Some are actually downright ridiculous. Presented below are the six most ridiculous video game accessories ever to be released.
6. Game Boy Printer – A printer is a rather sensible invention. Most personal computers have an attached printer and just about every business in America has multiple printers. In fact, it only seems natural to attach a printer to a game console. Yet oddly, Nintendo chose to skip game consoles entirely and make a printer for the handheld Game Boy instead. Unsurprisingly, there was very little that Game Boy owners actually needed to print. This problem was compounded by the fact that only a small list of games were compatible with the printer and the Game Boy Camera was of such low quality that printouts from it were pitifully bad. Maybe if there was a Game Boy word processor this would have been a reasonable product. But, as it was, a printer on a hand held calculator was a better value.
5. Halo 3 Legendary Edition – Halo 3 was released with a high level of fanfare and at an industry norm suggested retail price of $59.99. But, following the recent trend, Bungie also released a limited edition version of the game. The limited edition version was slightly more expensive and came with a second disc filled with commentary and videos. Looking to push even further than any previous game release, Bungie also released a legendary edition. The legendary edition cost $70 more than the standard edition. For more than twice the cost of the original game, consumers received a life-sized plastic helmet statue. Certainly a few die-hards purchased this edition, but the concept of spending more on a hunk of plastic than the actual game, which took millions of dollars to produce, is one of the more ludicrous ideas to ever be associated with video games.
4. Konami Laserscope – The Konami Laserscope was a NES peripheral designed for the Konami game Laser Invasion. Thankfully, by design, it was compatible with any game that used a light gun. The major selling point of the Laserscope was that it would fire anytime you said the word “Fire”. Of course, due to the infancy of voice recognition technology, it would also fire when you said “What”, “Hi mom”, or “Kitty litter”. In fact, it would often fire when just about any noise was made by anything within about a hundred feet. Technical glitches aside, what made this truly ridiculous was how it looked. The user looked roughly like a cross between a character from Tron and Robocop while wearing this helmet. And, while speaking to shoot may be cool at first, repeatedly yelling “Fire” gets old very quickly.
3. Trance Vibrator – Possibly the most ridiculous thing about this accessory is that there is remarkably little outcry over its existence. The U.S. Senate held hearings over pajama clad women in Night Trap, yet almost nothing has ever been said about an accessory that is basically a sex toy. The trance vibrator is one of the most infamous accessories in video game history. Sold with the game Rez, it was designed to add synesthesia to the already mind altering rhythm shooter game. Of course, as the name suggests, many women quickly discovered that the vibrations of the trance vibrator more than lived up to the second part of the name. The fact that the accessory was never released in America suggests that the publishers were at least somewhat aware of the actual purpose to which the accessory would be used for.
2. Virtual Boy – Along with E.T. the Extraterrestrial, the Virtual Boy is basically the poster child for failures in the video game industry. Designed to allow for true 3-D game play, the Virtual Boy was an ugly red head mounted view screen with an attached ungainly controller. The fact that the Virtual Boy looked like an old Viewmaster didn’t help its dismal sales in any way. The product mercifully only sold for one year. But during that time and for some time after, the world suffered gamers wandering around with a giant red visor on, unable to see the actual world, while playing games with pitifully bad graphics and game play.
1. R.O.B. – Apparently Johnny 5 is alive and he is one foot tall and sitting in the living rooms of NES gamers around the world. Well, not actually, but one look at the R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) accessory for the NES and this would be a reasonable assumption. R.O.B. was designed as a controller that could recognize signals from the T.V. and respond to them. The semi-automated controller was compatible with two games and acted as something of a second player. While children originally though R.O.B. looked cool, the slow moving robotic body quickly became nothing more than an overlarge clunky addition in most living rooms. The majority of the robot was nothing more than aesthetics, which is amusing due to the fact that it looked entirely ridiculous. The fact that Nintendo quickly abandoned R.O.B. by not producing additional compatible games simply proved how meaningless this robot actually was.