My Top Ten: Peripheral Madness


Consoles are great, peripherals make them usable, add some functionality or, in some cases, do nothing at all. Controllers obviously won’t make this list (The Dreamcast one almost did) because they are necessary. Some of the more “off-center” peripherals have huge potential for amusement though.

I realise that some of the entries on this list might seem pretty far fetched so there’s even a gallery of pictures so you can see them all for yourself! If you can you think of any bizarre extras that I have overlooked let us know in the comments.

  • Menacer Light Gun – It came with a cartridge of six mini target-shooting games. Only two full games were developed that this was compatible with until the MegaCD came out. One of them was T2 though, so it’s not all bad.
  • Amiga Joyboard – A lot of you might think balance boards are a recent Nintendo brainwave. A couple of ex-Atari employees came up with this 25 years earlier and sold it to fund the initial release of the Amiga Computers.
  • Buzz! Wired buzzers – I’m sure you all know about these. Massively popular, sold really well and invented a new genre. Those damn wires instantly tied themselves in knots though and it was a more taxing mental workout to untie them than it was to play the game.
  • Dance Dance Revolution Mat – Err, didn’t dancing used to be something we did in darkened rooms either because we were too drunk or wasted to realise we looked ridiculous or because we were trying to get some action?
  • Sega Bass Fishing Reel – When I saw this I thought the entire world had gone insane. A video game where all you do is fish? The controller is shaped like a what?
  • GameBoy Camera – I suppose people might argue that it was pre-empting greater things to come but why would anyone want a camera that low resolution (128×112 greyscale)? It was used to shoot an album cover though…
  • GameBoy Printer – and while we’re on the subject, what possible use does this have to a portable device? It printed on thermal paper, like a till receipt and was, unbelievably, quite well supported game-wise.
  • Rez Trance Vibrator – I wish I could make up stuff as funny as this. Developed to pulse along in time with the music in Rez it quickly became apparent that it was being used by certain people for reasons of sexual stimulation. Only released in Japan, it came in a velvet pouch.
  • R.O.B. – A robot for your NES. Only ever had two games that supported it and was slow, noisy and unsightly but it did signal Nintendo’s ability to think of novel ways to get video games into the home.
  • Clip-On crap for your Wiimote – They don’t actually do anything except make a slightly awkward controller even more awkward. Golf clubs, tennis racquets, light swords and fishing rods are the tip of the iceberg. They will keep selling this crap as long as someone is buying it.