Nintendo of Japan recently announced the new 3DS circle pad attachment, and boy, is this thing ugly! Although it'll be quite nice to add a second analog thumbstick to Nintendo's latest handheld, the added bulk and size isn't going to make the 3DS win any beauty pageants.
Ugly video game accessories aren't uncommon, however. Video game companies have always felt the desire to push gamers to buy as much ugly plastic accessories as possible, no matter how humiliating it is. The following is a look back in time at five of the ugliest video game ever conceived.
5. AlphaGrip AG-5 PC Gaming and Text Entry Controller (PC)
If you thought that the original XBox controller was fat and ugly, then you obviously have not seen the AlphaGrip AG-5 controller yet. While most modern controllers have 10-12 buttons, AlphaGrip's behemoth of a controller has a 42 buttons. Granted, the controller has uses beyond video gaming as well. You can type up emails, do your taxes, write up your homework, all within the comfort of 42 buttons crammed into the palms of your hand.
4. The Sega Activator
Before the Kinect, Sega designed the Activator to be an accessory that introduces accessory-free gaming. Released in 1993, the device appeared to be way ahead of its time. Instead of pressing a ridiculous combination of buttons to do the complex Zangief's piledriver in Street Fighter II, for example, all you have to do mimic the way the move looks, correct? Not quite.
Instead of pushing a few buttons with your thumbs, you'll have to move your arms over one of the eight quadrants that make up the device. So, in order to do Zangief's piledriver, you'll have to punch forward, forward and right and same time, right, right and behind, behind, behind and left, punch left, punch left and forward, and forward, then finally, punch to your back right at a 45-degree angle. Casual gaming has gone a long way, hasn't it?
3. The Atari Mindlink
The Atari Mindlink looks like a device of science of fiction. It was an Atari 2600 accessory that was advertised to be able to read your mind. Controlling video games with your mind sounds amazing, but seriously- this thing was designed in the early 1980s, no one really believes that this thing will work, right?
What the Mindlink actually did was read the movements that your head made when you shifted your eyebrows. And if you thought playing video games was embarrassing enough, imagine playing them with your eyebrows while wearing this “futuristic” headband.
It's a good thing that the Mindlink wasn't able to actually read your thoughts. I'm sure your parents would not have enjoyed seeing an on-screen visualization of what you were thinking during the '80s.
2. Konami Laser Scope
The Konami Laser Scope looks like a weapon of the future- as envisioned by someone living in the 1980s. Designed to be used for Konami's Laser Invasion, you can still use it for any game that uses the NES' Zapper.
The laser sight that is in front of the player's eye is where you will be be aiming, and saying the word “fire” should have the same affect as pulling the trigger of the zapper. Imagine how often you'd have to shout that word when playing Operation Wolf, right? You'd look and sound like a madman. What is it with these accessories and actually making playing video games more tiring and difficult?
1. Kinect Game Boat
Oh man. When it comes to useless and silly accessories, the Kinect Game Boat really takes the take. Designed to be played with Kinect Adventures, the Kinect Game Boat isn't your typical useless accessory. It seats two people, easily inflates with an included pump, and can actually function as a real boat. That's right, you can use this thing in the pool if so you desire. Also advertised is that it's compatible with any model XBox 360.