If a gamer really wants to upgrade their gaming experience, they are going to take their time and make the right decision based on what their friends are using, what is popular, and what works for them. The process to purchase additional accessories for any gaming console can be more tedious than shopping for the console itself.
Companies that make gaming accessories understand this and focus a lot of their time marketing their officially licensed, or third-party, peripherals to the gaming community but that does not always mean those accessories are going to be useful. There have been plenty of times when a gaming accessory hit the market and bombed because it was a way better idea than it was a product.
A lot of the bad gaming accessories belong to third-party dealers who were rushing to get something out on the shelves and failed to make sure that the product they were making was going to work exactly how they created.
Let's take a look at the 19 most useless Nintendo accessories that also put a nice dent in you or your parent's pocketbook.
19 Wii Inflatable Racing Kart (Wii)
For a child, this could be a very cool thing to ask Santa for at Christmas time. Then, on Christmas morning, when you run to the tree and start ripping open your presents, you see this amazingly beautiful racing kart sitting there, ready to be used. So you finish all your presents and jump on the kart for some gaming.
But it is a blow-up toy and that means that no matter how much air you inflate it with, it is going to lose a little over time. It became a thing that you had to find somewhere to prop it up against so you could lean back without falling. Like any of us needed more stress when trying to race Mario around a track.
18 Doc's Wireless Remotes (SNES)
Wireless today is commonplace. If something isn't wireless, then no one is going to use it. Game consoles do not even include wired controllers, you have to buy them yourself. However, back in the early '90s, no one had a wireless controller for their Super Nintendo, that is, unless they spent the $40 to get Doc's Wireless Remotes.
Since the technology was not perfect back then, these remotes had some issues remaining connected and sometimes ran into an issue lagging to the point where no one wanted them anymore.
17 64DD (N64)
When the Nintendo 64 was released in North America in 1996, it was listed for $199.99, which is about $330 compared to 2019. If that wasn't expensive enough for you, the average price for an N64 game was $69.99, the highest ever for Nintendo. So when the 64DD was released for another $90, people failed to see the benefits of it.
In fact, we still are not sure what the heck the 64DD was designed to do. It ended up being discontinued after just having 10 disks ever made for it. It had a lot to do with timing and it was more of an innovative idea than an actual marketable product.
16 Wii Combat Pack (Wii)
As far as needing something, this is one of the Nintendo Wii accessories that no one ever needs, not even fans of the Zelda games, for which it was made for.
The Wii Combat Pack comes complete with a foam sword and knife for your Wii controller and a shield for the nunchuck controller. As with most failed accessories, the more exclusive they are, the harder it is to sell them once a games sales numbers peak.
15 Gene Simmons AXE Game Controller (Wii)
At one point, Guitar Hero was the biggest video game in the world. It was so popular, it helped create other games with similar styles like Rock Band. It got so popular that the game became a brand that celebrities wanted to get involved with.
Gene Simmons, lead singer and bassist for legendary rock band KISS, knew his songs were very popular with both Guitar Hero and Rock Band and decided to design a replica of his famous AXE bass guitar to be used for those two games. Only issue was the original listing price was close to $300. No thank you.
14 Switch Labo Variety Kit (Switch)
The Nintendo Switch Labo is one of the greatest ideas any gaming company has come up with since the invention of high-definition gaming. However, it can also be the worst because of how undependable cardboard boxes can be once you start bending and trying to build with.
On paper, the Switch Labo is an amazing invention from Nintendo. But if you have ever used cardboard boxes in your life, then you know that there is a 50% chance of failure every time you use it. So, after the first time you played it, how quickly before it becomes a useless box?
13 Cooking Mama Pan & Utensils (Wii)
Thanks to the Nintendo Wii, gamers truly believed that wireless motion gaming was a possibility. As more users picked it up, more people began to agree until the Wii turned into one of the biggest consoles ever sold. But it also carried with it a problem of users relying on gaming too much.
It sounds ridiculous to say you can game too much but in the case of the Wii, it is not. Cooking Mama was yet another example and the ability to pretend cook using fake kitchen tools can easily go from fun to a waste of time and money.
12 Super Advantage Joystick (SNES)
The Nintendo Advantage Joystick was a great tool for any hardcore gamer and was one of their highest grossing accessories. But when Nintendo allowed a third party, Asciiware, to create a version of the joystick for the Super Nintendo, they forgot to mention that less is best.
The Super Advantage Joystick was created to replicate an arcade-style control setup but turned into a nightmare for gamers. Why would you ever need a slow button, multiple turbo or speed sliders, and six buttons?
11 Roll 'N Rocker (NES)
Long before the Wii Fit Balance Board, Nintendo came up with the Roll 'N Rocker, the most amazingly awful idea that never once made much sense for gamers. It failed for so many reasons but the number one, most important, reason it failed was the weight limit.
It stated that it had a 100-pound weight limit to work. How many gamers do you think actually weigh less than 100 pounds? And for the ones that did meet the weight limit, once using the device, you would still have to use a controller while also on the balance board.
10 8-In-1 Sports Pack (Wii)
CTA Digital joined in on the Nintendo Wii accessory fun by creating one of the most useless accessories ever, and they did it in bulk.
The 8-in-1 Sports Pack included devices you could insert your controller into while playing the corresponding game. The attachments included were for sports games covering canoeing, swordplay, golf clubs, table tennis, frisbee, wakeboarding, archery, and a power cruising dashboard. It looks fun if your a child, but the actual usage of these things is very limited.
9 Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller (GameCube)
As we previously discussed, although it looks cool, there is very little need for a custom, special-edition controller that is about as ridiculous to use as it is to look at. Guitar Hero and Rock Band had a Gene Simmons replica bass guitar, which makes sense for that genre.
But there is very little need, or even use, for a controller shaped like a chainsaw and following the theme of the Resident Evil 4 game. Not only that, the controller had the exact same function as the regular GameCube controller except that it was awkward to hold based on its sheer size.
8 Pelican TV Tuner (Gameboy Advance)
At $79.99, even the richest parents in the world were not running to the stores to purchase an adaptor for the Gameboy Advance that turned the device into a television complete with an analog receiver to get basic tv channels.
The Pelican TV Tuner turned any Gameboy Advance into a portable TV ten years before anyone was regularly using portable devices to watch television when not at home. There was also a chance you couldn't get a signal in your area and that would make it all but useless.
7 LaserScope (NES)
It appears that anything designed to be hands-free was the thing to own back in the late '80s and early '90s. Then there was the LaserScope, a head-mounted laser light gun designed specifically for the game Laser Invasion. It was also voice-activated and by telling the game to fire, it would do so.
However, the device's microphone was not designed to handle the background noise portion of it so whenever someone would play the game, the scope would react to every sound possible, making it almost useless to even plug in.
6 Singer Izek (Gameboy Color)
The Singer Izek was a sewing machine made by one of the world's leading sewing companies, Singer. This device was packaged with a gaming cartridge for the Gameboy Color that was used to control the machine by using the handheld system. You could tell the machine to sew an assortment of preset patterns or, what made it so unique, you could create your own custom patterns.
The Singer sewing machine was roughly $3,000 brand-new so this made it an easy choice to include this device on our list. Even though it was a piece of technology that was years ahead of its' time, the price tag alone earns it a spot because of the console it was designed to be used with.
5 Super Scope (SNES)
Going back in time, it is funny to read about the infancy of technology in gaming. For example, the Super Nintendo Super Scope was a gun used for games that required a receiver box that plugged into any CRT television. That receiver transmitted data between games and the Super Scope to help with hitting the targets.
For such a vintage and nostalgic piece of Super Nintendo history, the Super Scope has been considered to resemble an assault weapon by many leaders in Washington, D.C.
4 Power Glove (NES)
The Nintendo Power Glove was the greatest invention in gaming history because of how horrible it was, but also, its' greatness. The future of gaming was right there in the hands of the users, who were kids that were drooling over this device. Sadly, not long after the kids convinced their parents to get the Power Glove, they were throwing it into the back of their toy box.
These gloves were supposed to be motion activated but instead, were so far removed from the current technology at the time that it was a waste of money and has become a legendary piece of gaming history.
3 Gameboy Camera & Printer (Gameboy)
Based on the way most of the pictures came out looked, the Gameboy Camera was a great idea but a horrible mess of a product that only produced black and white images that were harder to make out than any camera phone ever.
With 128x128 pixel CMOS sensor, this device could only take blurry, dark-colored images that were extremely hard to make out. But then you add the printer to it and you have nothing more than an overweight, and useless, plastic container.
2 U-Force (NES)
In 1989, if you sold a wireless controller for your gaming console, people would have gone nuts over it. They would have been hard to keep on the shelves. But instead of focusing on the easy wins, Broderbund went for the gold medal and designed a controller that uses a "power field" to respond to your every command.
It was the most innovative idea in gaming history but it was about 15 years too early and it showed. It was supposed to let you use your hands instead of a controller but it rarely translated into a correct response. It failed miserably and has become an icon for horrible Nintendo products.
1 Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hands (Gameboy Advance)
One can argue that a game should never be considered an accessory but this is the one exception to the rule. Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hands was one of the strangest Gameboy Advance games ever because the game's hero, Django, had weapons that could only be. used when charged using solar power.
In other words, if you wanted to win this game, make sure you were playing outside in the sunlight where you had zero chance of actually seeing the gameplay screen. If you did not charge the weapons using sunlight, you could not use them in the game and would not be able to play until you did so.
How did they ever think that was a good idea?