The Worst Nintendo Controllers In History

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bill-swift - June 5, 2012

Nintendo released some info on their new Wii U Pro controller today. It's one of the first hardware details we've heard about the new Wii U system. The controller basically looks like the fatter, uglier sister of an Xbox controller. It's main purpose will be to play classic games from yesteryear on the device. It's also wireless. Who knows if it will be successful, but I have to hand it to Nintendo for their innovation. The Wii was so revolutionary in the way it mimicked movement with the controller. Not to mention that the original NES forever changed gaming. Still, Nintendo hasn't always been successful in the world of video game controller design. Here are 5 failed Nintendo controllers.


The Robot Operating Buddy was released by Nintendo in 1985. It was an accessory that was bundled in early versions of the NES along with a game called Gyromite. The game involved a scientist that had to run away from these walking booger creatures. The only way he could move from one side of the screen to the other was through pillars operated by the controller buttons. R.O.B. received signals from the TV as to when a button needed to be pushed. You secured a controller into a special box and R.O.B. would then pick up some special gyroscopes and drop them on the buttons at just the right time. Only...he rarely did it correctly and you got eaten by the booger creatures. Also, after he dropped the gyroscopes you had to put them back into the thing that made them spin. Look, it's a pretty cool idea that's functionality was just not there. I had a R.O.B and I admit that I gave up playing Nintendo games with him and only used him as his gyroscopes to torture GI Joes.

The Power Glove

This bad boy was released in 1989 for the NES system. It was a long glove with a controller pad attached to your wrist like a cyber tumor. The idea was that it mimicked your hand movements years before the Wii controller. While I applaud Nintendo being 30 years ahead of the game, it just didn't work. You had to attach these sensors to the TV that would pick up the glove's movements. Except that they only did so part of the time. Meanwhile you were getting your butt handed to you. One of the games that was built for the power glove was Bad Street Brawler, easily one of the worst games in history. You played a penis looking character that went around beating up punks that also looked like penises. The Power Glove was soon relegated to the ugly brown cupboard in the parent's basement of history.

The Power Pad

Before Dance, Dance Revolution or the Wii Fit, there was the Power Pad. It was a large mat made out of carcinogenic plastic that had several buttons on it. You would step on these buttons as the game required. The Pad had several games come out for it most of which were sports or aerobics related. The idea was that it could be used as an exercise tool by fat kids who spent all day eating Cheetos and playing Excitebike. My mother bought this for me in the hopes that I would lose some weight. Like the other controllers on this list, I applaud Nintendo for its innovation but question its functionality. After a while the buttons stopped responding well and you had to really stomp on them. I eventually broke the thing with my fat, angry jumping. You failed to make me skinny, Power Pad.

The Super Chair

This device was the opposite of the Power Pad. While the Power Pad at least tried to get you to move around, the Super Chair rewarded your laziness. You sat in this special chair and shifted your fat ass from side to side to play the games. Luckily, the Super Chair was not mass produced other than a few models in Japan. People realized how completely redonkulous a chair controller would be. This saved an entire generation of kids from getting type-2 diabetes or have their legs atrophy from lack of use. Soon, we would have all become like the fat humans from the future in Wall-E that can only move around in floating EZ-Chairs.

The Zapper Light Gun

Yeah, I said it. The Zapper sucked Donkey Kong's hairy ape sack. The Zapper Light Gun was released in 1985 along with the classic arcade game, Duck Hunt. The TV would pick up the signal the Zapper sent out and placed it on the screen. Now, I know a lot of you Gen-Xers are going to disagree with me on this. Many of you probably have fond memories of playing Duck Hunt and Wild Gunman during the summer of 1986 or whatever. But did you have fun or are you just glossing over the memory like victims of abuse or alien abduction? There were so many times you knew with 100% certainty that you hit that duck but the Zapper didn't register. Then that hateful dog would pop up from the grass and laugh at your failure. To this day when things go bad in my life, I often hear the mocking cackle of that pixelated hell hound in my head.

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