Share & Connect
We have already covered various aspects of Nintendo’s peripherals from Nintendo’s Laser Guns to the infamous Power Glove. In part two of Nintendo’s peripherals, we examine devices from the Roll ‘n Rocker to the Wii U’s controller.
The Roll ‘n Rocker
In 1989 the company LJN develops the Roll ‘n Rocker for the NES. The Roll ‘n Rocker is a balance board with a ball on the bottom. The Roll ‘n Rocker works by plugging the NES Controller to the Roll ‘n Rocker. The A, B, and Start buttons are used on the controller while the Roll ‘n Rocker is used as a glorified D-Pad. That is all the Roll ‘n Rocker is good for. With shoddy controls, poor functionality, and only a 100lbs weight limit, the Roll ‘n Rocker is one of the most useless peripherals for the NES.
Jumping back to 1985, Nintendo introduces the Robotic Operating Buddy (R.O.B.) to Japan and North America. R.O.B is one of Nintendo’s most intriguing inventions even today. R.O.B. is an interactive robo buddy that the user is able to interact with on various games that came out for R.O.B.
The two games that came out for R.O.B. are “Gyromyte” and “Stack-up”. Both games require R.O.B. to do various tasks in order for the user to progress through the game. R.O.B. may be primitive at best, but he functions well. Though there are not too many other games released for R.O.B., he still is a predominant player in the gaming revival back in the videogame saturation of 1983.
Nintendo up to Today
With the many different peripherals on the NES, Nintendo is continuing to focus on new means of gameplay, and a lot of what they have today seem to be variations of their past projects. For the Nintendo 64 (N64) and the Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo tries two different voice recognition gameplay with “Hey You Pikachu” on the N64 and “Odama” on the GameCube.
Though both work better than their Laser Scope counterpart, they both suffer from command issues and are panned greatly for that. As for the Wii Speak, its only function is to communicate with other gamers.
As part of a new focus to get its gamers healthy, Nintendo introduces the Wii Balance board with the Wii Fit. The Wii Balance Board shares a strikingly similar function with the Roll ‘n Rocker, except the Wii Balance Board actually works and offers a lot more features that the Roll n’ Rocker cannot do.
The biggest development to come from Nintendo is the Wiimote (Wii Remote). From what seems like a combination of the NES Zapper and the Power Glove, the Wiimote masters functionality as well as gives gamers a completely unique gaming experience that no other developer is able to offer.
This leads to the possibility that the Power Glove was probably to advanced for its time and also shows that Nintendo had the technology back then, but needed time to perfect it before it could be a viable function as a gaming device.
Currently known as the Wii U Controller, the WiiPad a combination of an iPad with a basic gaming controller. Its style is very similar to the DS’ base and functions just like it. It will be interesting to see how Nintendo’s WiiPad will function once the Wii U officially comes out to the public Winter of 2012. Nintendo has certainly come a long way through the years and still continues to push gaming to the limit in how people play games.
To classics like the Nintendo Zapper, which to this day the only thing the Zapper is not able to shoot is the dog from Duck Hunt, and the abysmal failures of the Roll ‘n Rocker, which only accomplished making games unplayable, Nintendo stood up to their mistakes and flaunted their triumphs. It will be interesting to see what others successes and possible failures Nintendo will come up with in their future of video game peripherals.