Nintendo Once Made The Silliest Peripheral Ever
So think of the silliest thing possible. Useless, easily mockable, difficult to use and most of all, entirely antithetical to the very idea of what it is you’re supposed to be doing. That, my friends, is the history of Nintendo’s video game business in a nutshell. Oh sure, they dominated the world for nearly 15 years thanks to having 2 genius consoles in a row, each packed with mountains of classic games. And they managed to dominate, at least financially, the 7th generation of consoles thanks to correctly predicting the rise of social and casual gaming, and releasing a console cheap enough to hook people who hadn’t yet adopted smartphones. But if you’re old enough to remember the original NES era, then you know that Nintendo was also keen as hell on silly, gimmicky peripherals, practically from the start.
How keen? Apparently, Nintendo once considered a knitting machine for NES. No, seriously. Courtesy of Destructoid comes possibly the strangest and silliest peripheral ever made. Former Nintendo of America spokesman Howard Phillips posted this bizarre ad to his Facebook page:
What the hell, right? Apparently that’s what Howard thought too. He says he was informed 30 minutes in advance that he had to demo this oddity for the Chairman of Toys ‘R Us, a demo he admits he was not jazzed about. Thankfully, the knitting peripheral was never released anywhere. “It was shown at WCES in 1987,” he said on his FB page, “to gauge retailer demand and then forgotten… The Famicom Disc System game video posted by FrankC shows what was simply a pattern editing cart with some instruction that was release in 1986 in Japan without the knitting peripheral (the prototype shown in the pic I posted). The Famicom Disc software alone was a “hit” in Japan likely because every father who bought a Famicom Disc System purchased the knitting software too in order to help justify the purchase.”
This might be the silliest thing they ever did, but only barely. This was the generation, after all, that also saw R.O.B., a ridiculous robot that did clunky things in response to compatible games (of which there were only two). Let’s bow our heads in remembrance of the ridiculous things giant corporations make their employees do, shall we?
It would of course take another 20 years before Nintendo scored gimmick gold with the Wii.