Game peripherals are no new thing. They've been with us for as long as we've had home videogame systems to plug them into. The first wave of game peripherals hoisted upon the virgin generation of gamers was a hit-and-miss mix of pointless plastic tat and genuinely innovative inventions. Here we've gathered a pretty even mix of the two, plus a bunch of stuff that falls somewhere in between. Be amazed.
Game Mate 2 Wireless Game Controllers
The orthopaedic shoes of the joystick world. And that antenna is a nasty eye-out accident just waiting to happen. Did anyone really hate wires so much they actually forked out for this crap?
The idea behind the Mindlink was that it would let wearers of the headband peripheral control compatible Atari 2600 games by harnessing the power of their eyebrow muscles. That was the idea. In reality it was a steaming pile of bum gas. With all the forehead contortions required, early play-tests of the device gave people headaches. It was never released.
Vectrex Light Pen
No matter how shit-hot graphics get, the neon glow of simple vector lines will always be cool. So a pen that draws electric blue straight curves deserves to be right up there in the invention hall of fame along with the abacus, the wheel and the Wonderbra. It's one of the only things on this list that we actually want.
The Voice for the Odyssey 2 added "the new and exciting dimension of voice and sound to home video entertainment." As exciting as this hitherto unexplored dimension was, The Voice was mostly used for saying things like "YOU ARE A LOSER" in robotized synth-speak.
A clunky thing you slotted into your Atari 2600 that bumped the machine's 128 byte RAM up to a planet destroying 6.2KB. Kind of like making a walking stick better by sticking on some bigger sticks.
An Atari 2600 controller released by Amiga in 1982. You stood on it and moved about. There was only ever one skiing game released for it. The joy to be had with this board appears to be negligible. The Nikes on the box are pretty sweet, though.