Nintendo's most-failingest peripherals

GameCube Broadband Adapter

What it was supposed to do: Finally bring online gaming to Nintendo fans all over the world.

What it actually did: The Broadband Adapter was nothing more than a Phantasy Star Online adapter, as they were the only games you could play across the internet. No Mario Kart, no Star Fox, no F-Zero GX – just Phantasy Star. At this point the PS2 had several games that supported online play, and Microsoft had initiated Xbox Live, so Nintendo’s total lack of internet support was baffling to say the least.

Number of games that used it: Three in the US, plus one more in Japan. Granted, there were ways to trick the GameCube into playing online (coughWarpPipecough) but the average gamer had no clue that was even possible. Today, Friend Codes still make Nintendo-sanctioned online play a nightmarish headache when compared to 360 and PS3. At least it’s free, right?

Wii Speak

What it was supposed to do: Allow players to friggin’ talk to each other seven years after Xbox and PS2 had already done it.

What it actually did: Allow players of Animal Crossing: City Folk to talk to each other. So far the only other game that’s bothered to support Wii Speak is The Conduit, which came out seven months later. That’s about 210 days of NO new voice-enabled online games, something that any PC, 360 or PS3 player should find laughable at best and out of touch at the worst. There’s also a dedicated chat channel, but um, you could just pick up the phone for that.

Number of games that use it: Two, with two more coming between now and mid-2010. A year and a half after voice chat is introduced, there’ll be four games that support it. If that’s not a telling sign of Wii’s online state, we don’t know what is.

We’d like to think that Nintendo’s going to calm down with the constant stream of extra (and unneeded) tech, but before we step out let’s remember that one just hit shelves and will allegedly be the next big thing… again.

Jul 8, 2009