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Gaming Rewind: Top 5 Craziest Nintendo Devices

crazy-nintendo-devices-header

When the Wii U was first announced, a lot of people around the Internet questioned why Nintendo seems to focus on the unconventional. The Wii received a lot of flak for its motion controls and lack of alternative input without peripherals to plug into the Wii-remotes as well. The common denominator that people seem to be missing here is that Nintendo has always been about thinking outside the box when it comes to hardware. Sure you grew up with the NES and the SNES controllers that spawned the modern day D-Pad four button layout we all enjoy on controllers today, but Nintendo did some wild and crazy stuff in its years as a burgeoning video game company. Let’s have a look.

5. Virtual Boy

IMG_1818

With today’s focus on virtual reality with the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus, it’s hard not to mention the Virtual Boy. Nintendo launched the device in 1995 with marketing that promised the stars, but what you really got was a really tiny screen where everything is red and a neck ache from trying to use the device. The high cost of the device and relatively low interest forced Nintendo to discontinue the device only 6 months after it came out, but collectors love these things. Nintendo truly tried to implement virtual reality before it was cool to do so.

Here’s what the inside of the Virtual Boy looked like:

virtualboy_mariotennis

4. Gameboy Micro

Special-Famicom-GameBoy-Micro

The Gameboy Advance family of devices proved to be very popular for Nintendo, so much so that it spawned several different versions of machines designed to play the games. While the first iteration of machines was terrible without a backlight, the widely lauded Gameboy Advance SP is considered the superior model. But what about the black sheep the Gameboy Micro? Debuted in 2005, the Gameboy Micro was small enough to slip inside your pocket and not be noticed and came in two flavors, black or silver. It had interchangeable faceplates and later on a Super Famicon anniversary edition. The Micro was released late enough in the GBA life cycle that many never had one. I am one of the lucky few!

3. The Power Glove

power-glove

“I love the Power Glove! It’s so bad!” No line of marketing has ever been so carelessly flung into a movie like 1989′s The Wizard. It helps that Nintendo financed the movie, too. Kids everywhere collectively gasped and coveted the new peripheral designed to give you better control of your gaming. Why hold something in your hands when you can control the game itself with your hand? When the Power Glove debuted in 1989 it only sold 100,000 units and the games developed specifically for it were a commercial flop. Oops.

2. Game Boy Camera & Game Boy Printer

gameboy-camera-printer

There’s nothing like being able to print out documents on the go, which is why mobile printing is so great in 2014. Nintendo agreed with the idea way back in 1998, which is when the Game Boy Camera debuted. If you thought the stunning green-tinted dot matrix display of the original Gameboy is the perfect display for pictures, then you’d be right along with Nintendo there. The camera was only capable of taking 256×224 black and white images. You couldn’t save them unless you had the Game Boy Printer, which printed these barely worth looking at images. Plus, when you throw in the huge camera and printer attachment, suddenly your Game Boy isn’t so portable.

1. The Nintendo 2DS

xl_Nintendo-2DS-3-624

This is a newcomer to the list, but it still makes us scratch our heads and go ‘wtf?’ Nintendo wanted to make the Nintendo 3DS more affordable for children, so it took the best features away from the Nintendo 3DS, including the ability to see games in 3D and close the device for easy storage. What results is a slab of video game technology that kinda looks like a dual screen etch-a-sketch. The Nintendo 2DS certainly won’t be the most popular iteration of the Nintendo 3DS, but it is the most crazy.

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  • Commander Raichu

    at least the 2ds is selling well over 2 million units as of december

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Yeah it’s doing well, but that doesn’t make it any less crazy.

      • Commander Raichu

        true it does have a weird design but the bright side
        its cheap

        • jjbredesen

          In my opinion its also more confartable than the original and XL.

          • Entropyguy

            I agree. The 2DS fits a lot better in my hand than the 3DS XL does.

      • lonewolf

        Well the 3ds looks more crazy than the 2ds lets face it nintendo always had crazy ideas which you get used to and after a while you its quite normal for you. For example in the time of the atari 2600 if you showed those gamers a nes controler or even snes they would say ah such a crazy idea.

        • ICHI

          I totally agree, the 2DS makes sense, especially with so many children breaking that clamshell hinge on their parents 3DS. I’d say the more weird design was the original DS which was one hell of a fugly bit of kit (akin to the ugliness of the original GBA), the lite and the DSi at least had a unified form factor.

    • Tom Carson

      Some people don’t like to pay for a dimension they won’t even use.

      • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

        This sounds like a marketing spiel for a new Paper Mario game.. :P

        • Commander Raichu

          which stinks since we got one(which is the worse) already

          • Arthur Jarret

            It’s not that bad, it’s just not an RPG like we wanted it to be. Once you get over it, it’s a pretty fun little game.

          • Commander Raichu

            yeah i have it i guess its ok but the combat system with the stickers just doesnt feel right

          • Arthur Jarret

            I felt the same way – because I really wanted it to be a full-fledged RPG like the first and TTYD. We got a story-based puzzle game instead (which sticker to use against which enemy). Fun as long as you don’t think about all the things it’s not.

            I did like that the whole world was made out of paper, I hope that carries over to a next Paper mario game. I just hope it’ll be a real RPG like the first two.

  • Ken Friberg

    Have a virtual boy and my son has a 2DS. He loves it.

    • eli

      it’s just kinda ironic

  • smithy501

    I actually own a 2ds and its a brilliant piece of kit I played my mates 3ds with Zelda I had to turn it off I find it off putting and an irritation at most part … 2ds was a good move in my eyes

    • eli

      it’s just that it’s ironic

    • D Moness

      I agree. I have a 2ds because i was looking for a cheap second 3ds/2ds as an import system. Except for the fact it doesn’t have a clamshell it feels really good and durable in my hands. I do not agree with the Ashley that it is a crazy idea.

      Also using 3d gives me migraines so I can not use it anyway

    • Arthur Jarret

      I found it annoying at first too, but stuck with it and got used to it after a week. It really looks amazing in Ace attorney, layton, 3D land – and I’m having trouble playing kid icarus without it due to the different-size enemies making dodging harder

  • DK_Hadouken

    I still need to get my hands on a Gameboy Micro!

  • http://www.gamesobscura.com/ themizarkshow

    I just bought a Micro the other day and have constantly been on the lookout for a good Camera/Printer from eBay. Someday I’ll pull the trigger on it.

    • Jared Garcia

      Caution! GBA Micros have a tendency to lose L and R function over time!

      • Niknique

        Doesn’t everything tend to lose L and R function over time though? It’s what happened to my DSi and it’s now happening to my brother’s 3DS.

        • Jared Garcia

          Very true, however the Micro’s buttons tend to die quickly. I know, I’ve gone through four. SP is the best way to go.

        • Donald Estep

          I have had this problem with all the gameboy/ds except my 3ds. I have used the l and r buttons much more on 3d then I have on gameboy/ds. Kid Icarus uses it constantly and i cant even think of any game boy or ds games that use it right now other then running away from battles in final fantasy. One of the buttons on my 3ds got a little mushy but still works perfectly.

        • Robinpreet Sidhu

          That’s what happened to my Dsi too, but my 3ds is absolutely fine.

        • Tim van Broekhoven

          Yeah I know right. First my 2 dsi buttons, then my 3ds’s L button but I got that fixed and yesterday while playing MK7 with a friend, my R button died…

      • Arthur Jarret

        Easy to replace with generic parts, though… I fixed my DS lite multiple times (with special thanks to the Megaman zero collection that completely wore them out)

  • Old School

    Never question Nintendo, pure genius innovation

    The Wii U success proves this!

    They are the masters of marketing too, never doubt the king of toddler video games!

    • 00EpicGamer00

      There are a couple problems with your post. One is “Nintendo” should be “Nintendo’s”. Also, I believe there shouldn’t even be a comma in the first sentence. Your second sentence should have a comma after “understand.” And, I’m afraid toddlers don’t have the adequit mindset to even play video games, so, that doesn’t make sense. It would make sense if you said the king of kid video games. Because kids (usually 5 and older) are smart enough to know how to play a video game.

      The point is, if you’re going to troll, do it correctly. You’ll still be hated, but at least you’ll look smart.

      • EmperorIng1268

        Trolling pro tips

        • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

          hehehehe

          • Old School

            Wtf is “hehehehe”

            What are you some kind of little gay guy?

          • 00EpicGamer00

            You have a problem with gays?
            Remember, send me your drafts.

          • Cdwoods

            If laughing means your homosexual, I need to question my sexuality.

          • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

            nooooooo!!!!!!

            now destroyed my self-esteem, i feel so horrible!!!

            please understand!

        • Old School

          If I wanted to troll I wouldn’t take tips from virgin Nintendo power glove masters

          • 00EpicGamer00

            Oh, so you’re a virgin youself? How pathetic. Oh, you forgot a period, you know, this thing >> .
            Remember, send me your drafts.

      • Old School

        I am sorry that my quick post bothered you that much to go out of your way to be grammar FBI. Some of us live outside in the real world and post quick messages from their phones. Next time I’ll send you a rough draft for your approval since everyone knows who you are
        Lol

        You might want to try going outside to “play” instead of living the sad life you do online. It’s ok, try it, you can even bring your keyboard with you to use as a shield
        ;)

        • 00EpicGamer00

          Love you too. :)
          Oh, remember to bring the rough draft.

        • Commander Raichu

          you mean what most kids in the US use
          *why we are awful at math theses days :(*

          • 00EpicGamer00

            What you speak, is the truth!

    • Niknique

      Yeah… We need Magnus. This is terrible trolling. And if we’re gonna have a troll here it’s gotta be Wii U daily’s 1 and only Magnus :P

      • jjbredesen

        Magnus is not a troll, he just has fantastic humor xD

      • Old School

        I was being serious

        • 00EpicGamer00

          Lol, no. Obvious troll is VERY obvious.
          If only you were serious about your grammar. :)

  • daeglyth

    I bought a gameboy micro when they first launched in 2005. I think I used it once. It is really small compared to the SP. It came with a velvet pouch and two face plates. The screen is super bright, though. All in all, I prefer the SP way more.

    • Donald Estep

      Me too I love the SP. Have like 6 of them. Micro does have a nice screen though. I didn’t really use it because it didn’t have backwards compatibility and it was too small.

  • simkenno

    I love my gameboy micro its such a small compact bundle of fun. Pokemon in my pocket is all I want ;)

  • 00EpicGamer00

    I wonder if Nintendo were to re-release the Virtual Boy (obviously make it better, such as not seeing everything coated in red and black. Actually realistic coloring, and of course fixing the design and hardware) it’d be a huge success. In today’s world, virtual reality is very popular. Even Sony is getting into it. I bet if Nintendo were to release the Virtual Boy 2.0, it’d be a huge success.

    • John boy 556

      I would much rather own any of those devices than the fony indiestation 4. Ninetndo makes such better games !

    • Mario

      Actually, that sounds like a great idea!

      • 00EpicGamer00

        Thank you for the positive feedback. :)
        I wish Nintendo accepted ideas from their fans. :/

        • Mario

          You never know… :-)

          • 00EpicGamer00

            They actually don’t. I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but if you email them with an “idea” it says that they don’t accept ideas from their fans.

            I sent them an email one time, explaining an idea of mine that they should make a 3DS to Wii U connector thing. (You know, like the GameBoy to GameCube cable, thing.)

            If you go to the FAQ of their site, under the headline “How can I submit my game idea?” It basically says: “we do not accept unsolicited game or product ideas.”
            http://www.nintendo.com/corp/faq.jsp#idea

          • Mario

            Right…

    • Wildman

      I can see that happening actually.

      • 00EpicGamer00

        I know, right? I think the Virtual Boy’s “technology” was too far ahead for its time. That’s why it wasn’t too popular. People either did not like the technology (didn’t understand it, etc.), or thought it was something that wasn’t necessary, and never to catch on.

        Hmm…I wonder if the makers of the Oculus Rift looked at the Virtual Boy for something to go off of. As, I think the Virtual Boy was the first device to have what is known as “virtual reality.”

        • Wildman

          Nintendo likes to dig into their past and revive old ideas that weren’t properly executed. The Virtual Boy is likely one of those ideas.

    • http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008SRISGU#reader_B008SRISGU Adam Howell

      But the 3ds does everything the virtual boy did.

      • C4

        You can’t stick your head into it :P

        Wonder if they ever release VB games on the VC. At least the Wario game…

        • Arthur Jarret

          Yes I can… didn’t you get the 3DS hat in streetpass plaza yet?

    • Robinpreet Sidhu

      Wasn’t the 3ds supposed to do that?

    • Destructonator101

      Nintendo brings out new version of virtual boy. Oculus VR goes “oh no, we need to sue nintendo cuz they are copying the oculus rift!”. But then nintendo says; “Hey oculus, if anybody should be sued its you.”

      -World falls into chaos and the human race becomes extinct.

      • Drowrin

        Baaaaaaaaaaaasically

      • 00EpicGamer00

        That’s probably what would happen. As, it seems that everything Nintendo does, they get sued over it.

    • BIG Franky

      uuuuhhhh…… do you mean the 3DS? lol… dumb.

      • 00EpicGamer00

        No.

  • palomino blue

    The micro is one of the best feeling handhelds I have ever used. It’s the only way I play GBA games these days.

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Agreed! Plus the thing stays charged forever.

      • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

        hahahahahaha “the thing stays charged forever”

    • Arthur Jarret

      I use a DS-lite, bigger screens and all… I gave my Micro to a kid as it didn’t even play GB or GBC games.

  • jjbredesen

    Proud to say i have owned everything on that list except from the Virtual boy, my gameboy printer and camera are gone though threw them away and probably broke them as i was only 4 when i got it.

    My gameboy is still alive though :)

  • Doctors Tardis

    Wii Mini should be in the spot for 2DS.

    • ActivesiN

      agreed, the red Wii mini is a worthless piece of trash

      • fireheartis1

        Agreed on that one. There was no point in it. I know they were going to stop the Nintendo Wifi, but what about all the great virtual console games. Kids might want to try those out. The 2DS is way better than the Wii Mini. For people like me who can’t see the 3D that well it’s perfect.

  • FoxMulder900
    • Robinpreet Sidhu

      Isn’t that an ultrahand?

      • Wildman

        Yes. That is the ultrahand.
        Gunpei Yokoi created it, then the Game & Watch, the Gameboy, then the Virtual Boy.

        “Lateral Thinking of Withered Technology”

        “Withered technology” in this context refers to a mature technology which is cheap and well understood. “Lateral thinking”
        refers to finding radical new ways of using such technology. Yokoi held
        that toys and games do not necessarily require cutting edge technology;
        novel and fun gameplay are more important.”
        – Wikipedia

  • Sdudyoy

    I can see where the 2DS is coming from, a cheap kid friendly console, It’s durable and it doesn’t go into 3D so kids can’t hurt their eye’s, but there are some flaws, three of my cousins got a 2DS for Christmas, and they all love them, but one of them got 3D colors, and the only way to finish the tutorial is if you turn on 3D, as you can’t do that with a 2DS She can’t finish it, It’s really annoying, I’d imagine that there are other games like that, the 2DS plays most games fine, other than not folding and having no 3D, it feels really good in your hands, but it takes some time to get used to holding it at the top screen instead.

  • ActivesiN

    lol freaking game boy micro, I remember when I worked at toys r us in the R zone and we first got that thing…so ridiculously small

  • http://Thissitethesitethatexiststhisisarealsitedontclickthis.com Shane Michaels

    HOW DARE YOU ASHLEY, VIRTUAL BOY WAS UNBRIDLED GENIUS FAR AHEAD OF IT’S TIME. ALL HAIL THE VIRTUAL BOOOOOOOOY

    Oh no, I hailed the wrong thing.

    • Destructonator101

      lel

    • Mario

      …I’m calling cap.

      • http://Thissitethesitethatexiststhisisarealsitedontclickthis.com Shane Michaels

        Go ahead. Superman has already snapped his neck.

        • Mario

          …Okay. Then I’ll call him.

          • http://Thissitethesitethatexiststhisisarealsitedontclickthis.com Shane Michaels

            He’s too busy snapping Batmans neck. Or perhaps Batman is snapping his neck….

          • Mario

            Then I’ll call either one if one of them survives.

      • Sonic 2099 The Hedgehog

        Not Bad Plummer

  • C4

    Wii should be #1

    • Robinpreet Sidhu

      Go away Cod troll, no one likes squeakers anyway.

      • C4

        Perhaps I should have written “Wii Remote” :-)

  • Carlos Webster

    4 words: best ashley article ever.

  • Logan Wayman

    They’re right. When I saw the 2DS for the 1st time I yelled “WHAAAT?!” the way JonTron would.

  • LordYukYuk

    Technically the Power Glove was a 3rd party peripheral by Mattel, which was Nintendo’s North American distributor in the early NES days.

  • wiimenonowiiu

    I love virtual boy and the glove was awsome for mike tyson punch out i would love to have a updated virtual boy and 2 sets of gloves insted of the wii motes for boxing or fighting games

  • Evan Laundrie

    Mattel made the Power Glove, not Nintendo. This type of article is pointless fluff click bait.

  • Dáibhí wotshissurname

    The annoying thing is that I thought I was going to learn something new here. Well, I guess people have to learn about the Virtual Boy SOMEWHERE.

  • Donaald

    ROB The Robot was way crazier than the 2DS.

    • Robinpreet Sidhu

      But at least it was cool! Don’t you think?

      • Donaald

        Yeah

  • TehEngineer

    With the 2DS, isn’t it obvious Nintendo just released it to make all the Pokemon fans that didn’t want a 3DS get X or Y.

  • jackawoo

    My first post ever on here and it’s all fucked up. Oh well. How about the Laserscope and the U-FORCE?

  • Kriffix

    This list is actually perfect lol

  • jackawoo

    Oh, and rob.

  • jackawoo

    This one ain’t so crazy, but I remember hours of tiger-heli using the Mothership. One of the earliest “making your controller into something else” controllers. Awesome!

  • SolarGalaxa

    Neat list. However, the main reason Virtual Boy failed, was because of that red and black thing. Virtual Reality was something ahead of it’s prime time, and quickly became a fad.

    However, with advancing computer technology, Virtual Reality can make a comeback first with headsets, and then with nanotechnology. I’m pretty sure that Nintendo’s next console (possibly the “Fusion”), will be some sort of Console/Handheld combo with Virtual Reality mixed in.

  • Christian Schoff

    The 2DS isn’t portable because little kids don’t need to be taking it to school and getting it lost or stolen. They also don’t need to be satisfying their curiosity as to just how far a hinge can go back.

  • http://nintendopapercraftvideos.wordpress.com/ Sam

    “All hail the Virtual Boy”
    Great article.

  • brandon

    I have always enjoyed Nintendo’s creativity with their hardware and software.

  • Nicolas Dorion

    Actually I thought the 2DS wasn’t a “totally crazy idea”
    it’s not like people actually buy a 3DS only for the 3D feature

  • Arthur Jarret

    Wow, almost all of these are less crazy than ROB (supported by two games!), the power pad, the n64 transfer pack, N64DD, the ecard reader (an official action replay where you pay for each rom hack), the superscope (a friggin bazooka), the wii speak, those gamecube microphones with a controller clip-on (who needs headsets?) and the list goes on.

  • http://www.android.com/ HyperTallih

    This is getting a wow-factor

  • cool1706

    I agree. But I didn’t know the virtual boy was a real thing. We all saw one in the tomodachi life direct.

  • Nope.avi

    Raise your hand if you have or had all of these. Me! I still have all but the game boy printer..

    • Nope.avi

      Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?

  • BIG Franky

    Nintendo has made a lot of silly products over the years…. but including the 2DS on the list seems a bit silly. most people turn the 3D off anyways and the number one reason for replacing a 3DS (at least according to Nintendo) are broken parts related to the clamshell. Seems like the 2DS is a rational way to address these issues while offering a lower-priced unit. I don’t own a 2DS, but to me it seems like one of their better decisions recently…

  • J_Joestar

    Honestly, i’d have listed the 2DS as the least crazy on the list… affordable and durable, more practical for younger gamers overall.