Despite being a very large and well-admired company, Nintendo has always made weird design decisions and released some of the most pointless videogame products in history.
Ultimately, it can be said that this otherwise esteemed company has been its own worst enemy, wasting money on terrible game devices throughout its lengthy history that has seen it time and again lag behind competitors.
Here are some of the dumbest, most pointless products Nintendo has the privilege of being the creators of:
Robotic Operating Buddy (R.O.B)
Let’s start off with one of the worst, most pointless videogame products ever. Meet R.O.B, a robot that came with the then newly launched NES that tricked people into thinking it was a sophisticated computer.
What it actually did was clumsily handle spinning gyros to play two pretty bad launch titles on the console. It was noisy, it was bulky, and it was utterly useless. Thankfully, it was long-forgotten as a product and better remembered as an Easter Egg character in many of Nintendo’s titles.
Nintendo Power Pad
We’ve seen some fitness pads from Nintendo for the Wii series of consoles, but back in the 80s the firm also released something called a Power Pad.
On paper, it was supposed to be the solution for worrying parents who felt their kids would get fat while playing games. In reality, it was a sag of plastic that lied on the floor, get stomped on, and stay relevant for only 6 games in total.
Besides, the lazy ones found a way to cheat with it: using their fists instead of feet to head to the finish line. It’s no surprise why this cheap plastic bag went to oblivion quickly.
Super Scope 6
It looked cool, and it was wireless, so it was bound to be an upgrade to the original NES’s Zapper, right? Well, if you had enough games for it, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Then again, a product that was going to devour 6 AA batteries (you read that right) at once and give you shoulder pain for several days was never going to last for more than six months.
Developers quickly pretended it never existed, and so did the consumers. After all, there were so many better things you could power with 6 AA batteries at the time (and still can).
The 64DD was a slap-on disc drive that would attach to the Nintendo 64. It is arguably the worst commercial failure by Nintendo.
Released only in Japan in 1999, the device was promised to serve as a hub for buying Nintendo stuff on a proprietary network, sharing content, listening to music, and other interactive activities.
But the exponentially progressing network and telecommunication technology saw this terribly delayed product fail miserably, because no one wanted to be stuck with a 28K modem and magnetic 64MB discs while twice-as-fast dial-up and 500MB CDs were becoming the norm.
DK Bongos Controller
Oh yay, a controller that allows me to play fake bongos. Woo! This is truly going to be useful for over a thousand games. NOT!
Although the DK Bongos Controller certainly performed as advertised, it was just plain stupid because it literally offered nothing else. How many games was Nintendo planning to release that would support dumb plastic bongos? Three.
Wii Car Adapter
Not all of Nintendo’s dumb ideas were a thing of the 90s and 80s. Sadly, the firm has shown that it can still release bad products with striking frequency even in the modern age of videogaming.
One of these was the Wii Car adapter.
It’s something that was supposed to power your Nintendo Wii via the cigarette lighter… inside a car. Now just imagine that for a second: you’re driving on a busy highway while you have multiple people ridiculously flailing around Wii remotes.
The Car Crash Prevention program personnel would’ve had a heart attack had this product been mildly popular. Thankfully, the average human hasn’t reached that level of stupidity… yet.
Wii Remote Accessories
Just like with the Car Adaptor thing, Nintendo proved it again in recent times that sometimes they have no idea what they’re doing. The Wii Remote accessories are a fine example of that.
Cooking utensils, snooker cue, boxing gloves, nunchucks, and all sorts of other nonsense that you can slap on your Wii remote and get practically nothing significant out of – the Wii remote Accessories are a bunch of confused add-on products that serve little purpose.
You know what’s sad? A few of these things are still purchasable on the Nintendo Accessories store.
Apparently someone forgot to change the calendars inside Nintendo’s headquarters, because the firm decided to release a clunky device that allowed you to talk to other players… 7 years after Xbox and PS2 had already done it.
Not only was it unnecessarily big and cumbersome to handle, it was just so outdated. It took a good 200+ days for Nintendo to release voice-enabled online games for the Wii while the Xbox 360 & PS3 swam out of sight with online-focused features right from the get-go.
And guess how many games Nintendo released that actually supported this hunk-a-junk? Four. Yup, in the entire Wii’s history, only four titles were released that utilized voice-chat.
The Nintendo 2DS is one of the firm’s most recent failures. Announced in August 2013, it was released in October the same year to coincide with the launch of Pokemon X & Y.
The Nintedo 2DS was supposed to be an entry-level version of 3DS (Nintendo’s best console to date), but the company didn’t do itself any favor by making it so ugly, with an unnecessarily large footprint, poorly utilized form factor, and uncomfortable ergonomics.
In addition to the awful design, Nintendo also decided to cut out many of the 3DS’ unique features, and the handheld console is known to have an abysmal battery life. It was certainly a missed opportunity for the company to release a truly meaningful tablet-styled console with the same form factor.
There you have it. I’m sure there are plenty of more products Nintendo isn’t proud of having released, but I felt these were some of their worst.
If you have any additional that you fondly remember being so sick of, please do share with us in the comments section below!