Justin Williams of Park City Utah takes a look at some of the weirdest controllers, add-ons, and more.
AUSTIN, TX / ACCESSWIRE / January 9, 2020 / While many companies are content with sticking to tried-and-true marketing strategies by rehashing the same basic formula year after year-Justin Williams of Park City Utah points out the Call of Duty franchise and yearly sports game releases as examples-there are others that push the envelope, creating daring new experiences for brave consumers who are willing to take a risk on something new.
Perhaps the most daring, Justin Williams of Park City Utah suggests, are those who release strange peripherals, controllers, or add-ons. These add-ons are usually expensive, with some costing as much as or more than the console they were intended for, and very niche, being usable with only specific games (or even just one game).
Justin Williams of Park City Utah begins by taking a look back at the Sega Genesis, and a controller that was a couple of decades ahead of its time: the Sega Activator. Billed as a “motion-sensing” controller, the Activator was a far cry from the motion-sensing controllers of today, like the Microsoft Kinect or Nintendo Switch controllers. Instead of using a camera or gyroscope to track movement, the Activator requires the user to stand in the center of an octagonal ring. Players would then break IR lasers that shot up from the sides of the ring by waving their hands over them, which would trigger the inputs of a standard controller.
On the subject of strange controllers, Justin Williams of Park City Utah directs our attention to the 2002 Xbox release of Steel Battalion. The game, which cost $200, came packaged with a controller fully simulating the cockpit of a giant mech-suit, or “vertical tank”. The controller included three-foot pedals, a gear shift, two joysticks, and a multitude of buttons, even including windshield wipers and and “eject” button under a glass cover. If the player doesn’t eject after losing, their character dies and the game data is deleted, forcing players to begin their game from the beginning. Altogether, the controller consists of 44 points of input.
Justin Williams of Park City Utah would be remiss not to bring up the Power Glove. This controller for the original NES was worn like a bulky glove and utilized some advanced sensor technology for the time. Despite this, it was derided by critics as being extremely hard to control, and only two games were ever made specifically for the glove. It was famously featured in the movie The Wizard (1989) starring a young Fred Savage. In the film, a character states, “I love the power glove. It’s so bad”. While the line, as written, was meant to display how cool the Power Glove supposedly was, Justin Williams of Park City Utah thinks it’s obvious why the line became a modern-day meme.