Top 10 Most Useless Gaming Accessories

Posted: February 17, 2011 by Tim Utley in Editorials
Tags: , ,

What would gaming be if not for the accessories we use to play them?  When systems are announced several companies jump at the chance to create accessories for it (what I like to call shovelware accessories).  They range from the functional and aesthetically pleasing to completely absurd and useless.  I have compiled a list of accessories that have been produced over the years that not only lack functionality, they lack a purpose for existing and are USELESS.  I can pretty much guarantee that no one enjoyed using any of the shit that appears on this list and these accessories probably didn’t enhance anyone’s gaming experience.  As to not keep you waiting here is the LIST!

(Just for clarification, they are just listed not ranked, they all suck)


ROB the Robot (NES)


A friend to some


Why It Sucks:

First off this overpriced piece of flimsy plastic only supported two NES games (Gyromite and Stack-up).  Secondly, you were lucky if Robbie even performed the specified functions that he was supposed to in the game of your choosing.  Lastly, if one of the “durable” parts that came with ROB broke, finding replacement parts (at the time folks) pretty much resulted in you buying another one.  ROB the robot really only exists for collectors of all things NES and people who love gimmicky shit from the 80’s.


The Power Glove (NES)


I love the Power Glove, it's so bad.


Why it Sucks:

If you have ever had the displeasure of using a Power Glove, it isn’t bad in the sense of being bad ass, but just plain bad.  Once again Nintendo steps up to the plate with another gimmicky/shitty accessory to drain NES gamers  of their hard earned money.  The Power Glove was supposed to let you control NES games with just your hand and had a bunch of fancy yet seemingly worthless buttons scattered all over it.  The only redeeming factor for the Power Glove is that it managed to sneak itself into a Horse the Band song.  Other than the Power Glove should have been aborted.


Speakercom (Xbox)


Can you hear me now? NO, because this thing is a piece of shit


Why it Sucks:

The Speakercom for the original Xbox was supposed to revolutionize the way we conversed with our friends over Xbox Live.  In reality it took a step backwards because it only made it more difficult to hear people.  The shitty speaker/monitor embedded within the accessory made all incoming dialog almost inaudible.  Oh, also if you wanted to respond to someone you had to push the speaker in to respond (you had to take your fingers of either the buttons or the sticks, kind of inconvenient when playing Halo 2).  Regardless the Speakercom was a monumental failure and a completely useless accessory because it didn’t make chatting easier, but more or less annoying.


Wii Boxing Gloves




Why it Sucks:

Ah the Wii Boxing Gloves.  One of the finer pieces of the shovelware accessory collection for the Wii and yet another accessory that can only be used with a few games.  I’m sorry, if you feel the need to heighten your Wii Boxing experience by wearing these stupid fucking gloves then you should really go outside more often.  The nunchuk’s already short cable restricts movement when they are not shoved in these useless pieces of cotton, but when inserted you aren’t boxing but clapping your hands more or less.  People who are caught buying these should get their address sent to Bam Margera’s house, then when they least expect it get “Rockied”.  That’s how much I despise this product.


Steel Battalion Controller (Xbox)


Have fun learning this controller layout


Why it Sucks:

When a game is harder to learn than driving a car you might have a small problem on your hands.  Well that was the case with Steel Battalion.  This game probably has the most absurd controller for it and you can’t use anything but it.  It has a 3 Part top deck with pedal controls below and unless you are a mech game savant you will be staring a screen of your ass getting beat.  I own this piece of shit and I used it for a good 2 hours before I said “fuck it” and now it is rotting in my attic.  If Capcom would have integrated the controller into other titles maybe it wouldn’t have been such a useless accessory, but game specific accessories like this will always suck for the simple reason that they are not compatible with anything else.


Game Boy Camera (Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance)

This camera would make anything look homeless

Why it Sucks:

Nintendo had a dominant market share in the handheld arena in the late 80’s and the 90’s.  Even with the likes of the Atari Lynx and the Sega Game Gear rearing their ugly heads around, they still were no competition for the Game Boy.  So why did Nintendo feel compelled to release this accessory?  It SUCKS!!!!! Unless you want to have fun making custom stickers in Mario Tennis for GBC, I’d hold off.  The monochrome pictures it takes makes everyone look homeless or like meth heads (sometimes both, depends on the angle).  The printer they released with it (probably should have made the list too) is a monster piece of shit too (it is a glorified receipt printer).  Gaming was glorious in the late 80’s and 90’s, but companies (especially Nintendo) had a propensity to release super gimmicky accessories to make their systems stand out, but in the end it just taints their legacy.


Donkey Kong Bongos (Gamecube, Wii)

Hit Clap Hit Clap Hit Clap (works for every compatible game)

Why it Sucks:

The DK Bongos were a novel idea by Nintendo, but ultimately became obsolete when no other games supported them.  3 Games used this lovely accessory and 2 of them were music games and the other one was a platformer.  The games themselves were fine and are not under critique right now, it is just the controller for said games that is getting heat.  The DK Bongos join the pantheon of useless Nintendo accessories, because their purpose and design were near sighted.  Hitting and clapping as a control scheme ran it’s course pretty quickly and entered the realm of super fucking annoying after about 10 minutes of play.  I like innovation, but only if it perpetuates or is succeeded by innovation.  The DK Bongos didn’t see an afterlife on the Wii (no new title support, you can use them if you want) and have entered the grave yard of defunct accessories.


Power Pad (NES)


The original DDR-esque experience, just worse


Why it Sucks:

*Broken Record Spinning* Oh wait it is just another useless Nintendo accessory.  The Power Pad (aka the precursor to the DDR dance pad) has about just as much reason for existing as Carrot Top does.  It supports only 5 games out of the 700+ library of NES games (in North America).  This 2 sided pad (I know only one side is shown above) had probably only one notable use and that was World Class Track Meet.  But before I sound like I am praising this accessory let me get back to business.  Even with Nintendo’s attempt to get kids off the couch for a WCTM workout, it would usually result with kids on the floor smashing their hands on the pad like a fucking whack-a-mole in an attempt to blow away the cheetah in a race.  All in all the Power Pad was a novel attempt at revolutionizing the way we played games for the NES, but lack of support and poor design relegated it to realm of useless.



Wii Speak (Wii)


Trust me, no one is listening


Why it Sucks:

*Really Excited Voice* “When I wanna talk to a friend I just pull out my Wii Speak and we have knee slapping jolly good time”.  What a surprise Nintendo again, but back to that really excited person I created for the sake of literary comedy.  Hey “Really Excited Person”, you are fucking delusional.  The Wii Speak is about as useful as a used condom.  Nintendo’s online support for the Wii has made this product completely obsolete.  With Microsoft and Sony’s robust (and easily accessible) chat options who in their right mind would prefer the Wii Speak over far superior alternatives.  The Wii Speak has a few redeeming/super gimmicky features, but it doesn’t come close to outweighing the lack of support and functionality of the accessory.  Nintendo is still an infant when it comes to online gaming and features.  They need to realize that consoles are evolving at an alarming rate, so maybe next generation we can get a functional chat device that supports more than 11 games.




Look what you started you son of a bitch


Why it Sucks:

Hello old friend (I just felt like saying that, I never owned this piece of shit).  While I have never owned the Sega Activator, doesn’t mean I haven’t had the displeasure of trying to use it.  The basic idea behind this peripheral is that 8 IR sensors surround your body with 4 emulating directional controls and 4 emulating face buttons that would show up on a standard Genesis controller.  The big selling point for the Activator was “You were the controller” (where have we heard that before).  The Activator like modern motion controlled peripherals had space requirements, but square footage wasn’t the measurement.  It was your ceiling’s height.  The Activator’s IR sensors had a short range so you needed a low ceiling with nothing obstructing the path of the IR beam.  So that meant no ceiling lights, fans, or pretty much anything that could distort the sensor (mirrors etc.).  So after you either met or failed to meet this structural requirement you could begin to enjoy using the unresponsive Sega Activator.  Trying to pull of fatalities in Mortal Kombat usually resulted in you just wishing you had killed yourself instead of buying the Sega Activator.  The Sega Activator is a truly remarkable piece of shit and makes you wonder if they even tested it before pushing it out the door.

Closing Comments:

To most of you it might look like I despise Nintendo, but in reality I just despise their choice in accessory creation.  There are hundreds of useless accessories I could have mentioned (Atari Mind Link), but I tried to use either contemporary or more well known examples so “you” the reader could empathize with me or one another unknowingly.  Poorly conceived or just plain cheap accessories will plague us until we die because competitive markets constitute parity products.  So next time you think about picking up a plastic tennis racket attachment for your Wii remote, think about this article and how buying shitty accessories is bad for the environment.  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.

  1. Ash Saraga says:

    I feel like the GameBoy Printer should be on here instead of the camera. To be fair though, they’re both completely ridiculous and useless.

    • Tim Utley says:

      Yeah, I was going to combine the two into one useless entity, I was just thinking about that setup the other day too and how it would be funny to snap some photos with the camera and throw them up on here

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