Top Ten: Greatest Nintendo Peripherals

A look back at some of the greatest add-ons and peripherals to ever grace Nintendo systems.

By Kyle England. Posted 08/27/2013 10:00 3 Comments     ShareThis

2. Rumble Pak – Nintendo 64 – 1997

Let’s get ready to– well, you know. The legendary Rumble Pak was originally an add-on for the Nintendo 64 controller that was bundled with the classic game Star Fox 64 in 1997. It gave us our first taste of force feedback– a rumble of the controller to correspond to certain in-game actions. It worked by using an unbalanced weight powered by a motor; this asymmetry creates the signature “wobble” motion when it spins around. What began as a fun way to inject a little bit of arcade excitement into our hands became an industry standard within a single generation.

Indeed, over 200 games on Nintendo 64 ended up using the Rumble Pak, and it even inspired a rival in the form of Sony’s DualShock controller for PlayStation. By the generation of GameCube, every single console on the market had rumble functionality built into the controller. But the influence of the Rumble Pak didn’t only extend to the home console market; several Game Boy and Game Boy Color games actually featured rumble motors as well. Nintendo even released a Rumble Pak for Nintendo DS in 2005 (which sadly lost its use when the DSi came out).

Nowadays, rumble in game controllers is a no-brainer– even the Wii U GamePad rumbles. The new consoles on the horizon for 2013 are also coming standard with rumbling controllers. The N64 Rumble Pak was a true gaming pioneer, and a great peripheral.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

3 Responses to “Top Ten: Greatest Nintendo Peripherals”

  • 1558 points
    penduin says...

    Technical nitpick: The NES Zapper doesn’t need a curved CRT, just a sufficiently bright and fast (fast being the sticking point with modern TVs) display. Pull the trigger and the screen goes black, with a bright box covering one “hit” zone, for one 60th of a second per on-screen target. Some games let you aim at a light bulb and win, if it wasn’t checking for dark during the surrounding frames.

    The Super Scope was even crazier; its hit or miss mechanism was actually based on the timing of when individual pixels were being lit on the screen within that 1/60th of a second timeslice. (Notice how no Super Scope game ever used very dark colors?)

    We might someday build a plasma or LCD bright and fast enough to work with the Zapper, but the Super Scope has almost no chance. :^)

  • 702 points
    Matthew Tidman says...

    I’m kind of sad that the power pad for NES didn’t make the list even as an honorable mention. I remember hours spent playing World Class Track Meet with that thing and trying to figure out how long I could jump off the mat before jumping back on to get insane scores. Of course, it always ended up being me and my sister kneeling next to the mat slapping the run buttons as fast as we could… Good times.

    Also, where were the good peripherals for SNES. I honestly can’t think of any besides the Super Game Boy.

  • 267 points
    decoupage says...

    The rumble pak was great for one reason… The video tape that Nintendo Power sent in the mail advertising Star Fox 64 and the rumble pak.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!