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

8. SNES Mouse – SNES – 1992

Now here’s an interesting device indeed. The Super Nintendo Mouse was a new kind of controller, designed to imitate the standard mouse of a personal computer. It’s a standard track ball mouse with two buttons, so it’s got nothing fancy as far as hardware goes. But the idea was novel at the time– a full range pointer on a console! It launched with Mario Paint in 1992 along with a Nintendo-branded mousepad, to give you that authentic feel of messing around on your parents’ PC.

Actually, the SNES Mouse was surprisingly well supported given its odd nature, with over four dozen compatible games. Now, most of these games were puzzle games or educational tools, but it’s still pretty cool, right? You could even use the mouse with the Super Game Boy accessory to draw your own custom borders.

Nintendo never released another official mouse accessory on a console, but the idea of using pointing controls for more precision carried on into the future. Just look at the Wii remote and its IR pointing– it’s faster to select than with a standard button input, and its origins can be found in the old SNES Mouse.

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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.

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