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

7. Wii Balance Board – Wii – 2007

Nintendo, in its ongoing crusade of getting your tush off the couch, launched the Wii Balance Board in 2007 along with Wii Fit. The peripheral is a fairly advanced piece of technology, with four pressure sensors which can measure a user’s center of gravity and weight. Shigeru Miyamoto encouraged the development of the board after he and his family started exercising together, and he got the idea of weighing yourself becoming a game of sorts. In fact, Nintendo claims that the Wii Balance Board is more accurate than most bathroom scales on the market.

Anyone who has used the Balance Board to play Wii Fit can easily attest to this fact, as the board makes you often feel like an unbalanced buffoon with the posture of Quasimodo. The board can accurately measure up to 330 pounds, with an absolute physical breaking limit of around 650 pounds– but if you weigh that much I suggest you see a doctor and not go to Nintendo for help.

Nintendo took the world by storm with this thing, with over 40 million copies of Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus sold to date. The Guinness Book of World Records even lists the Wii Balance Board as the best selling weighing device ever made. You’d think Nintendo would have released Wii Fit U by now to help deal with lagging Wii U sales. Either way, the Balance Board has created a new way for everyone to (theoretically) get fit.

(The Balance Board also inspired a particular Nintendo executive to utter a certain notorious phrase.)

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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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