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

4. Game Boy Player – GameCube – 2003

Here it is, the grandchild of the old Super Game Boy. The Game Boy Player is the best bridge between portable and console gaming Nintendo has ever released, and we haven’t seen anything else like it since 2003. If the details are fuzzy for you, the Game Boy Player was a small platform that attached to the bottom of a Nintendo GameCube and allowed for play of any Game Boy game ever on your television. That’s right, you can play original, Color, or Advance games on this bad boy.

It took away the odd color palettes and variety of borders offered by the Super Game Boy, and instead opted for a simpler experience. A Game Boy extension port was standard, and you could use a Game Boy Advance as a controller if you had the appropriate cable. To this day, the Game Boy Player remains the definitive way to enjoy your entire Game Boy library on the big screen, and for good reason.

It did have a couple small drawbacks, but nothing too bad at all. For one, Super Game Boy enhanced games won’t activate on the Game Boy Player, so that’s a bit of a bummer if you’re into that. Another drawback is that the GameCube controller, while fantastic, just isn’t the best for 2D games due to its joystick (its less than ideal control pad doesn’t help much on that front either). However, you can utilize several third party options to hook up other controllers with great D-pads to play Game Boy games.

The Game Boy Player still remains one of my favorite peripherals of all time, for its versatility and legacy support. I do love me some Game Boy, after all.

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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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