So, What Are The Worst Video Game Concepts of All Time?
Our dollars are precious things. They’re precious to us and they’re precious to the companies trying to tantalize us into voluntarily removing from them from our wallets and handing them over, quick smart. This is especially true for the developers that invest countless millions of dollars into gaming products. They hope their products will prove innovative and well-received instead of preposterous and widely rejected.
In 2014, we have the Delta 6 gun controller, the Omnitread and by gum, we’re practically on the cusp of having a fully-blown holodeck in our living rooms. However… the path to the present mecca of peripheral progress is littered with disastrous failware of such epic proportions, some of it literally defies belief. Here are our favorites.
1. Konami Laser Scope
Even today, accurate voice detection has only just been upgraded from the status of “a complete mess”. Using modern voice-activated phone hotlines or satellite navigation systems usually result in the polar opposite of whatever we wanted to happen. Imagine then voice activated game peripherals in the 1990s… We barely need to say more… But hey, you know us, we will anyway.
The Konami Laser Scope was as terrible as it was ridiculous. It registered any loud noise as the fire button. If your dog barked, mom knocked on the door, phone rang or you swore in nerdrage, you were wasting ammunition. It never stood a snowball’s chance in Hell of replacing the Nintendo Light Gun (or Zapper, if you must).
2. Nokia N-Gage
Okay, so perhaps it was a little forward thinking of Nokia to combine mobile phones and gaming. Maybe. But, back then phone companies could scarcely manufacture a cell phone that wasn’t total crap, let alone a handheld games console. The likelihood of Nokia producing something to compete with the Game Boy Advance was pretty unlikely to say the least. Nintendo’s handheld outsold Nokia’s PoS 100 to 1…. Not surprisingly.
3. Nintendo Virtual Boy
Several of The Newbiverse team still remember seeing Nintendo’s Virtual Boy for the first time ever on TV. We were so excited, pee came out. In some cases, it was much worse. Sadly, the reality of the finished product failed to justify our involuntary excretions. The picture was only in red and greyscale, it caused neck strain, eye strain and produced nothing vaguely resembling “reality”. Now in a world of Oculus Rifts and other promising VR headsets, at least our soiled underwear has finally been avenged.
4. The Power Glove
It just had to get a mention. Perhaps this was a distant ancestor to the WiiMote? This mitt of 80s sci-fi goodness was essentially a button-stuffed motion controller. It looked pretty cool when seeing it for the first time in the appropriate era. Now, it looks every bit as ridiculous as the fact the springing, coiled rubber cable connected to the sensor which had to stay perched to the top of your TV, even though your movement would inevitably tug at it all session long…. Very silly.
5. Games Watches
The 1990s were responsible for many sins. Arguably one of the most tragic were the game watches created by Tiger Electronics. Two buttons attached to a miniscule LCD screen that essentially mimicked real graphics by shining lights on printed images made for some of the most frustrating, lackluster gaming experiences of human history. Immersion… what now? We wonder what the casual gamers of today would make of them.
6. RCA Studio II
The RCA Studio II was designed in 1977 and even back then looked as dated as your granddad’s ballroom dancing suits (that was before vintage was “cool,” btw). If you haven’t ever heard of this ancient console, it’s because it was a miserable failure. No one ever really figured out why the manufacturers decided using telephone-format number pads for controllers was a good idea during a time when joysticks were in their heyday. It really was only uphill from here.
What about you? Do you remember being ecstatic about anything that turned out to be simply atrocious?