With the rise in popularity of quality VR headsets like the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, and the PlayStation VR, it feels like a good time to take a look back at some gaming peripherals that failed to impress. There have been a wide variety of gaming contraptions that have flooded the market and while some have been implemented successfully with accompanying software, the majority are cash grabs that rarely function as advertised. In my mind, the NES Zapper is the pinnacle of gaming peripherals and an example of an accessory that was simple, well-made and functioned with precision.
Unfortunately, not all accessories are created equal and spending your hard earned cash on these plastic add-ons often felt like playing the lottery. In a pre-internet era, there was often no means of distinguishing the good from the bad. With that in mind, here is a look at 15 of the worst gaming peripherals to hit the market over the past four decades.
15. Tony Hawk: Ride Skateboard
Year of Release: 2009
After a long line of quality releases in the late 90s to early 2000s, the Tony Hawk franchise eventually became stagnant. With Activision looking for a way to milk the franchise for as long as possible, the publisher decided to jump into the interactive motion gaming trend with Tony Hawk: Ride, a game that required players to actually balance upon and operate a skateboard peripheral in order to control their in-game avatar.
Even if this controller worked as advertised, it have been a significant challenge to implement software to take advantage of the tech. Though well constructed, the board wasn’t nearly responsive as it needed to be, with even experienced skaters finding the controls finicky and frustratingly difficult to manage. Most importantly the game just wasn’t any fun and quickly found itself in retail store bargain bins.