Of course, when we think of bad peripherals, we tend to think of disasters from the ’80s and ’90s. But you may not expect that the last decade brought us some of the worst gaming peripherals ever made!
From useless add-ons to company-destroying flops, here are the worst gaming peripherals from the last 10 years. So long 2010s: you won’t be missed for the following reasons.
PS4 Keyboard Attachment
At first glance, this PS4 keyboard attachment may seem pretty useful. After all, PlayStation users never know when they’ll need to type something out.
However, the regular controller functions pretty darn well when you need to search for things like games and movies. And voice chat means that sending text messages to your buddies is mostly a thing of the past.
All in all, this superfluous add-on never really had a chance.
The original Kinect got its start on the Xbox 360. However, Microsoft continued the experiment by releasing a new and improved version for Xbox One.
While the voice control for movies was pretty cool, the camera tracking never worked that well for games. And there weren’t that many good Kinect games to begin with.
Eventually, the best features of Kinect were functionally replaced by Microsoft’s own Cortana. That left the Kinects of the world propping up the aisles in thrift shops across the country.
Hori PS4 Tac Grip Controller
Between PC and console gamers, debate is fierce. Is it better to aim your digital guns with a mouse or with a controller? To this, Hori answered with another question: “why not both?”
Hori’s PS4 Tac Grip Controller ended up being the worst of both worlds. It was part mouse and part controller. And frustrated players discovered a hybrid controller worse than either the PS4 controller or the ill-fated PlayStation Mouse.
Normally, Hori makes awesome products. But this is one of the ones that left us asking, “Who the hell wanted one of these?”
Kid Icarus 3DS Stand
Part of the charm of the 3DS was, of course, its portability. All you needed was a game and a cartridge and you were good to go. Until Kid Icarus: Uprising came along.
In a baffling move, this game shipped with a weird little kickstand. Its purpose? To hold the system steady while gamers used the pen to play the game.
That’s nice and all, but 3DS users mastered holding the damn system still on day one. So this useless add-on marred an otherwise solid game.
EON Super 64 Adapter
You may be surprised to see a Nintendo 64 peripheral on here. However, the retro gaming scene is more vibrant than ever. And the EON Super 64 Adapter is here to help the N64 (whose graphics have aged very poorly) look good on modern TVs.
Does it work? More or less. The main issue is the price tag: this “plug and play” solution retails for $150. For not much more than that, hardcore gamers can get an HDMI or RGB mod and get much better results.
And everyone else can snag a good S-video cable and a CRT TV. It makes the N64 look better than you remember and saves you a ton of cash!
Ever wonder what happened to THQ Games? We can answer that with just two words: “uDraw Tablet.”
This was a kind of “Wacom-lite” tablet solution for gaming consoles. The Wii version was a big hit, so the company basically went all-in on the uDraw for PS3 and Xbox 360.
These units never did sell, dealing the company a crippling financial loss. They went bankrupt and were later acquired by Nordic games. And all for the sake of a kind-of-crappy drawing tablet!
Smash Box Controller
Remember when we said the retro gaming scene is alive and well? Take Smash Bros., for example. While most fans are happy to play the latest iteration on the Switch, a handful of faithful gamers still compete in Super Smash Bros. Melee on the GameCube.
Eventually, Dustin Huffer and Hitbox Games produced this Smash Box Controller. This monstrosity was designed to help pro-gamers play Smash in an all-new way.
While this weird thing is definitely more ergonomic than the original GameCube controller, tournament organizers eventually decided that alternative controllers like this would be banned from most tournaments. That leaves this thing as a pro controller that pros can’t even use!
While hardcore gamers may scoff, a ton of people play games on their iPhones and iPads. It only makes sense that the platform would eventually see some interesting gaming add-ons.
The iCade ended up being disappointing on many levels. The premise is right in the name: this accessory turns your iPad into a bartop arcade.
Sadly, there amount of compatible games for the iCade was seriously limited. So unless you decided to risk it and jailbreak your Apple device, you were stuck with a glorified paperweight.
3DS AR Cards
The 3DS’s purpose has changed a lot over the years. Eventually, Nintendo discovered that even the 3D part was overrated: the public was perfectly happy to play new Nintendo games in glorious 2D instead.
Poor public reception was one reason why the 3DS AR Cards eventually died out. These were “augmented reality” cards that allowed players to enjoy extra games via the AR feature of the 3DS.
Between poor developer support and lack of player interest, AR definitively died out many years ago. And no amount of augmenting can change that particular reality.
GAEMS M155 LED Portable Gaming Monitor
File this one under “cool in theory.” This rig lets you play your PS4 or other console on the go.
Why only cool in theory? The truth is that these systems were never designed to be portable. And trying to take your next-gen gaming experience on the go was always more trouble than it was worth.
And once you go to all that trouble, you soon discover that the “portable gaming monitor” is seriously sub-par. You’re better off saving your cash and enjoying the immersive narrative and killer graphics of the real world… no controller required.
What is the worst gaming peripheral you ever owned? Sound off in the comments below!