Old School Cool is our new original video series releasing every Tuesday afternoon on the Den of Geek Facebook page. Each week, we break out the SNES, Sega Genesis, PS2 or another classic console as we take you on a nostalgia trip into the world of classic video games and accessories.
Old School Cool: NES Power Glove
There have been many silly video game peripherals over the years, but perhaps none are as ridiculous as the NES Power Glove. Designed by Grant Goddard and Samuel Cooper Davis for Abrams/Gentile Entertainment and made by Mattel, the Power Glove was developed in jst eight weeks. Perhaps it needed more time…
How did the Power Glove work? It was pretty simple, actually, although a bit strange. While the Glove had buttons on the forearm that allowed players to input commands like a regular controller, its main function let players control characters with just their hand motions. That sounds like something we take for granted today – motion control has been around for quite a while, after all – but back in the late 80s, this was an ambitious and potentially revolutionary idea.
The Power Glove arrived on shelves in 1989 and two games were developed to take advantage of the Glove’s unique functionality – Super Glove Ball, a 3D puzzle game, and Bad Street Brawler, a beat ’em up. The games did not sell very well, and didn’t help boost the weird peripheral’s sales. Needless to say, the Power Glove was not a huge commercial success.
Yet, it’s a testament to its wonky design and ambition that we still still remember it today. The Power Glove was a small step for motion control and virtual reality in terms of how a game could track your movements. It’s certainly an idea Nintendo returned to for the Wii, the company’s most successful console. One could argue that without the Power Glove, the Wii’s ingenious motion control concept would have never existed.
Today we celebrate the Power Glove…
Check back next week for a new episode!