With all the recent controversy relating to the suitably dubbed "nubageddon" I started to think "Are useless accessories and add-ons for Nintendo Consoles anything new?"
When I was around 6 years old, I was given my first games console, a clear plastic Gameboy Pocket. Now this single hand-held gaming device would have been boring without a game -in this case Super Mario land, still my favourite Gameboy game- and without batteries pretty useless. To put it simply, back then batteries were expensive and two AAA batteries was a lot for several hours of gameplay, so he first accessory that I will mention is, the battery pack, which could be charged from the mains power. This is what I consider a useful accessory, and now everything comes with an in-built rechargeable battery. Back at the time I was amazed that you could recharge a battery, I was so used to binning them after the device they had previously powered stopped working, but this was more than just a battery pack, it gave me the option of playing my portable console anywhere, without having to carry batteries.As the years went on, the battery pack lost its ability to hold a charge, and I was left with a blank screen just as Mario was about to jump a chasm. So overall it was a good, a very good accessory, and helped me enjoy such an amazing console and ignite my love for gaming.
Many years later, I got an upgrade, to the Gameboy Colour, and Pokemon. At the time, my bestfriend and myself were obsessed with Pokemon, him having Red, and me having Blue, we often met up to battle each other, well, I battling, we just mashed the 'A' button,until one of us lost and punched the other to make up for the loss. We didn't live to close to each other so meeting up usually meant having a sleep-over -slumber party for you Americans.- which brings me onto my second accesory, the worm light. Now anyone who owned any of the Gameboy consoles will know that, up until the SP (yes I am aware of the GB:Light) ,you had to be sitting on the surface of the sun to see anything on the screen. So this was obviously a problem when your parents would come into your room and say "Turn your Pokemons off and get some sleep." No matter how much you whined that you needed to save first, they would win, by turning off the light. But fear not Pokefans, the worm light would save you from your tyrannical dad, with his light switches. For anyone who doesn't know a worm light is a small bendy tube with a light on the end, which plugged into the small port on the the side of the Gameboy and bathed the tiny colour screen with a little yellow glow. As a child this was awesome,I could battle Gym Leaders after 'bed time' especially at sleepovers, playing Pokemon until 9pm was the ultimate rebellion at the age of eight. Sounds great right? Wrong, the little worm light drained batteries about four-thousand times quicker than spamming the 'A' button and without my beloved battery pack, I couldn't play my games for too long with light on. And other than that, it looked stupid, having a bright pink squiggly tube sticking out of my garish green Gameboy Colour. This is the bad accessory, but if I'm honest it was still pretty useful.
The most exciting news from Nintendo when I was young was to hear about the new Gameboy Advance, with smaller cartridges, in full colour, and brand new Mario games! Yes, as a 11 year old, this was great news, a new portable console, and with it came yet more useless accessories, I had them all, sub-woofers, double worm lights (two battery draining lights on one console!), the 12 player link cable, the adaptor to use it as a Gamecube controller -I never had a Gamecube- and many more. But the prize fro the ugliest goes to a screen magnifier that I owned. it was not just a little piece of convexed PVC, that clipped nicely onto the top of my Gameboy. Oh no, this was power armour for the Advance, made of heavy duty plastic that encased the little console making it unrecognisable, it had a built in loud speaker and huge rubber grips on the back, it replaced the d-pad with a sticky joystick and two huge rubber plates covered the A and B buttons, this pocket console needed its own bag when wearing its protective suit, and when combined with the duel worm light, it was one ugly piece of hardware. This wouldn't have been so bad, if my parents didn't insist on me keeping it in the case, not that I could get it out, you needed a screwdriver. So I had to put up with this until the release of the SP, a backlit -goodbye worm light-, a rechargeable battery and a huge screen, this was truly the perfect Gameboy.
And that is my article, I had plenty more consoles and accessories I could have talked about, but the Gameboy Line was and will always be my favourite place to find copious amounts of accessories, so just think, yes the 3DS might get a nub add-on, obviously you can get a thousand kinds of DS stylus, but is that anything new? I for one say, no, it is just gaming.