The 3DS’s new second thumbstick is, to be blunt, horrific. It’s an ugly, quick fix to a problem that should have been identified during the handheld’s design phase, not six months after.
It is, however, not the first time Nintendo has done this. Indeed, you could say if there’s one thing Nintendo does better than any other hardware manufacturer, it’s design giant, ugly things to stack onto, beside or underneath its gaming consoles.
In the gallery above you’ll find just a selection of these add-ons. Some are functional, some are surprisingly classy! Others...well...yes.
The Famicom Disk System, the birthplace of The Legend of Zelda, was bigger than the console it was being added onto!
Another famicom add-on, a modem, was only ever released in Japan. Hideous.
The Satellaview was an add-on for Japanese Super Nintendos that allowed users to download games over phone lines.
Following in the Famicom’s footsteps, Nintendo released a Disk System for the Nintendo 64. It came too late, and was too expensive, to be of much use.
Ah, the E-Reader, a Game Boy peripheral designed to scan cards and use them in video games. Stupid idea, nobody cared.
Ah, the GameCube’s one-two punch! On the left, the Wavebird, a wireless version of the original GameCube controller that seriously bulked up the pad (though, to be fair, this doesn’t really count, as it’s not an add-on, it’s a built-in). On the right, the fat suit the console had to put on to play Game Boy Advance games on a TV set.
And finally, the Wii. While the console’s stand is the least visually offensive of these add-ons, it’s also perhaps the most useless, given the fact the Wii quite easily stood vertically all by itself. You can even see its little feet there in the picture. Making this, well, a hollow piece of plastic that did almost nothing.