Retro: Ninendo’s Power Glove

In Games, History, Movies & TV, Other, Promo & Advertising by ashbydodd

From a tool for NASA, to corporate infighting, a fake CES demo and a nearly universally hated toy only to come back as a pop culture icon.

Hey there 80’s kid, this one is for you! For a long time, the Duck Hunt gun was the coolest Nintendo accessory on the market but all of that changed when the Power Glove was announced.

The power glove was the first step toward the virtual reality scenarios that Hollywood had recently become obsessed with. By wearing the glove, a player’s body movements (and not just thumb speed) could control the game – the idea was thrilling. At that time, there was no such thing as wearable tech or VR accessories for your smart phone… you know, because back then there were no smart phones.

Nintendo's Power Glove

The Power Glove seemed unstoppable and the media hype only helped elevate the expectation of gamers everywhere. In the Fred Savage movie, The Wizard (which was a glorified Nintendo marketing scheme that also stared a very young and very dreamy Christian Slater if I recall correctly), not only was the brand new Super Mario Bros 3 featured (along with the secret whistle!) but the new Power Glove is prominently introduced. Players wanted to become ‘one’ with their video games and the Power Glove was just the tool to get them there.

The Story of the Nintendo Power Glove is a 15 minute documentary worth any gamer’s time; the doc explains how the Power Glove went from being the promise of the future to one of the biggest failures in gaming history. From the early origins as a way to ‘air-conduct’ music to one of the biggest scams at CES (Consumer Electronic Show), the data/Power Glove has a fascinating story that you should check out:

The Power Glove is one of the most infamous accessories for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). From a tool for NASA, to corporate infighting, a fake CES demo and a nearly universally hated toy only to come back as a pop culture icon. This is the unlikely tale behind the Power Glove.