Only In Japan: 20 Weird Console Accessories That Shouldn't Exist (And 10 That Are Actually Useful)

We've covered a bunch of wacky accessories from all eras to consoles right here on TheGamer, and the same goes for the rest of the Internet. It's just a fun topic to write about because there's just so much ridiculous stuff out there that can be used or just  shouldn't be touched. That said, I'm also kind of glad these monstrosities were made because it makes me happy in a way. Today's good stuff is all about Japan, but this is a subject I didn't actually find that much on, and while there's information out there, it isn't found in long form articles similar to how we cover things on our end of the Internet. It actually kind of surprised me.

That said, it was kind of hard to nail down some of the origins for these accessories, but here's a great example. One corner of the Internet, I can't remember where, said that the katana controller for Onimusha 3: Demon Siege was exclusive to Japan. However, I remember seeing it advertised in the Official PlayStation Magazine back in the day and sure enough, it did indeed come out elsewhere. So, what I'm trying to say is take these entries with a grain of salt. Whether they're exclusive to Japan or not, they're all weird in their own right.

30 Ridiculous: Tiny Bee Replicas

via: ffmuseum

Companies sure have made some weird controllers over time and I think these pistols are up there. These replicas of Yuna's Tiny Bee guns from Final Fantasy X-2 were bundled with a special edition of the game. As replicas, they look awesome, but who would want to play the whole game with them?

I'd be happy with them resting on my shelf and nothing more. Unfortunately, they of course never came over here and if you want to import them now, well, good luck. They're expensive!

29 Ridiculous: Game Boy Shoes

via: technabob.com

When you hear the words “Game Boy Shoes,” I bet I can guess what you're thinking of. They're just shoes that have designs similar to a Game Boy, right? You know, like the PlayStation shoes Sony released last year. Well, I'm afraid you're wrong.

No, these high pieces of fashion were designed with slits that could actually hold your Game Boy in case your pockets were too full, or something. I guess I like the brass of whoever thought these were a good idea because they are artful in a way, but not practical.

28 Useful: Monster Hunter Stories Amiibo

via: nintendolife.com

Most Amiibo have crossed over from Japan to The West. That is, except for the Monster Hunter Stories line of figures. Now, if these were a tie-in to a game we didn't get, I would understand, but the West did indeed receive Monster Hunter Stories on 3DS in 2017.

The worst part is that these Amiibo are actually useful, giving you some rare, early monsters. Plus, they look cool. On the plus side, I was able to get them pretty cheap on Amazon. These toys are worth the import.

27 Ridiculous: Switch Neck Mount

via: nintendosoup.com

Does the Nintendo Switch feel heavy to you? It has some weight, sure, but not enough to get me to buy this. Wouldn't that band around your neck be more painful? That's the real question here.

That said, I'm also curious to try this out for myself, because as ridiculous as it is, I'm also adventurous. Maybe, it's better than what I'm imagining, but I'm pretty sure it's not.  There's no way I'm paying money for this.

26 Ridiculous: ASCII Pad Pingu

via: play-asia.com

Okay, I'll admit it; as cramped as this controller looks to hold, it is adorable. Why are there penguins in the center of the controller, though?

Apparently it's a tie-in to a penguin game not released over here. We all know Japan loves cute things, so I bet this sold like hot cakes when it debuted. The only way I would buy one, though, is if the penguins made noise, which they don't, so no deal. Maybe next time!

25 Useful: Satellaview

via: theodysseyonline.com

The Super Nintendo, or rather, the Super Famicom, had a special add-on called the Satellaview. This device allowed players to download games from the Internet, which were of course, also exclusive to the region.

Did you know there was a complete 16-Bit remake of the original The Legend of Zelda? Did you also know Nintendo made a sequel, of sorts, to A Link to the Past? That's just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much hidden content for the Satellaview!

24 Ridiculous: MiniMoni Shaker Tambourine

via: tradera.com

And here I thought the maracas for Samba de Amigo or the congas for Donkey Konga were weird, but I was wrong. Tambourines are somehow even stranger and definitely a lot weaker than those other two examples.

The tambourine is the instrument you give someone to make them think you're including them in your band when you're really just giving them a pity part. Now, you can actually live that lie in video game form! I'm sure that was MiniMoni Shaker’s tagline.

23 Ridiculous: Famicom Top-Rider

via: famicomblog.com

This has some classic 80s video game peripherals if I ever did see one. Now, I understand the thought behind this inflatable motorcycle as some of the coolest arcade games are the ones with replica vehicles like bikes or jet skis.

However, putting one in a room would be rough. I imagine that was the thought process into creating what these developers thought was the next best thing, but I can guarantee this is far from it. The next best thing, in my mind, is just a controller.

22 Useful: Sega Dreamcast TV

via: pinterest.com

Is this really an accessory? No, not exactly, but it sure is cool as heck, so I just had to include it. This TV was built to replicate Sonic's top spines, which is cool, sure, but the best thing about this TV is that a Dreamcast is built into it.

This isn't a fancy fan mod either. This is an official product you could have bought in Japan. By today's standards it's small, but at the time, I would have loved this. It's an all-inclusive package for the Sega mega fan.

21 Ridiculous: Super Robot Taisen MX

via: play-asia.com

Super Robot Taisen is a series that dates back to the Famicom and is basically the biggest crossover series for mech and anime fans. While their content ranges in terms of who gets in, they are all predominantly strategy RPGs.

Unfortunately, only two have ever been released outside of Japan. History aside, this monstrous controller may replicate the controls of a giant robot, but these games really don't need that many buttons. I wonder what they all do? It's like some kind of toddler's toy.

20 Ridiculous: N64 Bio Sensor

via: raphnet-tech.com

Did you think the canceled accessory for the Wii, the Vitality Sensor, was the first heart-monitoring piece of hardware Nintendo dabbled in? Well, if you did, that is incorrect.

On the Nintendo 64, this Bio Sensor came packaged with one of the weirdest games imaginable: Tetris 64. Yes, this was made so that players could control the game with their heartbeat. Of all the games to make this for, Tetris 64 would not be the one I would have guessed.

19 Useful: Rez Trance Vibrator

via: theverge.com

I reported about this before in a PlayStation accessories article, but at the time, I thought this came out everywhere. Well, I was wrong. The Trance Vibrator that came packaged with Rez was a Japan exclusive, and I think you can guess why, so let's not spill the beans.

What I will say is that I feel bad for the creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi. All he wanted was for people to feel the music as they played, but I guess he never imagined what else people could do with this, uh, peripheral.

18 Ridiculous: Bakutsuri Bar Hunter

via: kotaku.com

Bakutsuri Bar Hunter is a manga, anime, toy line, and video game that are all about fishing. This accessory that came with the 3DS title lets you scan items, a.k.a fish, and then use the crank to reel them in.

It's so ridiculous that it looks like something made as a spoof of what video games are like. Fishing is not really a game genre I can get behind, let alone doing it in real life. I'd look even more ridiculous using this peripheral in public.

17 Ridiculous: Tactical Assault Commander Grip Controller Type G1

via: heavyarm-asia.com

That sure is a mouthful, isn't it? The thing that really gets me is that the half controller part straps to your hand. I mean, if you're really, and I mean REALLY, into first-person shooters, then I guess I can see this being a “tactical” use of your money.

It's often said that using a mouse for shooter accuracy is a must. While that may be true, I'm okay with being a little more of a bad shot if it means not strapping a controller to my body.

16 Useful: N64 Hori Pad Mini

via: n64today.com

Without question, the worst controller Nintendo ever made was for the N64. It was huge and just didn't feel good. I didn't like the GameCube controller much either, but at least it wasn't as weird. Anyway, the thing that absolutely baffles me is that there was a solution to these complaints.

Hori, which is a company most known for creating arcade pads, made this more compact controller. Nintendo never bothered to release it outside of Japan, though, which baffles  me completely.

15 Ridiculous: Dragon Quest Metal Slime

via: ebay.com

This is another controller that I've reported on before, albeit slightly different. In my last feature, I chose to highlight the PS4 version since it was the most recent, but this time, I went with the original that started it all and it's even more ridiculous.

This Slime Controller was released alongside Dragon Quest VIII on PS2. Admittedly, it's a great statue of a Slime, and adorable, but then you realize it's a controller and then all the potential from it flies out the window.

14 Ridiculous: Famicom Pachinko

via: famicomblog.com

While there are “normal” slot machines in Japan, what that country loves above all else is Pachinko. Seriously, find me a console, any console, that doesn't have a Pachinko game, if not dozens. It can't be done.

Of course, these games don't release outside of the country for good reason. Alongside that notion, neither do the tie-in accessories for these games, like this one for the Famicom. At the very least, it's not offensively designed, but it still is strange.

13 Useful: PocketStation

via: catawiki.com

This is another accessory that I actually thought came out in the West, but I was mistaken. The PocketStation was an exclusive in Japan for the PS1, so who copied whom?

It worked kind of like the Sega Dreamcast's VMU memory cards, except that they weren't memory cards. However, they did access your memories, allowing gamers to play mini games in something like Final Fantasy VIII. That one involved Chocobos, because of course it did. It's not a huge loss, but I still would have wanted one.

12 Ridiculous: Mobile Phone Game Boy Adapter

via: pokécommunity.com

The original Game Boy, while bulky compared to other models, was still a neat portable device. That said, adding an accessory that attaches to your phone seems unpleasant.

Don't forget that phones weren't as sleek as they are today. So, here's a kid with presumably giant pockets walking around with the giant bulges just so they can play some games online. No thanks, Japan. I'm glad you kept that one to yourselves. Funnily enough, that's kind of how voice chat works on the Switch now, which is equally as dorky.

11 Ridiculous: Densha de Go! Controller

via: wikiwand.com

If you thought the Super Robot Taisen controller was huge, get a load of this. For those unaware, Densha de Go! is a train simulator game, or to be more precise, a train conductor simulator.

I bet that giant controller makes sense now. Here's the great thing, though. I found a controller similar for almost every console. Not specifically for this series, but close enough. I landed on this one because it had by the far the weirdest design.

10 Useful: Super Game Boy 2

via: twitter.com

When I was a lad, I traded video games all the time. The best trade I ever made was for Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Yellow, a Game Boy Pocket with a missing screen, and a Super Game Boy.

All I gave my friend was NBA Jam, Super Mario World, and I think $20 or $30. I think I won. Anyway, I loved my Super Game Boy, and I had no idea there was a successor that let you link cables for multiplayer. Why didn't we get this?

9 Ridiculous: Para Para Paradise

via: pinterest.com

One of my secret obsessions for the PS2 was Dance Dance Revolution. I played it at a friend's house, told my girlfriend about it at the time, and then that Christmas, about two months later, she bought it for me. Then, this dance craze continued with Just Dance.

Anyway, the point is, I love video game dancing titles, but I don't see the appeal of this one in particular. These sensors for Para Para Paradise are supposed to track your motions without the need of a pad, but they apparently don't respond well. Gee, go figure.

8 Ridiculous: Super Famicom Voicer-kun

via: genkivideogames.com

The Voicer-kun accessory was an invention of Koei; you know, the company that makes the Dynasty Warriors series? Well, in the 90s, they dabbled with karaoke games, briefly. This basically allowed players, put very simply, to sing into their Super Famicom. Sort of.

It connected to a CD that then played out on the system. The information out there is pretty vague, but the thing that gets me is that it's for a 16-Bit console, so the music quality is not going to be very great for it.

7 Useful: Remote Play Assist Attachment PS Vita Slim

via: youtube (SoftOtaku)

One of the PS Vita's most underrated abilities is Remote Play. Nearly all games on your PS4 can be played on your Vita via streaming. While it isn't as easy to setup as the Switch, it's not some kind of brain buster either.

Some games, like say Destiny, that use the shoulder buttons doesn't feel as good on the Vita. However, with this accessory, all those troubles could be solved. I imported one after finding this out and while it’s still a bit goofy, it’s pretty great.

6 Ridiculous: Famicom 3D System

via: wikipedia.com

Nintendo has messed with 3D functionality since day one. Well, not day one exactly since the company started out making Hanafuda cards in 1889, but you get what I mean. I was referring to the Famicom.

That's right, they made 3D glasses that didn't exactly go over well, which is to say it wasn't widely supported, and buying one then was sort of a waste of money. I haven't tried one myself as they're really expensive now, but I can safely bet I wouldn't like them.

5 Ridiculous: PSP/DS TV Tuners

via: culturejapan.com

Are you helplessly addicted to TV shows so much that you need a tuner on the go? I mean, the PSP had a decent screen and actually pretty good audio output... if you wore headphones.

However, the DS, not so much. Look, I love the little guy, and there are too many good games to name on the DS, but using it to watch videos seems like a regrettable experience. Thankfully, we never had to worry about it as both tuners stayed in Japan.

4 Useful: Famicom Disk System

via: reddit.com

This accessory is sort of similar to the Super Famicom's Satellaview, except that it came first and wasn't used to download games. Instead, this add-on allowed Famicom players to put in what were essentially floppy disks.

Why is it so cool? Did you know that the original Zelda and Metroid came out for it? Our ports were okay, but inferior in almost every way. The sound chip alone is what made this thing really cool. Let's bring back the floppies!

3 Ridiculous: Phantasy Star Online Keyboard

via: kinja.com

Phantasy Star Online is one of the best games on the GameCube and it wasn't even made by Nintendo, but by their former rival, Sega. It wasn't a console exclusive, but everyone that I knew played it on the good old purple cube.

Now, as the name suggests, it can go online, which means you can communicate via texts. There were a few keyboards compatible with the system, which was a good idea, but this one that jams in the GameCube controls at the end is not. That looks so uncomfortable to hold let alone play with.

2 Ridiculous: Face-to-Face Arcade Switch Stand

via: gonintendo.com

On paper, I can see this being a good idea. Basically, this stand has two sides that let two Switch owners place their screens and Joy-Cons into the designated slots. It's like a mini arcade for your tabletop.

Here's the thing though. Since it's made for a tabletop, it has to be a tiny surface so that both players can reach the accessory equally. Do you get what I mean? Again, it's a cute idea that is probably more useful as an art piece than an actual useful accessory.

1 Useful: Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun!

via: dhgate.com

Okay, I know I ragged on a bunch of other seemingly odd musical instrument accessories in this article. Call me crazy, but Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun! is so much better with the drum accessory rather than using standard controls.

Fun is in the name, after all. While the game did come out in The West last fall, the controller did not. Thankfully, it still works with our systems, so yes, I imported one and I loved every minute of it. I just want to bang on the drum all day!

More in Lists