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video game accessoriesA video game console usually comes with the system itself, some cables and a controller. These are the essentials necessary to give the machine power, make it display images on your screen of choice and provide you with a method of interacting with the game. Nine times out of ten, this is more than sufficient to play the game and have a damn good time. However, some games require a little more. That is where additional hardware comes into play. Whether you call them peripherals or accessories, they can help take your gaming experience to the next level.

Over the years, there have been some fantastic video game accessories. There have been some duds as well, but let’s not dwell on the negatives. In the grand scheme of things, video game accessories are a good thing as long as they are reasonably priced and they expand the game beyond the limits of what is possible without a standard controller.

Rock Band Pro Drums

Most of the hardware for the Rock Band games is quite good. In fact, I use the Logitech microphone that comes with it to record the Technophila Podcast every week. However, there is one piece of Rock Band stuff that stands above the rest, and that is pro drums. Playing these drums is as close as you can get to real drums.

video game accessories

The pro drums have your standard four drum pads. What makes them special is the addition of three specialized cymbal pads. This gives you seven drums and a base pedal to manage at the same time. The learning curve and skill level required is quite high, but the satisfaction of feeling as if you are really playing the drums takes you out of the video game and gives you a real world sense of accomplishment.

Turtle Beach Ear Force Line

game accessories

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If you live in a house with other people, and want to immerse yourself in your games, a pair of wireless Ear Force headphones is a fantastic option. They allow you to listen to the game and chat right from the headset and sound quality is top notch. They may not be an official gaming accessory, but for people who cannot have a surround sound system, they are well worth owning.

The Super Game Boy

I might be going a little obscure on this one, but during my childhood, this was by far my favorite video game accessory. Quite simply, a cartridge went into your Super Nintendo and allowed you to play Game Boy games on your television. This was long before the days of emulators all over the place, and the concept of taking your handheld games and playing them on your TV was mind-blowing.

game accessories

Another thing that was amazing about the Super Game Boy was that it could add some color to the monochrome Game Boy games. The color was limited, and it looked kind of funny, but just the fact that it was there was awesome.

Game Genie

Calling all old-school cheaters: do you remember the empowering feeling of plugging in a Game Genie and unlocking god mode? Game Genie was the number one way to cheat at video games for generations. They made a Game Genie for nearly every classic gaming console, and they were awesome.

game accessories

I will admit that the one for portable systems looked more than a little ridiculous, but the ends justified the means. Sometimes I wish I could plug a Game Genie into my Xbox 360, even if just for nostalgia’s sake.

Nintendo Zapper

How can you talk about video game accessories without mentioning the Zapper? This accessory started it all. It was mind-blowing that you could aim this gun at your TV and it would pick up where you were shooting. I remember thinking it was magic when I was a child, and to be honest, it still seems like magic when you consider the time it came out.

video game accessories

I will admit that there have been plenty of better light guns than the Nintendo Zapper over the years, but none had the significance of the Zapper. You could call the Zapper the father of all video game accessories, and you most certainly would not be wrong.

Quality iPhone Controller Peripheral Supported by All Games

Yes, this does not exist yet, but if it did, it would be my number one most beloved video game accessory by a long shot. Recreating a “real” gaming experience on the iPhone has always been difficult, and a good piece of hardware that makes the iPhone feel more like a PS Vita would solve that issue. Every day I hope someone finds a way to make a good one, and I hope game developers support it in droves. Will it ever happen? Probably not, but a man can dream.

Conclusion

Thousands of video game peripherals and accessories have existed throughout the years, and I feel like I am only scratching the surface. Still, these are my absolute favorites and I would love to hear what your favorites are. Jump into the comments section below and let me know what video game accessories have changed your life.

  1. jamesbirtwistle
    July 22, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Too bad they don't make Nintendo zappers that work in real life. Oh wait...

    • Dave LeClair
      July 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      LOL

  2. Ales Mole
    July 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    My favorite accessory: Guitar for a Guitar Hero :)

  3. druv vb
    July 18, 2012 at 10:31 am

    The Nintendo Zapper is my favourite one.
    Brings memories of old days when shooting puns and ducks on NES by simply aiming at your TV set, and where each of my cousin would eagerly wait their turn.

    Did that thing spawned the Wii Remote or the Nunchuk or the GameGun.....

    It was "shootout" in the childhood days...

  4. Jorge Rodriguez
    July 18, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Oh my lord the nintendo zapper i remember playing duck hunter or somethign like that it was great. The turtke beach are amazing a big recommendation even though a little expensive i choose them over anythign at the moment unless they make Dr.Dre ones

  5. Austin Halsell
    July 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    The iCade mobile could be the possible iPhone controller peripheral you (and I) yearn
    for! There's already a lot of developers utilizing it, though a few top names and games
    would definitely help it along. Developers, more iCade mobile adoption, please!

    • Dave LeClair
      July 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Yea, the iCade looks promising, it just needs more games to support it. If it happens it could be a dream come true!

  6. BobQKazoo
    July 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    No love for the NES Powerglove?

    • Dave LeClair
      July 30, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      The Powerglove was cool, but it didn't have enough uses.

  7. Gian Singh
    July 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    i suck at rock band, but the turtle beach ear force is amazing.

  8. Garey Boone
    July 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Great article a fantastic place to get classic games consoles etc. is a place called 4jays Video Games here's the link http://4jays.net/store/

    • Dave LeClair
      July 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Cool site, thanks!

  9. Charles Campbell
    July 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I never really liked any of the Nintendo systems after the first NES. But I loved the First NES.

  10. Trevor Lenten
    July 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I love my ear force x41's, just wished they were louder. :)

  11. Alex Dick
    July 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    one of my favorite peripherals has been my madkatz ps3 controller. not only can i use it on my ps3, but i can just plug in and use it on my pc and my android tablet & phone. been a great buy especially at the $15 or so i spent on it.

    • Dave LeClair
      July 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Awesome recommendation!

  12. Dave Parrack
    July 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I suck at the normal Rock Band drums, let alone the Pro kit.

    • Dave LeClair
      July 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      You better get practicing!

  13. K L
    July 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    The zapper brings back some fond memories of Duck Hunt on NES.
    Thanks for this article.

    • Dave LeClair
      July 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Duck Hunt really blew my mind when I first played it!

  14. Kylee Kanavas
    July 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    This is a cool article, keep it up!!! For future reference you may want to add links to where to purchase such items.

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