Power Play: Get the Most out of Gaming with the Coolest Accessories

In 1986, Nintendo released an ad that captured the imagination of a generation of gamers. They showed us how we can become more emerged in the game by bringing real-world devices into play.

The ad presented the all-American boy with a Nintendo entertainment system. He started out with the controller, but quickly progressed through accessories ranging from a robot to a plastic gun. There was not a kid in America who didn’t want to hoist a fake gun at a TV screen and make something happen on that screen. Electronic duck hunting would never be the same again.

The tagline of the ad was, “Now, you’re playing with power!” The implication was unmistakable. Playing a video game in the traditional way was fine. But if you wanted to make a real power play, you needed some accessories. While Nintendo is only a shell of its former self, it deserves to be honored for striking a nerve in the market place that still resonates with its message. In homage to that, let us take a look at the coolest gaming accessories that give us the edge:

Joysticks That Make Your Games Take Flight

Remember the first time you hooked up a joystick to your computer? Okay, it probably didn’t work at first and had all kinds of driver and incompatibility issues. I mean after that. It was great! You could navigate your game menus, control character movements, and select in-game options. But the joy of that was instantly dwarfed the moment you played a flying game with a joystick for the first time.

For the first time, you understood what a gaming peripheral was all about. It was more than just a thing attached to your computer giving your game a more realistic feel. It was a connection to the real world. Real pilots and even astronauts used a similar instrument to fly real planes. The flight sims you played were realistic enough to function as instruction in the real world of really cool things.

If you’re more interested in the flight simulation side of it–especially if you’re training to be a real pilot–the online aviation store PilotMall offers flight simulator tools for both students and professionals.

Steering Wheel and Pedals

As much fun as it is for a kid to fly a plane with a real joystick, it might be even more fun to play a racing game with a steering wheel and pedals. That is because most kids will not grow up to be pilots. They will very like grow up to drive an automobile.

A kid that does not yet have his license yearns for nothing more than to get behind the wheel and go. The closest he can get to that is with a video game. The right accessories get him a heck of a lot closer. Pressing buttons does not convey the sense of driving. There is a disconnect between what you are doing and what you are seeing. Driving game accessories completely bridge that gap. Here is a recent review of the best driving sets you can buy.

iPhone Gamepads

Gaming accessories are not just for consoles and PCs. Mobile gaming is one of the biggest gaming categories. It has managed to do what traditional gaming has failed to accomplish. Mobile gaming has drawn women into the world of gaming.

But just because women are play games on smartphones does not mean they have to be left out of the accessory power play. Last year, Apple introduced a new program that allowed third-party accessory makers to produce game controllers specifically made for the iPhone.

This is a much appreciated and long overdue addition to the iOS universe. The iPhone screen is already among the smallest of the popular phones. On-screen control pads obscure too much of the screen, making it difficult to see what is going on in the game. Also, so games are just not practical without some sort of tactile interface.

The new crop of iPhone game controllers give mobile gamers a more realistic way to experience games that were only possible on consoles just a few years ago. Whether you are defending a tower, or overtaking an enemy’s position, you can now do it with power, even on the go.

We have come a long ways since Nintendo’s original declaration. But progress has only served to validate their claim.

About Lee

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Travel lover. Internet guru. Friendly troublemaker. Certified pop culture buff.