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This NES Floor Mat Controller Is One Of Nintendo's Weirder Accessories

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Through the decades, Nintendo has created all sorts of different accessaries for its gaming consoles. Some of these have been incredible successes, while others have been... not so popular. For example, while the Nintendo Wii and its motion controllers made for a high-selling success, Nintendo's follow-up device, the Wii U, was a relative failure. Perhaps the best-known example of Nintendo's accessary failures, however, is the Power Glove. The 80s were a period of experimentation for Nintendo, particularly when it came to peripherals. And just a few years before the Power Glove came along, there was another interesting accessary designed to encourage players to move as they play. 

That device was the 1987 Nintendo Power Pad. Originally known as the Family Fun Fitness Control Mat (per Nintendo Times), the Power Pad was a thin mat with eight different buttons that gamers activated by stepping on them. Suffice it to say, this was an odd device — but it also arguably laid the groundwork for Nintendo's motion-control future. Here's why the Power Pad is worth remembering for fans of Nintendo history.

The power pad was weird

As noted by Nintendo Times, a major selling point for the mat was its emphasis on providing a workout. One of the games available during the device's launch, "Athletic World," was designed to make players hop, skip, and even jump during gameplay. The game included five different activities: Hurdles, Hop A Log, Animal Tail, Rafting, and Dark Tunnel. Eventually, the device got a bit of a revival (per IGN). An updated iteration of the pad was brought back for the Nintendo Wii alongside a new version of "Athletic World." This new version of the game allowed two players to use the mat at one time. 

Surprisingly, the original pad holds up well today, according to multiple reviews of the device on Amazon. "Works like it did back in the 90s! Perfect condition and the games are still fun. And tiring!!! Great exercise! Put wii U fit to shame," one reviewer wrote. "Works really well for being an older product! Bought it for my husband's Nintendo and he loves it!" another said. Overall, the devices average customer review score on the site is an impressive 4.5 out of 5.

Despite the Power Pad's odd design, its innovative approach to workout games essentially ushered in an entire new genre of exercise-centric video games. In recent years, gamers are even beginning to speedrun these intense games. Its no wonder that the decades-old device is still getting rave reviews from modern video game fans.