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NES Satellite

NES Satellite

Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: 1989

For use with: Nintendo Entertainment System

SONY DSC

The Nintendo Entertainment System was famous for a lot of things, one of which involved countless first and third party peripherals and accessories designed to increase fun, interactivity, and more. Whether you want to call it an infamous move or a famous move, that is your decision. But there is no denying the sheer “crap factor” of most of these peripherals. Some of the absolute worst accessories for the NES were the NES U-Force, NES Max, NES Power Pad, and of course the NES Power Glove. We’re not quite sure where to place the NES Satellite in regards to it being crappy, moderately useful, or really providing gamers with a unique experience. But one thing we are sure about… The NES Satellite is an interesting piece of video gaming history.

U-force

The NES U-Force also uses infrared but is way more terrible than the NES Satellite and actually makes it HARDER to play video games! YAY!

Oh Lord... The Power Glove.......

Oh Lord… The Power Glove…….

The NES Satellite was coined as a “remote control module” and essentially served only two major functions: 1.) Increase the distance between the gamer and the console wirelessly. and 2.) Provide gamers with the chance to have up to four players on supporting games. Using infrared technology, gamers can now sit up to 20 feet from their console instead of being stuck at 3 feet, which is the length of the standard NES controller cord. Nintendo released a Sports Set that featured the an NES console, NES Satellite Multitap as a pack-in, along with a cartridge housing Super Spike V’Ball and Nintendo World Cup, 2 games that allow 4-player gaming.

nes sports set

The NES Satellite features two necessary parts in order to function: a receiver and a transmitter (the main unit). The main unit is powered by six (6)  C-cell batteries and houses four controller ports plus A and B turbo control buttons. The receiver is a small piece that plugs into both controller ports on the front of the NES. The main struggle is that your transmitter needs to be in a perfect line of sight to the receiver, which could potentially mean less than optimal positioning of your console. For example, if you typically have your NES on a table beside the TV, you would either need to put it on the ground or raise your NES Satellite up to be perfectly in line with the receiver. So the absolute easiest solution is to put both pieces of hardware on the ground.

NES Satellite magazine ad.

NES Satellite magazine ad.

There are a very limited number of games that make use of 4-player support, so essentially the NES Satellite is best used as a means for wireless gameplay. Compared to future wireless controllers (up until Nintendo released the WaveBird for the GameCube, which was a major turning point for wireless controllers), the NES Satellite was actually a better functioning peripheral due to the fact that the infrared’s line of site remained intact with ease. Most notably, the Sega Genesis had an infrared wireless controller that required gamers to sit almost completely still in a very uncomfortable position pointing the controller directly at the console. The biggest downside to the NES Satellite is the fact that it uses a whopping 6 C-cell batteries! The turbo buttons also do not function all that well and essentially only work as a “repeater.” I can almost mash the button faster than the turbo button will work. Tsk Tsk Nintendo.

NES Four Score

NES Four Score

Nintendo obviously gave up on the NES Satellite very early as just one year later they released the NES Four Score which provided players with the ability to have up to 4 players, A and B turbo control, and extending the distance between the player and the console. It essentially functions just as the NES Satellite does except without the required use of an expensive stash of batteries. But despite giving up on the NES Satellite so soon, someone had to make risky moves and try new things or the gaming industry wouldn’t be anywhere close to where it is now. If it weren’t for Nintendo’s efforts to bring wireless controls to the home market when they did, we might be playing with wired controllers right now. Unlikely, but who knows!

Controles NES Satelite

Pros:

  • The ability to have up to 4 players for supporting games.
  • Extended wireless range between the gamer and the console.
  • A and B turbo button controls.
  • The receiver seamlessly blends into your NES. Main unit has identical look as your NES.
  • Relatively inexpensive on the market today.
  • Not too difficult to locate online or in some stores.

Cons:

  • Requires 6 C batteries to function.
  • Can only be within a range of 15 to 20 feet from the console.
  • Must remain within a line of sight of the receiver on the console.
  • Limited selection of games that support 4-player function.
  • Can be challenging to find a complete set with both the receiver and main unit.
  • Became outdated in just one year of production, so its purpose is nearly useless.
  • Turbo buttons don’t produce fast enough button functions.

 

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Written by Nerdberry

Nerdberry


Nerdberry here. It’s about time I updated this badboy (been a loooong time). I’m currently loving time on my Xbox 360, as I destroy aliens left and right through the Gears of War games (man these games are good).

But that doesn’t mean I’ve lost my love for retro-gaming! My wife and I just bought a house (December, 2015) and we have a baby due ANY DAY NOW (my mini-nerdette-berry is 1 day late as of December 10th), so I haven’t fully unpacked the hundreds of cartridges that I own.

BACONEER ENGINEER EATIN’ STEER… AND PORK.

 
 

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