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Remember Duck Hunt for Nintendo? Twas the Precursor To The Wii

by Sean P. Aune | March 14, 2010March 14, 2010 10:04 am PDT

You know, they say hindsight is 20/20, and with the benefit of many years separating us, when you look back at the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), you can see a lot of hints what the company wanted to do in the future.  The only thing that was holding them back from going full-throttle back then was that the technology wasn’t ready to keep up with them, but that didn’t stop the company from giving it a try as far back as the original launch of the gaming console back in 1984.

nintendo-zapperAs we talked about previously, the Power Glove for the NES was an obvious precursor to what would eventually become the Wii many years later.  However, if you look back at the initial release of the system, and the inclusion of the Nintendo Zapper gun for the game Duck Hunt, and you see that the company has always had an interest in motion.

While the Zapper didn’t follow your every move, it was a light sensor system that responded to which part of the TV you were pointing it at.  When you would pull the trigger, the game would flash and that was actually the game transmitting a light signal to the gun so it could determine where you were pointing the controller.  While it was rudimentary at best, it didn’t require you to set up any sensor’s near the TV, and you didn’t even have to calibrate it to get them working together.

This was of course a far cry from what we finally ended up with in the Wii system, but it is interesting to think back to this simple device and think about what it eventually led to.  Not only can we thank the Nintendo Zapper for the Wii, but if you follow this line of thought, you can also thank it for the Playstation Move and Microsoft’s Project Natal.

Thank you oh simple light sensor gun … and that stupid laughing dog in Duck Hunt that always mocked us.

duck hunt dog

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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