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Released in 1989, the Power Glove was designed by Abrams/Gentile Entertainment and produced by Mattel in the United States and PAX in Japan. The Power Glove was unique for its time, allowing players to use motion to control their games. While the device delivered imprecise and clumsy controls, it was still considered to be a commercial success at the time, selling a total of around 100,000 units in the United States. However, poor sales of the peripheral and a lack of Power Glove-specific games in Japan forced PAX to declare bankruptcy. The Glove did not live up to most young players' expectations, especially those who had seen The Wizard, a movie starring Fred Savage that glorified Nintendo and suggested that the Power Glove had serious virtual reality capabilities. The film’s antagonist uses the Power Glove to play a flawless game of Rad Racer. Most kids were under the false impression that their Power Gloves would offer them unprecedented control over their videogames, too.
The Power Glove is able to detect finger motion and “wrist roll” via a simple ultra-sonic detection system. The glove emits sounds (inaudible to humans) that are detected by a unit that wraps around the outside of the television. One problem is that the detection system’s "microphones" are of inferior quality and a significant amount of distortion results. Players found that controlling games with the Power Glove was universally more difficult than with the standard NES controller. Another problem is that Nintendo’s original Entertainment System is not technologically sophisticated enough to handle the three-dimensional environments that could truly take advantage of a device like the Power Glove, despite Mattel's intriguing attempt with Super Glove Ball, a type of handball simulation that was one of only two games made to specifically utilize the Glove's features, the other being a forgettable fighting game called Bad Street Brawler. Needless to say, players were never able to achieve the fantastic effects shown in The Wizard.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed the Power Glove in one of his episodes, however, only "Top Gun" on NES was any easier to control.
- Jackey Vinson played the character Lucas in the film, The Wizard. (Memorable quote: "I love the Power Glove. It's so bad.")
- A game called Tektown was originally going to be released to accompany the Power Glove. However, the game was never released, despite being announced as "a new game for spring 1991".
- There are no left-handed Power Gloves.
- The video game metal band Powerglove is named after the controller.