It’s easy to forget that when video game consoles first made their way into our living rooms, they weren’t geared toward just kids. Atari, Nintendo, and others marketed them as home entertainment systems, something multiple generations under the same roof could enjoy (in fact, the Nintendo Entertainment System’s original name in Japan, Famicom, literally stands for “family computer”). With companies targeting such a broad audience, early game consoles got some bizarre accessories like this knitting peripheral for the NES.
The Nintendo Knitting Machine could hook up to your console via an NES controller and would convert whatever pattern was up on screen into a knitted design on a textile. Nintendo demoed a prototype of the peripheral for its business partners in the late ‘80s, but it never made it onto store shelves, according to former Nintendo exec “Gamemaster” Howard Phillips, who first shared a brochure confirming its existence and cringey tagline: “Now you’re knitting with power.”