Bad Idears Then That Seem Cool Now: Nintendo Knitting Machine

By August 31, 2012

Howard Phillips, a former “Director, Game Creative” for Nintendo of America from 1981 – 1991 and the basis for the character Howard in Nintendo Power magazine’s “Howard and Nester” comic, has delighted old school Nintendo fans by scanning in tons of brochures and images from the early days of Nintendo’s push into console gaming to his Facebook page.

And while they’re ALL treasures to behold, there’s one he scanned in yesterday that’s got everyone talking: Nintendo Knitting Machine.

(In case you’re a blind geek like me, here’s what was written on the brochure)

“You’re looking at the Nintendo Knitting Machine. It’s not a game; not a toy; not something a young girl can outgrow in three or six months or even a year. It’s a machine that interacts with the powerful Nintendo Entertainment System to actually knit sweaters; and not just one or two patterns but a multitude of different and unique designs. The Nintendo Knitting Machine is just one more example of the innovative thinking that keeps Nintendo on the cutting edge of video technology. And your consumers on the edge of their seats. Of course we should probably mention that no other video game system offers anything even remotely similar. But why needle the competition?”

Designed as a peripheral for the NES, the NKM claimed it could make a custom sweater in about four hours and was Nintendo’s attempt at those who didn’t want a home computer in 1987 because as tech writer John Dvorak said, “Home computers were useless because people didn’t have any home-oriented use for them… I’m convinced this knitting software will help reintroduce the home computer to the public.”

Phillips was not a fan of the product and when given a mere 30 minutes notice to demo said product to Toys R Us, admitted “it was one of my least genuinely enthusiastic demos.”

I just wonder what the largest size could be created with said machine but it would still be cool to try out just once!

For more treasures from Gamemaster Howard, be sure to “like” him on Facebook and enjoy a look at all the old school Nintendo you may have missed the first time around!

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Cricket Lee
Star Wars fangirl. Named Best Kisser by Time Magazine. CEO/Host: Girl Gamer; host of Gecken: GeekNation; writer: Dread Central. You'll have a crush on me soon. Vote Quimby. Twitter: @crixlee