Thursday, November 22, 2012

Camerica Freedom Stick, 1990.

Selling hardware is very different from selling software. You don't know what the consumer will use your product for specifically, so you have to promise the moon with much hand-waving.
"Look, ma, no more wires."
FREEDOM STICK wireless remote control
COMPATIBLE WITH NINTENDO SEGA ATARI COMMODORE
Wireless Remote Control * Feel and action of an arcade joystick * Compatible with Nintendo, Sega, Atari and Commodore * Automatic Rapid Fire * 8 direction precision micro action * Play 1 and 2 player games plus 2 player simultaneous games (requires 2 Freedom Stick Wireless Remote Controls)
Available at major retailers nationwide
FABULOUS TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKTHROUGH
Player's Seal of Approval
The U.S. National Video Game Team has endorsed this product in recognition of its superior play value.
The initial slogan is apropos, since I don't know if any kid, ever, cared about the tangle of wires resulting from piles of joysticks haphazardly tossed together. That is a "ma" concern. However: is ma reading this comic book?

Nintendo and Sega belong together in this list, however by the time you add "Sega" to a list "Atari" has long since been removed from it. "Commodore" is just a head-scratcher. I mean, were kids lying on the living room floor tripping people with their C64 joysticks? Mostly I gather these lived on desks and the wired clutter was pretty neatly compartmentalized away.

Just how precise is "8 direction precision micro action"? What if I'm pointing north-north-east? I need 16-direction precision!

And I appreciate the legal department insisting that they note that their product can only be used by two players simultaneously if two joysticks are purchased. You can enjoy all the Freedom you can buy! Freedom Stick only available in United States of A!

What I really want to know is: when did the U.S. National Video Game Team hold tryouts? And did they endorse any other products?

Wireless controllers are like Russia, a territory many have tried to conquer, all failed. This is a pretty tame version of the failure; I wish I had an ad for renowned hardware developer Broderbund's U-Force, which as best as I can tell functioned somewhat akin to an infra-red theremin.