Previously, we took a look back at one of Nintendo’s more unique innovations during the era of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the NES Satellite. This device allowed players to use the controllers they already owned from a greater distance from the console while also enabling features such as turbo functionality and simultaneous play for up to four players in specially-designed games.
Whether the NES Satellite didn’t perform as well as hoped by the higher-ups at Nintendo, or the company simply wanted to offer more options, they would follow it up with a similar device the following year. In 1990, the company rolled out the NES Four Score.
The NES Four Score shared most of the same features as its predecessor: As per its name, of course, it could allow up to four players to play select games simultaneously while also offering turbo functionality. While it lacked the wireless functionality of its forebear, the Four Score nonetheless also extended the reach for controllers plugged into it. Though I can’t find any specifics, the “several feet” added may likely fall well short of the estimated 15 to 20 feet the Satellite could accomplish.
Despite the probable shorter range, the Four Score did make up for its differences in other ways. Infrared video game controllers are known to be notoriously finicky, often requiring a level, direct line-of-sight between transmitter and receiver, and the NES Satellite was little different in this regard. Due to using a wired connection, Four Score users didn’t need to worry about a jolt to whatever the Satellite might be sitting on, or someone stepping between the two components and interrupting the signal.
More compelling? The lack of requiring six C-cell batteries no doubt allowed Four Score owners’ wallets to breathe a little more easily.
While the Four Score would not get the same bundle treatment in North America that the Satellite got with the Sports Set, Europe received their own bundle packaging the Four Score with the NES Super Set. This bundle included the NES console, four controllers, the NES Four Score, and a three-in-one Game Pak featuring Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and Nintendo World Cup.