In the early 90’s, personal computers had yet to become the everyday household items that we know them as now. As such, it’s quite likely that the first time a fair number of people ever held a mouse in 1992 was when they got their hands on the Super NES Mouse.
Originally bundled with Mario Paint (and eventually sold on its own and in further bundles in regions outside of North America), the Super NES Mouse is almost quaintly antiquated by the standards of mice used on PCs today. Cast in the same gray and purple plastics as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System itself, the Super NES Mouse featured two buttons and ball that would roll along smooth surfaces (such as the included plastic mouse pad) to direct the on-screen cursor.
As Mario Paint would demonstrate, the Super NES Mouse would help bridge the gap between the styles of gameplay typically seen on the personal computer and the home console scene. In addition to its base use in allowing more accuracy in artistic programs, the Super NES Mouse saw a surprising amount of support among other titles, though often as a supplementary option, rather than the primary input method. For instance, the first-person sections of Jurassic Park would allow players to use either a regular controller or the Mouse to control their movements.
Ports of PC titles such as Doom and Sid Meier’s Civilization further bridged this connection, allowing Super NES users to play the games in a way that was more authentic to the experience as originally designed. Furthermore, several titles designed with the Super Scope light gun (light bazooka?) peripheral would also allow the Super NES Mouse to be used, such as Tin Star and T2: The Arcade Game.
Nintendo would go on to implement a mouse once again with the Nintendo 64’s release of certain titles for the short-lived 64DD add-on before shifting emphasis to touchscreen and motion controls. More recently, Hyperkin has released an updated version of the original Super NES Mouse called the “Hyper Click Retro Style Mouse” that works with the original Super NES console and compatible clones, and features an optical sensor instead of the roller ball of the original.