Activision released another game with a deluxe controller on November 17 (2009) in North America, and this one had been designed with teens in mind.  Tony Hawk: Ride was the latest in a series of Tony Hawk-branded skateboard games, and was the first to feature its own skateboard controller.  The $120 game was available for all three systems.  The Wii skateboard differed from previous alternative Wii controllers, because it didn’t need to house the Wii remote.  Like the PS3 version, the Wii model was sold with a dongle that plugged into the Wii’s USB port and received the infrared signal sent by the skateboard controller.

The skateboard controller was only four inches smaller than an actual skateboard.  However, it featured two built-in accelerometers and infrared sensors on all of its sides to register the player’s hands and feet and to send this information to the console.  Unfortunately, all of these sensors did a poor job of registering the player’s movements.  Tony Hawk: Ride was the 12th game in the Tony Hawk series, which had been steadily declining in sales since its introduction in 1999.  The skateboard controller was supposed to provide a more realistic experience and regenerate the series.  Instead, it was widely criticized by the press as the worst one yet.

Check out more of the rich history of the industry in Leonard Herman’s book Phoenix IV available at Rolenta Press and make sure to sign up to get Old School Gamer Magazine for free by clicking here!

Leonard Herman Leonard Herman (26 Posts)

Leonard Herman, The Game Scholar, is regarded as one of the earliest and most respected videogame historians. The first edition of his book Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Home Videogames, which was published in 1994, is considered to be the first serious and comprehensive book about the history of videogames. He has written articles for Videogaming & Computer Illustrated, Games Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Pocket Games, Classic Gamer Magazine, Edge, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Manci Games, and Video Game Trader, which he also edited. He has also contributed articles to several videogame-related books, including Supercade, The Video Game Explosion and The Encyclopedia of Video Games. Mr. Herman has also written the book ABC To the VCS (A Directory of Software for the Atari 2600), a compendium of game summaries. He has also written and designed user's manuals for the following Atari VCS games: Cracked, Save the Whales, Pick-Up, Rush Hour, Looping, The Entity and Lasercade, as well as the user's guide to Ralph Baer's Pinball! for the Odyssey2. In 1994, he founded Rolenta Press, a publisher of videogame books, whose catalogue included Videogames: In the Beginning, by Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of the videogame console, and Confessions of the Game Doctor by Bill Kunkel, the world's first videogame journalist. Two Rolenta Press books were included in a list of the top ten videogame books of all time by Game Informer magazine in 2008. Mr. Herman has served as an advisor for Videotopia, Classic Gaming Expo and the National Videogame Museum. He has appeared in several episodes of G4's Icons and in the documentary, The King of Arcades. In 2003, Mr. Herman received a Classic Gaming Expo Achievement Award in recognition for his accomplishments in documenting game history