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 www.RolentaPress.com and make sure to sign up to get Old School Gamer Magazine for free by clicking here!