Tech modder figures he might as well rig up a Nintendo Power Glove to his Switch and play Mario Kart

·2 min read
When you get hit by a blue shell, presumably the glove will clench up and punch the player right in the face.
When you get hit by a blue shell, presumably the glove will clench up and punch the player right in the face.

Rather than beat around the bush, the guy behind YouTube tech modding channel Will It Work? decides to just pose the central question asked by so many hardware modders before him in the title of his account. And, to answer the latest version of that question, he, like the visionaries who souped up a late ‘90s Hot Wheels-branded computer or messed with a Fisher-Price toy to the point that it can work as a modern game controller, has attempted to repurpose an old Nintendo Power Glove so it can be used with a Switch and its remote control Mario Kart spin-off, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.

The video opens by explaining the basic challenge posed by this project: The Power Glove was a not-all-that-functional peripheral released in 1989 for the original Nintendo Entertainment System and Mario Kart Live is meant to be played with Switch controllers designed in a different decade—a different century and millennium even.

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Undeterred, Will It Work? discusses how the Power Glove works, the specific problems he runs into when getting the Switch to recognize the Glove as a controller, and walks through the steps he takes to use a series of adapters to get the ball rolling on his mission.

He then explains how he had to rewrite elements of an adapter’s software to keep going and, finally, shows footage of himself controlling a physical Mario Kart toy and its on-screen counterpart with the motions of a hand encased in a big clunky glove from the late ‘80s.

We’ve seen a Power Glove used to perform music on a modular synth, but, as it turns out, using it control Mario Kart is an even more challenging project. Will It Work? calls this first run “partially successful” since he hasn’t been able to get full functionality out of the glove but promises to keep working on the concept in the future.

What he’s pulled off already is no “Ronald McDonald Modded Into Final Fantasy VII Remake or “Entirely Too Big Nintendo Switch” to be sure, but the Power Glove experiment’s first steps are already pretty remarkable.

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