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Rumble Pak

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N64rumblepackonpad
The Rumble Pak (振動パック Shindō Pakku) is a removable device from Nintendo which provides force feedback while playing video games. Games that support the Rumble Pak cause it to vibrate in select situations, such as when firing a weapon or receiving damage, to immerse the player in the game. Versions of the Rumble Pak are available for the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo DS Lite. A select few Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games use a similar technology built into the game cartridge. The use of external Rumble Paks, since their introduction, is still rare today. This, however, is mainly because the force feedback vibration that they provide has become a built-in standard feature in almost every home video game console controller since.

The force feedback has become the popular rumble pack made by Nintendo however. N64 games with rumble on Virtual Console are not supported by the built in "Rumble" feature of the Classic Controller or GameCube Controller, despite their capabillities of doing so.

Nintendo 64Edit

N64 rumblepack box
The original Rumble Pak, designed for the Nintendo 64 controller, was released in April 1997 in Japan, July 1997 in North America, and October 1997 in Europe. It requires two AAA batteries and is inserted into the controller's memory cartridge slot, which prevents simultaneous use of the Controller Pak. This usually has little impact, as Nintendo 64 games are cartridge based and have the ability to store saved data in the cartridge, but for games that support the Controller Pak, it is possible to switch between accessories at certain points, a method known as "hot swapping".[1]

The Rumble Pak was introduced bundled with the game Star Fox 64 (known as Lylat Wars in the PAL region) and made available as a separate purchase two months later. Rumble Pak support soon became a standard for N64 games. Launch titles Wave Race 64 and Super Mario 64 were re-released in Japan in July 1997 with Rumble Pak support.[2][3]

Several thirdparty versions of the Rumble Pak, such as the Tremor Pak, followed. Some draw power from the controller instead of batteries, but the lower power makes them less effective. The TremorPak Plus allows a memory card to be inserted simultaneously, eliminating the need to switch between two accessories.[4] The Nyko Hyper Pak Plus contains internal memory and allows the user to adjust the amount of feedback between "hard" and "too hard".[5]

ReceptionEdit

LylatWarsRumblePack

When reviewing Star Fox 64, IGN praised the Rumble Pak, stating that it "adds an unusual burst of arcade ecstasy to the game".

IGN's Levi Buchanan wrote an 11th birthday article on the Nintendo 64's Rumble Pak, describing how its influence led to rumble being "an industry standard within a single generation". He said that it is bulky and heavy when attached to the Nintendo 64 controller, but that "the trade-off was actually worth it".

More recently, in TWGNews's "Top 10 Controller Innovations" article, the Rumble Pak is listed as #8, saying "the Rumble Pak added a whole new level of immersion to the fifth generation of video games".

List of compatible gamesEdit

[6]

ReferencesEdit

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