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Nintendo Almost Made a Knitting Add-On for NES (ign.com)
81 points by jader201 on Sept 3, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

25 years too soon. People would be all over this idea in today's world of Kickstarter, Etsy, and 3D printing.

Nintendo has a great brand. I wish they'd use it to make a 3D printer instead of lackluster motion games.

Wouldn't it be awesome if you could use something like the Kinect to do a 3D scan of an object for output to a 3D printer?

I'm wondering if I'm missing a joke here. You CAN do that.


Yeah, it was a joke.

tbth I was thinking more like a computer-controlled 'home loom' that people can use to 'print' patterned fabric. Wouldn't have to be Nintendo...

It actually looks like the knitting machine is a standard machine (if cheaper and "plastic-er"), and isn't actually hooked up to the NES in an electronic way.

However, the position of controller makes me think that when you pass the knitting machine head over that section, the software will keep track of what row you're on (i++).

Because you could use the cartridge or the knitting machine alone, I would describe this more as a video tutorial on how to use a knitting machine.

Which is a little disappointing because I wanted to see R.O.B. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.O.B.) with two needles and the latest neighborhood gossip. ;)

Thing is, standard knitting machines are expensive and cannot be controlled from standard cheap consoles :-)

A friend of mine has one of these, it's a massive, metallic and heavy version of the one in the article. It makes a big difference. If this was available and it wasn't too expensive I think it would be really cool.

> Thing is, standard knitting machines are expensive and cannot be controlled from standard cheap consoles :-)

The Passap line ($1-3k depending on model, IIRC) could be controlled by PCs, which were relatively cheap even then.

One of the Passap accessories, not included in that price, was a motor to move the shuttle back and forth.

Unfortunately, Passap is out of biz.

I have to look that up.


The title made me think of knitting needles with sensors that some home tied into a game but this textile printer is really cool. Imagine handing your classmate a custom-printed scarf during recess.

I don't think this "printed" in any recognizable sense of the term. From the picture, it was a non-electronic device which had one-directional communication with the console by mechanically pressing buttons on a standard controller. So presumably, you had to operate the thing by hand, and it would use the NES to give you feedback about what to do at each step.

Yeah I was wondering how it controlled the printer too, this makes more sense.

They could have had a hit if they added some more engagement for the user, make it like a game, you can get scores based on how good you followed the knitting instructions...

They could have called it knit knit revolution :)

They actually did make a gameboy hookup to a sewing machine, I think primarily for embroidering patterns.


I just showed my wife this, who is currently sitting opposite me knitting a blanket and was greeted by a "hmmm".

This peripheral is a good example of innovation that was way ahead of the market. There probably was a market opportunity when the Beadazzler was the nation's favorite "As-seen-on-TV" gadget. Even if it were to be released today for the Wii/360/PS3, the R&D costs would likely far exceed the revenues that it would take in.

Reminds me of us tuning mopeds back in the day.

The Aprilia SR50 Ditech with direct injection had an ECU that was limitied to make it's power output street legal. Our finest moment was when we got our hands on a debug cable for that ECU. You connected it to an outlet on the moped. The other end had a GameBoy cartridge that went into your GameBoy.

Removing the limit on the ECU would of course have been illegal. Let's just say that we could have done that if we wanted to...

That's actually pretty cool. You'd be able to design your own sweaters. It'd be even cooler if it could make t-shirts as well.

You just need better wool. I have several knitted wool t-shirts.

I wholeheartedly believe that if this came out back in 1987, we'd have more women in tech/science and I'd have guns and body armor made out of wool.

I wonder if there's any left gathering dust in some crammed warehouse somewhere. I imagine it'd probably go down a storm these days.

How times have changed. Fast forward 20 years and we get Super Pii Pii

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