Power Glove

Hardware entity

The Power Glove was a budget version of a VR dataglove for the NES. It tracked the players hand in 3D space (XYZ), roll, yaw, and bend of 2 fingers.


The first video game about Power Glove was released on September 1989.

Mattel has published all these games

The Power Glove had all the standard controls on it plus a keypad to program or modify functions on-the-fly. There were two speakers that created sounds outside of human hearing range that were received by three microphones on a frame that rested on the TV displaying the game. This allowed tracked the Z-Axis, the distance of the glove from the speakers (and TV screen). It also tracked the X-axis and Y-axis, distance of the glove from the center line of the screen. By comparing the sound from the two speakers, the system could tack yaw, the horizontal angle of the glove, by comparing the horizontal distance to each speaker. Also, roll was tracked by one speaker being lower than the other, as when the wrist is rotated. The speakers could also track Pitch(forward or backward tilt), done by pointing the writs up or down. Finally strips of conductive ink were located under the plastic above the cloth over the index finger and middle finger. Four positions for each finger could be registered. The Power Glove would calculate all this information in it's own internal processor then communicate the results to the NES. The game can be told by the glove, the position of the players hand in 3D, where it is pointing, and if its rolled. In practice, however, the 3-axises, especially Z, were reliable tracked, fingers were calculated as straight or bent, and out of pitch, yaw, and roll, only roll could be reliably tracked. Still, the end result turns out to have some of the same functions as the Wiimote. The Power Glove interface remains the only multi-axis analog control option for the NES. Only 2 released games specifically take advantage of the Power Glove's advanced tracking. But, the Power Glove also works as an alternative controller on any game that uses a standard controller. Its programmable to match the tacking to the game type. Driving games benefit the most, a player can even use a fixed steering wheel (such as a wheel controller from another system, or the wheel in a Power Wheels vehicle that's facing the screen, or a toddler's dash board toy) as a guide to keep their hand positioned correctly while moving it back and forth in front of the screen. The glove can be programed to tap the direction keys to make little turns, tapping more frequently as the glove moves away from the neutral position until it holds the direction solidly. For flying games, a large joystick can be used to position the hand. Little movements can be made with little gestures when the Power Glove is in the right mode. For platformer games that realistically accelerate and decelerate the character, players can choose to walk or run at a variety of speeds slower than the maximum speed. Plus, if the run function normally belongs to a button (Like SMB), it can be integrated in the tracking so running is automatic when the player moves the glove past a certain distance.

Parent groups

Controllers, Dataglove



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