When I think of the number 4 in gaming, it always comes back to multitaps. 4 player gaming on a console that only provides for 2 pads out of the box! It felt revolutionary when I was a kid, and my friends and I definitely revelled in some crazy games of International Track & Field (PS1) and WWF Raw on the Super Nintendo.
I remember the multitaps were cheap at the time, as were joypads, so it was very easy to get a party atmosphere together. Nowadays it can cost £120 – £180 just to buy an extra 3 Xbox One pads or Switch Joycons. It probably cost about £60 back then if you needed to buy an extra 3 SNES pads plus the tap.
There’ve been some good solid standard taps too like the Playstation model up above and the Hudson Soft multitap released for Super Nintendo. The NES even had its own multitap which I’m sure not many gamers ever used. I certainly never did. Codemasters even went so far as building their multitap into the actual cartridge of Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament. It wasn’t the most logistically ideal solution, having joypad wires dragging over the top of the console, but it still looked really cool.
Speaking of Hudson Soft, they really went for it when they released Saturn Bomberman in Japan. Not only was it capable of allowing 10 human players to go bomb crazy on one TV screen, but you had to do it through the plugging in of two SIX port multitaps! You had the option of going the official route with SEGA’s own tap, but the Hudson Soft Bomberman head version looked so much cooler.
So, if you’re big on your retro and want a bit of 4-way action, you have to get purchasing these devices, and depending on the console, the prices can vary. Expect to pay around a tenner for a PS1 tap for instance, and upwards of £30 for a Super Nintendo one.
Check me out sticking things into little holes @auto2112