The NES U-Force can be used to play games on your Mac

What you need to know

  • The U-Force was a controller like no other for the NES.
  • You need a couple of dongles though. Because of course you do.

If you've been following the Will It Work? YouTube channel you'll know that the person behind it, Niles Mitchell, likes to take old pieces of tech and then connect them to new ones. Usually an iPhone of some sort. He's been at it again, but this time with a little-known NES accessory and a Mac.

In fact, I'd never heard of the U-Force controller until today and I'm willing to bet 99% of the people reading this are in exactly the same boat. Turns out, it's a touch0free controller of some sort from all the way back in 1989.

From an advertisement for the controller itself:

Introducing U-FORCE, the revolutionary controller for your Nintendo Entertainment System. So hot, no one can touch it. Now you can feel the power without touching a thing. It's U-FORCE from Broderbund - the first and only video game controller that, without touching anything, electronically senses your every move, and reacts. There's nothing to hold, nothing to jump on, nothing to wear, U-FORCE creates a power field that responds to your every command--making you the controller. It's the most amazing accessory in video game history - and it will change the way you play video games forever. It's the challenge of the future. U-FORCE. Now nothing comes between you and the game.

Sounds cool, right? No. What's cool is connecting it to a Mac and playing a Spongebob endless runner.

In this video, I'll take a look at connecting the touch-free Nintendo U-Force controller to a modern Macintosh. I'll attempt to play games with the U-Force, as well as access other Macintosh features with it.


Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.