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Old-school 8-button Nintendo game pad is back

Controller available from Japan recalls a simpler, 8-bit era.

Forget the Hot Tub Time Machine, here's a time machine in the palm of your hand.

Long for a world without terrorism alerts, credit default swaps, and game controllers more complicated than Facebook's user agreement? Thanks to Elecom's Retro USB Game Pad, a replica of the old-school 8-button rig from the original Nintendo Entertainment System, it's possible to go back to a simpler time.

I came across the game pad while browsing the Japanese treasure trove that is and found myself transported back to those sweet days of youth--Crystal Pepsi in my hand, Martika's "Toy Soldiers" in the background, Mario with Tanooki Suit on the screen. Yes, I actually remembered that word without Wikipedia.

Unless you have some luck on eBay, the only way to get ahold of one of these replicas is to wait for them to ship from Japan. The $19.50 game pad fits in a USB slot and comes with 6 feet of cord, 4 configurable fire buttons, and 2 buttons on the top set to autofire.

I'll keep checking back and let you know as soon as it becomes possible to play Call of Duty with that original gun controller we all used for Duck Hunt on NES.