Did you know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the introduction of McDonald’s chicken nuggets to the fast food giant’s menu? And to honor that milestone, McDonald’s has released a new chicken nugget-shaped handheld gaming device that plays Tetris.
As spotted by Retro Dodo, McDonald’s new nugget gaming device launched on May 24 in mainland China at a cost of 30 Chinese Yuan or about $4.25 USD. According to those who have gotten their hands on one of these weird things, the device comes in a McNuggets-themed box and includes a McDonald’s carrying bag for the handheld.
The actual device itself is, as you can clearly see from photos, shaped like a McDonald’s chicken nugget. It features arrows that let you move pieces left and right as well as drop them faster. There is also a button that lets you rotate pieces, but apparently only in one direction. As far as I can tell, there doesn’t appear to be a way to “hold” a piece as you can do in most modern Tetris ports. As you likely guessed from the price point and device screen, this is a pretty barebones and cheap device. On the other hand, it’s a nugget that plays Tetris and that’s rad.
Is this an officially licensed Tetris device?
At first, some folks thought this new device wasn’t an officially licensed Tetris product, but new images from people who bought one show that McDonald’s did indeed pay to use the Tetris name. That makes sense since the game features a prominently placed McDonald’s logo in the corner of the screen. It would be seriously brave (and stupid) of the fast food company to so brazenly rip off Tetris while plastering its logo on the knock-off.
Now, the bad news: This odd gaming device—which I would happily buy in a heartbeat alongside my usual McDonald’s order of 20 nuggets and fries—seems to be a China-exclusive. At this time there seem to be no plans to bring the device to any other countries. This makes me sad. According to some fine print on the official McDonald’s China website, 400,000 of these things will be made available. Share some with the rest of us, McDonald’s!
However, people are already selling them on eBay and other sites, though they are going for more than $4 of course. But if you don’t want to spend the extra money to play McDonald’s Tetris handheld, you can at least watch other people play it. And while you watch, you can wonder, “What does Tetris have to do with the 40th anniversary of chicken nuggets?” It’s a good question that I don’t have an answer for. Sorry.