Virtual Reality Then: A Look Back at the Nintendo Virtual Boy

By GhostRyder · 13 replies
Dec 21, 2017
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  1. [parsehtml]<p><span style="color:#008000;">#ThrowBackThursday</span> Virtual reality has become something of a fascination once again as consumer devices like the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR have hit the scene. <a href="">For 1995, the Virtual Boy</a> was very ambitious and took a lot of risks showcasing an idea that had not yet been explored by home console makers. So how did they accomplish such a feat?</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" /></a></p><p><a rel='alternate' href='' target='_blank'>Permalink to review.</a></p><p class='permalink'><a rel='alternate' href=''></a></p>[/parsehtml]
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    "The Virtual Boy was Nintendo's first and only 32-bit game console released to the market." ?
    Nintendo's Game Boy Advance series is both a game console and powered by a 32-bit RISC ARM7TDMI. The 80+ million sold should give it a pretty high profile.

    Editor's note: A mistake in editing, now corrected.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2015
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,683   +1,082

    I had a virtual boy. It was neat but the eye strain was uber annoying
  4. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    I still remember those mid-90's years vividly, and I have to admit that I didn't feel like my SNES was becoming obsolete at the time. Quite the opposite, really. When Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct hit the shelves in 94, it felt like a breath of fresh air.

    I believe I already had the Sega (Genesis) Mega-CD 2 at that point, which game developers didn't seem to have a clue what to do with. The Atari Jaguar made it's appearance as well. It was superior to the SNES in terms of hardware, but failed in every other sense. There were so many tragic attempts at stepping up to the 32 bit plate. Thankfully, the PS1 came around in 95 (EU), and we finally knew which horse to bet on.

    I've never even heard of the Virtual Boy until I read this article, but it seems like just another obvious fail, and Nintendo should have known it wouldn't take. They've been lost in the woods ever since the days of the SNES. They're always trying innovate gaming with new technologies, and it never works as well as they advertise. As for VR tech... it may have come a long way since then, but it's still not ready. I'll be waiting for the second generation of Oculus Rift and it's ilk before jumping on that train.
  5. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Topic Starter Posts: 2,198   +593

    Oops, forgot about the Gameboy Advance having been a 32bit system...My bad.

    I actually enjoy playing on it a bit at least with a few of the games. It really was just a bit early to the market and didn't have the correct tech needed to make it something truly special. I do not think a lot of things about the console were really thought out mostly because it was rushed so they could focus efforts on the Nintendo 64.
  6. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I have one that still functions perfectly. I use it very rarely... mostly just to show it off.
    GhostRyder likes this.
  7. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 404   +84

    Yep, got one at a crazy sale and recall my kids, under ten, projectile vomiting from the effect.. blew All that money (prolly most of the Christmas budget) and about 45 seconds on usenet woulda' educated me plenty.
  8. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,576   +716

    What about the Wii and the Switch? I think Nintendo has actually been out of the woods for awhile now - despite the Wii U failure, 2 out of 3 console hits is pretty good...

    I still have my original NES with Power Glove, Power Mat, R.O.B. and the blaster/zapper.... while graphics are obviously dated, the games are as fun as ever :)
  9. J spot

    J spot TS Addict Posts: 150   +79

    I believe this was the first TechSpot article that I ever saw. This or one about Microsoft's Terra Earth. I think it's the latter, I Googled it because I remembered it from the past and found a TechSpot story about it.
  10. ThrakazogZ

    ThrakazogZ TS Rookie

    LOL....ah, the Virtual Boy. The manager of my local Babbage's (remember them ?) was a friend, so when they got them in, he set one up in the back room, and let me try it out. It didn't take long for my eyes to start hurting. I didn't end up getting one.
  11. lostinlodos

    lostinlodos TS Enthusiast Posts: 95   +14

    The VB wasn’t the first VR device either.
    I clearly and undeniably remember the headset I tried on at CES 94 with two games (demos not playable) one was Wolfenstein the other was a 1080 flight game that looked (in retrospect) like an early alpha of descent. I don’t think it made it to stores but they were selling them at the demonstration. $999 if I remember right but not sure on the price tag.
  12. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,576   +716

    Lol.... You saw it at CES but it didn't make stores.... Virtual Boy released in 95 in stores.... That counts as "first" in my books
    lostinlodos likes this.
  13. lostinlodos

    lostinlodos TS Enthusiast Posts: 95   +14

    I agree. Just pointing out there was a unit available to “prosumers” before it. ;)
  14. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I still have a Virtual Boy in perfect working condition. I've never played it for more than 30 minutes at a time but even with that they eye strain was noticeable. The most painful part for me was my neck though - unless you have it sitting on just the right height table it would cause havoc on your spine.

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