With the Nintendo 64 still a year away, the SNES showing its age and Sony’s new disc-based PlayStation stealing valuable market share, Nintendo hoped its futuristic Virtual Boy system would be the next big thing in gaming.
Nintendo’s tabletop Virtual Boy launched in the summer of 1995, a time when tracks like Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, TLC’s Waterfalls and Montell Jordan’s This Is How We Do It were burning up the airwaves. It was billed as the first system to display true 3D graphics but its high price tag, lackluster collection of games and the fact that it afforded a nausea-inducing, uncomfortable experience made it a commercial flop.
Many would argue that the concept was simply ahead of its time.
I recall playing a few of the original games like Mario’s Tennis and thinking they weren’t all that bad. If you’re in the same boat as me (or you simply want to experience the Virtual Boy’s library for the first time), there’s now a much easier and modern way to do so.
Reddit user The-King-of-Spain recently managed to get some of the console’s original games to work on Google Cardboard. You’ll need an Android smartphone that works with Cardboard, the RetroArch emulator and of course, the game ROMs and a Cardboard headset. Only a few tweaks in the emulator’s settings are needed to get up and running.
The clip above shows gameplay in greyscale although the original red is also an option. After half an hour of gaming, the Redditor said he hadn’t experienced any of the Virtual Boy’s trademark motion sickness.