A-T Technology Death Pool

Oh Boy This Is Virtually Awesome

Nintendo Virtual Boy

[image credit – wikipedia]


There was a time not so long ago when placing two images flashing at different intervals inches from your eyes seemed like a good idea.




Look at that depth, its almost like I'm there!

Warning Image May Cause Seizures

[image credit ign.com]

In the past the future was virtual. We didn’t have any issues with putting our heads into large displays and pretending we were somewhere else. We were willing to pay good money for this in arcades and tourist traps. Sure the computers and graphics of the day couldn’t keep up with the three hundred sixty degree workload but it still looked cool.





No Its Not Evil Looking At All

[image credit – wikipedia]

Into this stepped the number one portable game manufacturer trying to be innovative and different. Taking their own self published titles and adding a third dimension. They were going to set the world on fire by moving portable gaming to the next level.

The year was 1994 and we wanted to live virtually. Nintendo’s answer to take a simple RISC processor and two 224 line screens and have them flash at different intervals in front of you.  One of the better features were the many colors and high definition of the games themselves. As long as you consider red and blurry characters as high definition.  All you will ever see playing on the Virtual Boy is red and black.  The visor does a good job of blocking you from the outside world but you will never feel immersion in the same way a good VR system allows.



High Resolution At Its Finest


In the end Nintendo sold 700,000 units. Which may look like a large number until you see the sales numbers of the other Game Boy models. The Virtual Boy died the day people started to get seizures from the games. Once this issue was made public there was no going back. The sales would never recover and game development outside of Nintendo dried up.  For those of us who own these technological oddities; it makes us feel a weird kind of special.




  • CaptianNemo2001

    It's a headache. Second they decided they wanted a stand rather then a head strap. And third its expensive and not very impressive. Fourth I've had the honor of using one and could have bought it for 5 bucks and made some very nice profit on it but I passed on it. I thought they only pushed about 500k units.

    Meh, in any case people do buy them… And they do look really really cool but that red and black screen is a turn off. Also messing with the adjustments never seemed to change anything for me when I was using it. As a piece of head gear I think I will go locate a used one and make some epic costume out of it… Maybe put a pinhole camera on the front and screens inside and have some fun.

    Also this thing is sensitive to drops and is really heavy… More so then it looks. Also the mirrors can go out of alignment and various other parts can and will fail.

    For Virtual Reality, Virtual Boy Is "Virtually Awesome".
    And For Reality And Physical Looks, Virtual Boy Is Awesome.

    • fodder650

      Do you run their fan club?

      • CaptianNemo2001

        Na I spent a few hours messing with one and doing research on it to find how much I could sell it for and to see how many i could locate in working order. It showed up at a Thrift Shop and I was required to test all incoming electronics to make sure they work… By test I mean "test". It was hard for me to use whether I was sitting in a chair or trying to use it standing. I could not make it comfortable when it was on the stand and I was in a chair… Height difference issues. That and the red and black really killed my eyes along with the red and black focus issues.

        I actually messed with it and "tested" it over a 2 day period… As well as actual hard core research by reading everything I could locate. Interesting engineering behind it. Unpaid volunteer work has never been this fun. I keep waiting for a laser disc player to come in… No luck so far.

        • fodder650

          The red and black display bothered me more then the flashing images also. I still haven't had my kids try it out because I don't want to ruin their eyesight.

          • CaptianNemo2001

            I would not be surprised that in the two days I messed with it I ruined mine just a little. I would sooner look at a unshaded plasma cutter them look through the Virtual Boy for an hour. As an collector's piece it is very cool and the one I messed with had next to no nicks on it. Just a layer of dust. I wish I had had the money at the time to get it. As I would put it up on my shelf just to look at.

  • Number_Six

    I had no idea this existed. I kind of want one now, even if the name reminds me of having to read Vikram Seth's 1400-page doorstop A Suitable Boy .
    <img src="http://img.over-blog.com/300×225/0/54/22/42/Book-covers/A-suitable-boy.jpg&quot; />

    • fodder650

      Oh look its even the same red color. Also I am surprised people were unaware of this fun item. I really thought I was going to make a post and get "Well duh Fodder we all know about that POC"

      • CaptianNemo2001

        Its unknown because they didn't ship all 700k of them to the US. I recall reading how many were actually shipped over but cant remember an exact number. Also it was not cheap by an means and Nintendo took quite the loss on it overall.