NINTENDO'S VIRTUAL BOY
A good idea.... at least
"Poor Nintendo, they can't all be
winners." For most of you guys out there who don't know what
a Virtual Boy is (who could blame you) here what it was.
The Virtual Boy was intended to be Nintendo first step into the bold
new world of virtual reality. It was a stand alone portable unit that
was way too bulky in be real virtual headset so the system came with
a two-way stand and its own set of unique 3D games. Sounds pretty unique,
uh? So is this system vastly underrated or did it deserve to die a quick
The Virtual Boy first debuted in North American in 1994 at the price of $179.99 Canadian with the games ranging from 50 to 60 dollars. The Virtual Boy is able to display both 2D and 3D images using a RISC 32-bit engine but (and this is a big but) the Virtual Boy only uses the colour red. You are not reading that wrong, the games only come in the super boring black and red.
I'm guessing Nintendo had the bright idea to keep cost down like they did with the original Black and White Gameboy and that seems to work out in 1989. Unfortunately mixing experimental 3D technology with one monotone colour lead to sore eyes after a mere hour of playing. The machine even has build in optional break periods every 45 minutes to rest your eyes for a few minutes and various other warnings too. Talk about a dangerous device!
Critics hated the Virtual Boy from the start and the creator of the system, Gunpei Yokei, left Nintendo after the system failed to meet expectations despite being one of Nintendo's top developers (he helped to create the original Game Boy and Metroid by the way). The system also comes with its own controller. The Virtual Boy controller not only worked well for the 3D games like Red Alarm thanks to its dual d-pad control, the controller was the source of the battery pack and the AC adapter (sold separately) too which may seem strange to some. It needs 6 AA Batteries to run unless you bought the AC adapter.
Cool Virtual Boy Accessories
The Virtual Boy AC adapter
The VB AC adapter is very recommend for owners because it's a great way to save on all those expensive batteries. The VB AC adapter is actually the same as the Super Nintendo AC but you still need the proper add on unit if you want it to work.
Bottomline: Only 14 games were released over here (listed below), but the VB (Virtual Boy for short) is fully compatible with the Japanese Virtual Boy games at least, and if you look below on this page you'll see some of them are really collectable. Sadly the system bombed in Japan as well so overall there just isn't too many options for owners of the system. Still it was sad to see this one go only for a few months because I could definitely see the potential here. If only Nintendo added a range of colours to the unit, maybe the system would have taken off? If you are looking for a entertaining game system with a vast library of uniques title for a young one then avoid the Virtual Boy at all cost but game collectors should buy this system just for the raw experience. That is if you can find one now?
Rating: 30/100 it's still a Nintendo machine and it had some good games for it plus it you're a collector the thing is going to be rare in the future but there just are not enough titles here.
* It's one of a kind! There's nothing like in the video game world, well maybe the R-Zone unit was kind of like it?
* Some games are really good, even in red.
* It's looks like a View Master 2000 or something.
* The blood from your eyes if you play it too long without a break.
* Here are the prototypes you'll probably never ever play:
Complete Game List (
Common VB games:
Mario Tennis (pack in game)
Rarest VB games:
Virtual Bowling (Japanese)
Space Invaders Collection (Japanese)
Gundam: Dimension War (Japanese)
StarSoldier's Top Ten VB games:
(There are some pretty good ones in here)
#1. GALACTIC PINBALL
3. PANIC BOMBER
5. VERTICAL FORCE
6. 3D TETRIS
7. JACK BROS.
8. RED ALARM
9. MARIO TENNIS
10. NESTER FUNKY BOWLING
GOLF (Dishonourable Mention)
WATERWORLD (Dishonourable Mention)
PANIC BOMBER (Honourable Mention)