Nintendo Virtual Boy

Nintendo’s Virtual boy (also known as the VR-32 during development) was the first portable game console capable of displaying "true” 3D graphics out of the box.
Most video games are forced to use monocular cues to achieve the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional screen, but the Virtual Boy was able to create a more accurate illusion of depth through the effect known as parallax.

The Virtual Boy (VB) system uses a pair of 1x224 linear arrays (one per eye) and rapidly scans the array across the eye's field of view using flat oscillating mirrors. These mirrors vibrate back and forth at a very high speed, thus the mechanical humming noise from inside the unit. Each VB game cartridge has a yes/no option to automatically pause every 15–30 minutes so that the player may take a break.

The Virtual Boy is iconic for its monochromatic use of red LED lights. The use of the red LED lights was chosen for being the least expensive, the lowest drain on batteries, and for being the most striking colour to see, The use of other LED colours proved to be too cost prohibitive and would have forced the system to retail for over US$500.

The Virtual Boy, being a system with heavy emphasis on three-dimensional movement, needed a controller that could operate along a Z-axis. The Virtual Boy’s controller was an attempt to implement dual digital (D-Pads) to control elements in the aforementioned 3D environment.

The system's EXT port, located on the underside of the system below the controller port, was never officially supported since no official multiplayer games were ever published, nor was an official link cable released.

It was reported by many that prolonged use of the Virtual Boy gave you headaches and some even claimed it to induce seizures.

Sadly the Virtual Boy was only released in Japan and North America and was discontinued less than 1 year later selling around 770,000 units. For this reason it is now considered a valuable collector's item.


Games in our Collection

Year Released:
1995

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