EmuVR Hopes To Bring Nostalgic Gaming To VR

Relive the glory days of playing N64 in your disgusting bedroom till 3am.

If I had to pinpoint my favorite moment in my two decades of playing video games, it would have to be my late night marathons with The Legend Of Zelda: The Ocarina Of Time for the N64. I’d be locked away in my pitch black room for hours tackling those infamous dungeons, the only light coming from my 20 inch CRT television as I traversed brightly lit lava caverns. Just thinking about it brings back a wave of nostalgia that makes me yearn for the simpler days of gaming.

That’s exactly why so many of us relatively ancient gamers are so excited for EmuVR, a still-in-development VR experience that allows users to travel back to the good old days of binging Metal Gear Solid and Diddy Kong Racing for hours on end. Everything from the retro bedroom environment to the actual game selection process has been tailor-made to induce some seriously fond memories. This includes some sweet Voltron posters as well as one hell of a 90’s bed sheet.

You’ll begin by picking a game from the shelf or a cardboard box beneath your bed. After removing the disk or cartridge from its case you’ll then insert it into the console and power it on. From there it’s just a matter of flicking on the TV and picking up the controller! You can even view which monitor you’d like to play on whether it be a crystal-clear LCD or a large cinema screen. Of course you can always go with the classic CRT television, complete with all the shadow and dot masking you know and miss. 

EmuVR utilizes the RetroArch emulator which is capable of running games for systems including the PlayStation, Nintendo 64, SNES, Sega Genesis, Arcade, NES, Game Boy/Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega CD, Sega 32x, Master System, Game Gear, PC Engine, Neo-Geo Pocket, Virtual Boy, Atari 2600, Atari Lynx, WonderSwan, Nintendo DS with additional support planned for the DOSBox, ScummVM, PSP and Sega Saturn in the near future.

While the VR experience obviously doesn’t include the required ROMs (actual game data) for legal reasons, the program does automatically search your computer for any of your own existing ROM files. I won’t tell you how to specifically acquire them, but a quick Google search will probably be all the help you need. EmuVR even searches for matching labels and box art and applies them to the virtual cartridges and CDs.

Being that the experience is running on the RetroArch emulator, certain systems do support online multiplayer via Netplay. Pass the second virtual controller to a friend and berate them on voice chat as you crush their spirits in Crash Bandicoot Racing. No headset? No problem! You can use desktop mode to hop into the action with your buddy or to just sit back and spectate their game

EmuVR isn’t just a retro gaming simulator however. It’s a full on 80’s and 90’s simulator. Beyond the potentially massive console game collection, you’ll have access to an arcade, scattered video game magazines, posters you can customize with your personal images, even a TV streaming exclusively 80’s and 90’s programming. Finally, my dream of once again binging Gex 64 in between episodes of Rocket Power will be a reality.

No word yet on an official release date, but according to the website we shouldn’t be waiting too much longer. Also no comment on which headsets will be supported, though based on the virtual hands shown in the video it appears as though the experience is running on an Oculus Rift. EmuVR will be 100% free at launch. For more information head over to EmuVR.net. You can also support the developers via their official Patreon page.

Kyle Melnick :Kyle is a writer for VRScout also working in new media production. He's also a part-time bounty hunter.