Nintendo’s awkward attempt at 90’s VR returns, minus the headaches and back pain.
Discontinued less than a year after its initial release, 1995’s Nintendo Virtual Boy is a textbook example of how not to handle VR. The bizarre device, while an admirable attempt at stereoscopic 3D gaming, was a colossal failure selling only 770,000 units in total during its run.
As one of those few unfortunate owners, I can tell you first hand of the harrowing ordeals I endured. A bulky physical appearance, an ergonomic designs resulting in back aches and crooked necks, and a color palette that included only various shades of reds, all coming together to form one of the most irritating gaming experiences of all-time. The hardware was so uncomfortable that even the system itself would tell you to take a break every 15-minutes in-game.
Still, I can’t help but look back fondly on my time spent pressed against that hard plastic, deeply immersed in a round of Red Alarm, Mario Clash or Nester’s Funky Bowling. For those of you who share a love for this bizarre line-up of long-forgotten games, you’ll be delighted to learn of a new emulator that brings all the eye-bleeding magic of the Virtual Boy to Oculus Rift headsets.
A free, fan-made download available for the Oculus Rift, VBjin delivers a healthy catalogue of Virtual Boy experiences for dedicated fans to re live in VR, from an action platformer based off Kevin Costner’s equally disastrous Waterworld film, to the surprisingly fun boxing ‘simulator’ Teleroboxer.
Allowing players to experience this eclectic catalogue of abandoned titles from the comfort of an Oculus Rift is a fantastic way of once again shining a light on one of virtual realities pioneering devices. Hell, just being able to lean back in a chair while you play adds a whole new level of enjoyment to these once painful experiences.
VBJin is available for free over at Github and is compatible with the Oculus Rift headset. Although with some tinkering you could probably manage to get the program up and running on other PC VR headsets as well.
Image Credit: RingsAndCoins.com