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Happy Birthday, Virtual Boy July 21, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.

Twenty years ago today, Nintendo launched the Virtual Boy system in Japan. Created by Gunpai Yokoi, the father of Metroid, Game Boy and the Game & Watch, the Virtual Boy would go on to become Nintendo’s greatest failure.

I first became aware of the Virtual Boy during the mid-90s.  There was a local electronics store in my area called Lechemere, which would always carry the latest technology, appliances, movies, music and games, and for the brief few years it was open it was the only place I could demo the newest games before I got my first computer.

Lechemere had a Virtual Boy demo kiosk, set up at the perfect eye level, and loaded up with a copy of Wario Land.  I remember playing the game and being tremendously impressed by it.  Virtual Reality was a big deal in the mid-90s and it looked like Nintendo was going to capitalize on it before they would go on to launch the Nintendo 64.

However, a high price, lack of a wide supply of games, and technical limitations would end up bringing a quick downfall to this promising system.  It was discontinued mere months after its launch.
To celebrate the system’s anniversary, here’s a cool blast from the past.  Several years ago, the system and its games were reviewed by James Rolfe, better known to the Internet as The Angry Video Game Nerd.  It might be a little unsafe to watch at work, but it is a pretty detailed video which looked at all aspects of the system including its history, 

I know Nintendo has been missing for a few years now that they could port Virtual Boy games to the Nintendo 3DS’s Virtual Console service. That would be a nice option. I never got the chance to own a Virtual Boy back when it was new, and it would be awesome to play the system’s games on the 3DS.



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