In May 1995 in the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), a tradeshow for computer- and videogames only, was held for the first time. In two halls a few hundred exhibitors showed off their new stuff.
In the middle of the Nintendo booth, the Virtual Boy area, featuring lots of displays and demos on big screens, was located. Partly in seperate dark rooms, partly on the floors, game- and technical demos could be watched in VB-like 3d using special 3d specs.
Nintendo of America presented their marketing-plans, which said that the Virtual Boy would launch on August 14th 1995 for $179.95 (as it eventually was). The software was said to cost $40. 5 Games were announced as being launch-games: “Galactic Pinball”, “Mario Clash”, “Mario’s Dream Tennis”, “Red Alarm” and “Teleroboxer”, which were all playable on the show. Note that Mario Clash was still the working title for the unreleased Mario platformer, which we prefer to call “VB Mario Land”, “Mario Clash” in its final form seems to have been only a part of the shown game! “Red Alarm” and “Golf” by T&E Soft both didn’t run at full speed, and the E3 prototype of “Galactic Pinball” seems to have had 5 instead of 4 tables. Link Cable compatibility was announced for “Mario’s Dream Tennis”, but it is not known if 2 player matches were available in the E3 prototype. A video of “Wario Cruise” was shown and the game was announced to be released in fall of ’95.
Also it was announced that the VB would have a pack-in game, but no game was named. Several licensees like Acclaim, Boss Game Studio (was working on 1 VB-game), Bullet Proof Software, Hudson, Ocean, T*HQ (was working on several US VB-games), T&E and the German developer Factor 5 were given. 1.5 million Virtual Boys and 2.5 million games were planned to be sold until the end of the year; we all know what happened to these optimistic plans…
“Panic Bomber VB” and “Vertical Force” were playable at the booth of Hudson Soft and Virtual Boy pins were handed out.
Ocean of Amercia announced “Waterworld” for SNES, Game Boy, Genesis, Saturn, Jaguar and the Virtual Boy. “The scene is set on a haunting post-holocaust earth, where the polar ice caps have melted, submerging nearly everything and placing man in a life-or-death battle for survival on the open seas. The game is a 3D simulation with texture mapping and complex light sourcing in a seek-and-destroy mission” was heard from Ocean.
Additionally, “V1-Tetris” and “Faceball” by BPS (both for Japan only) and “Devil Busters” by Atlus were also announced.
“Virtual League Baseball” was playable at Kemco’s booth.