The Nintendo 64 was the big attraction of Shoshinkai 1995 and Famicom Space World ’95, the publically attendable sister show that happened immediately after, in the Makuhari Center in November 1995. It was shown to the public for the first time and pretty much outshined everything else. 20 new games for the Virtual Boy were shown in the big shadow of N64, as many as never before. After all, the three other consoles SNES, Game Boy and Virtual Boy took the lion’s share of Makuhari Center.
Former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi commited one half of the opening remarks of his speech on November 24th 1995 to the Virtual Boy and announced a restart in 1996:
“Despite the lack of unique titles, we still thought it (Virtual Boy) could be sold. I want to return to the starting point and find titles that emphasize the difference that Virtual Boy games can provide. I want to start afresh in 1996.”
Mr. Yamauchi recommitted Nintendo to the development of unique software for this 3-D immersive system. He noted that several new titles were in the works for Virtual Boy. In particular, he noted “a game in development by an Osaka developer” (Bound High!) that showed some of the unique possibilities that Virtual Boy can deliver in a game. “But I’m here to talk about the market and the Nintendo 64, not the Virtual Boy”, he said.
A commented translation of his speech can be found here.
In a small area, far away from Nintendo 64, Nintendo showed their new Virtual Boy titles. The few people that found their way there could play test Bound High! and Dragon Hopper. Gunpei Yokoi personally was there to show off the games to the visitors. Virtual Boy Wario Land was another game shown at the Nintendo booth.
Bound High! was also shown in the ‘Symbolic Zone’, a special area for outstanding new titles. It was playable at about ten Virtual Boy displays.
Many new games for the Virtual Boy were shown by third parties, all giving their debuts on the show. A few were playable, like Polygo Block and Virtual Block.
- Virtual Bomberman by Hudson Soft
- Virtual Bowling by Athena
- “Virtual Mahjong” (Virtual Double Yakuman) by VAP
- Doraemon by Epoch
- Faceball by BPS
- SD Gundam Dimension War by Bandai
- Shin Nihon Pro Wrestling by Tomy
- Sora Tobu Henry by Human
- Polygo Block (Released in North America as “3-D Tetris”) by T&E Soft
- Protious Zone by Coconuts
- Virtual Gunman by Victor Entertainment
- J-League 3-D Stage by J-Wing
- Out of the Deathmount by J-Wing
- Virtual Lab by J-Wing
- Virtual Block by Bottom Up
- Virtual Pro Baseball ’96 by Kemco
Eventually, only 4, that’s one fifth of all shown VB games, were released: Virtual Boy Wario Land, SD Gandam Dimension War, Virtual Bowling and Virtual Lab.