In 1995, the Consumer Electronics Show was still one of the biggest of its kind. On Friday, January 6th, through Monday, January 9th, the show was held in the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton, the Mirage and Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. More than 2.000 exhibitors and 90.000 attendees presented their new stuff in video games, computer, multimedia, audio and video on a total space of more than a million square feet. The show was only for people related to the industry, “normal” gamers couldn’t get in.
Atari, Sega, 3DO, lots of third parties and, of course, Nintendo, having the slogan “Fast Forward!” on this show, were present in the video games area and showed off their new hard- and software. One of the stars on the show surly was the Virtual Boy, which was presented to a western audience for the first time.
In the early morning of the first day of the show, Nintendo held a press conference , to inform chosen representatives of the media about their plans for the future. After Peter Main (Nintendo’s vice president of marketing) talked about the future of the 16-bit consoles, Ultra 64 and the Virtual Boy for an hour, he finally became more concrete. After the disunited reactions on Nintendo’s 32-bit console on the Shoshinkai exhibition in November in Tokio, Nintendo was very careful to emphasize that the shown hard- and software were all prototypes, which mainly should demonstrate the 3d graphic capabilities of the Virtual Boy. The price of the VB was said to be $200, the prices for software about $50. Nintendo also said that the lauch, which should be in april simultaneously in the USA and Japan with “Virtual Mario”, “Space Pinball” and “Teleroboxer” as launch-games, would be supported by a 20 million dollar marketing budget and that they wanted to sell 2 million systems and twice as much games in the USA until march 1996…
The Virtual Boy area, which one had to get passes for, was housed in a dome and basically was a two-part walk through an enclosed area. In the first, dark room you could have a look at several game- and technical demos running on six big screens. Using special cardboard 3d specs the images were 3d, just like the 3d effects of the Virtual Boy unit. On the first screen an early demo of “Red Alarm”, which was considered the worst Virtual Boy game on the show, though most likely because of its early state, was running, the second showed “Space Pinball”, the third “Teleroboxer”, on screen 4 the Dolphin- and Racing Demos were alternating, 5 showed a very early and raw demo of “Vertical Force”, still having a simple “shoot ’em up!” working title, and screen 6 alternatively showed the “Starfox Demo” and a short “Mario Land” demo.
In the second room of the Virtual Boy area one could play prototypes of “Space Pinball” and “Teleroboxer” at about 10 displays. Interestingly, “Space Pinball” had 5 instead of 4 tables. The prototype was at best 50% complete and its ball-physics were way off, but it had some of the best 3d-effects on the show. Teleroboxer was about 75% completed.
Also another game was announced, which was “Virtual League Baseball”.