Original Post

I just got my Virtual Boy in from someone on eBay. I gotta say, it’s not the bad console that everyone makes it out to be.

*3D effect is very effective. I can see depth almost immediately.
*Graphics are VERY clear. I keep expecting to see a screen that’s not sharp, like a TV screen, whenever I turn on my Virtual Voy. But instead, I see very clear contrast. Very unexpected and positive. It creates the illusion of having a whole giant array of LEDs instead of one line of LEDs.
*No flickering of the “display”
*Sound is not the best (Although I like the strictly 8-bit feel), but I’m surprised about how they were able to fit actual digitized sounds into the memory of the cartridge.
*”Display” brightness doesn’t leave your eyes feeling uncomfortable. I expected something like staring at a bright LED.
*The loud hum that most people talk about is in reality not loud at all and is instead hardly noticeable.

*Eyeshade doesn’t block out all the light. Some light leaks in near the space at the nose- you need to play it in a dark room if you want to be totally immersed.

*Not in color, although this isn’t a bad thing. The Game Boy wasn’t in color and that turned out just fine.

*Screen is small. Again, it doesn’t detract much from the Virtual Boy, but it would be better if the screen had been larger.

*Game Library too small. If the game developers back in 1995 and 1996 had kept going strong on making these games, the Virtual Boy would probably be more of a cult classic than it is today. With that, at least there weren’t any second-rate pirated games.

In short, I see this as an extremely great toy for a collector. πŸ˜€ In essence, it’s an enhanced Game Boy. Not so much a serious gaming console, but mostly a very fun toy. I wish that Nintendo could try this attempt again with better wearable and portable goggles or glasses and as a more serious gaming platform.

3 Replies

*looks at this topic where T-SqProductions calls the VB a toy, but out of no disrespect*
*looks at the other topic about that Iwata Asks article where people on Planet Virtual Boy are offended of Miyamoto calling the VB a toy*

*gets confused* πŸ˜›

I read that article, but not the comments it received. πŸ˜›

Virtual Boy is what it is. A standalone device producing real 3D display. Kind of a first step on the road toward true virtual reality, which of course is still very far away.
I was very happy being among the first ones back then when I bought my Virtual Boy. Despite that by that time I had LCD stereoglasses for my PC and very playable and enjoyable games, also in quite real 3D (Descent 1,2, Whiplash [fantastic in 3D] and later when DirectX came to the picture, many others). If VB didn’t fail in the market the way it did, perhaps today we would be a lot closer to virtual reality products.

For me it is an interesting and puzzling phenomenon that the 3D concept didn’t become a lot more popular a lot faster than it did. Interesting, because I tested it on many people and it is true. I showed both on my PC (when there was no flicker anymore), on the Virtual Boy, and only a small percentage reacted with a WOW, most people just shrugged their shoulders and asked me:”what’s the big deal?”. I guess people these days are just surrounded with so many high-tech miracles that something what simulates the real world better just not enough. I don’t know, even today I don’t have an answer. 3D TV came to the market and most of the media reaction is “….nice…but you need to wear those dorky glasses…”. Big fat deal. Half of the population wears glasses anyway. Even a significant percent of the young people. So, what’s the big deal to spend 5 seconds to put on a glass and then participate in a mind-blowing experience? Because the new 3D TVs are really fantastic. There is this weird and unexplainable resistance against 3D. As a physician by profession, I am trying to figure out a perhaps physiological explanation, but so far I didn’t find any, perhaps other than people who are not yet aware of poorer than average vision (they got used to it) don’t see in real 3D in real life either.

So far I have not seen a single newspaper article in the main stream media which would have celebrated the new 3D products without reservations. Weird…..


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