Original Post

How do you think the Virtual Boy would have been received if it was in B&W instead of B&R? I would think it would have been easier on the eyes.

5 Replies

I thank that the system would have done a lot better 😎 beacause if it did it probly wouldent have caused eye strane, also it might have been cheaper. I personaly thank that it should have been in blue and black.

Wasn’t it red and black because red LEDs were the only LEDs in 1995 that were fast enough to switch between bright and dark very fast?
(To create that image, that is)
And actually red is the easiest color for the eyes.

Yeah, B&W would have been much harder on the eyes for sure. I don’t think it would have been received any better either. I’ve never really heard anyone complain that it was black/red rather than black/white, it’s usually more like “oh, it’s not color?” (even though it is color… just several shades of one πŸ˜‰ ).


wasnt the virtual boy red also because it was a bright colour, a blue colour wouldnt be bright enough to see the picture unless a backlight or whatever light was in the console

You can read all the marketing spin Nintendo put out to explain why, but it was red for exactly one reason: Red LEDs were the only ones available in the right combination of form-factor, price, and efficiency (with the possible exception of infrared πŸ˜‰ [which is not technically a color :-P]). It does happen that red is easy on the eyes, though, especially when the total ambient light level is low. Just take a drive in a city at night and count red neon signs.

As for whether it would have caught on had they been white LEDs, I would have to agree with DogP. It wasn’t that it was red, it was that it was monochrome. People were used to even portable systems having color displays at the time, and saw the monochrome displays as a step backward in technology. Couple that with the average person’s low tolerance for pseudo-stereo displays and failure was inevitable…

I haven’t done a monetary comparison, but since color LCDs were available then and quite possibly cheaper (when you consider the R&D, tooling, and labor costs that had to have gone into the VB we know and love) I think they could have made a color machine for about the same price, albeit with a lower resolution. And that’s not even considering the fact that they could have used LCD technology for the source of the light in the scanner displays and had the best of both worlds.

Basically, I think they should have waited until after the N64 to enter the VR field. They could have thrown a bigger budget and newer technology at the problem and made a superior product deserving of the price they asked for the VB. They could have even made it an add-on to the N64. In fact, they could still add on to the Wii πŸ˜‰


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