Original Post

… we could remake the vb? I’ve seen all the posts about custom manufacturing, pcbs and custom carts! So why not make more virtual boys! And then we could also make it better too, like replacing the led scanners with modern lcds (Zero Power LCDs would be easy on the eyes. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_crystal_display) or maybe giving it wireless link.

I know this is kind of a dreamy idea and it’s probably not possible, but what do you guys think?

15 Replies

in3D wrote:
… we could remake the vb? I’ve seen all the posts about custom manufacturing, pcbs and custom carts! So why not make more virtual boys! And then we could also make it better too, like replacing the led scanners with modern lcds (Zero Power LCDs would be easy on the eyes. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_crystal_display) or maybe giving it wireless link.

I know this is kind of a dreamy idea and it’s probably not possible, but what do you guys think?

I’ll get right on it.

Was that a joke?

Yea dude..that’s not something someone can hash together. You need a company..and it would look strangely like a 3DS.

I’m not trying to bring you down..but yea..totally unrealistic.

OK, fine with me, I just thought that if you guys can make custom carts and link cables it would be possible. But, I didn’t expect it to be possible.

in3D wrote:
OK, fine with me, I just thought that if you guys can make custom carts and link cables it would be possible. But, I didn’t expect it to be possible.

I don’t think it’s an outrageous idea at all.

Look at this ebay item:
http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?MfcISAPICommand=ViewItem&item=271186584695

I have one of these; look closely at the remote, there’s ALREADY a 2D/3D selection! I suspect it exploits the interlaced protocol (ie, even fields right eye, odd fields left eye). That would be better than shutting down the frame rate to 15 (bad flicker).

With glasses like these, one could easily have a portable emulator with a standard NTSC output. The glasses are satisfyingly high resolution (Human eyes are NOT high-res anyway!), and they are full color. Games could be played in anything the emulator puts out. Red, black-n-white, green, even full color if someone feels like programming it. They’re standard format (4×3), but since I despise widescreen (Human eyes are not wide screen, but full!), it’s never been a problem.

The glasses double as a portable big-screen TV! I watched “Jumper” an a commercial flight with a portable DVD player, while everyone else watched the “in-flight” movie “Martian Kid” (Jumper was much better.)

I also have a couple pair of “MyVu” glasses — but they don’t have a 3D selection, and would probably require some hacking to separate out the two video signals.

The link above is for a Chinese 80″ virtual screen video-glasses; the MyVu are 50″ virtual screen.

Ever heard of Oculus Rift?…

segagamer99 wrote:
Ever heard of Oculus Rift?…

I looked it up — very interesting. Has anyone sprung for the $300 for a “demo version”? I wonder if there’ll be significant difference between a demo and the retail? Will it play the same games?

RE the designer’s comment: “I looked all over the world for a 3D Virtual Reality system, and THERE WAS NOTHING.

Uh, huh. Wait — I think there was one! It was called, uhm, ohhhhh — what was the name?

Oh yeah, VIRTUAL BOY!!! Idiot.

So his displays have over 100 degrees vision; Human eyes are very small and poor resolution. The Virtual Boy is really immersive. His system (besides being color) really only has the “motion sensor”. Yeah, right — imagine trying to spin around physically while wearing the still-bulky goggles — YOU’LL spin and the goggles WON’T.

I hope people here will get one of the Chinese video glasses and comment on how they like it; an 80″ screen with really good resolution — I can see individual strands of hair, moles pimples (yikes!) etcetera. But it’d be great to port a VB to those glasses. It might even be fun to sacrifice a console to make a small portable device!!!

There’s actually another topic around here somewhere that has one of our users using a VB Emulator on an Oculus Rift, and it works great.

As for the Rift itself, every single video I ever see of someone using it talks about how incredibly amazing it is. Part of the driving force behind it was John Carmack, who is the main engine developer at id Software. He wrote the 3D engine for Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quakes 1 – 4 & Rage. He got behind the project because there was no such thing as immersive, responsive head-tracking 3D virtual reality gear; just that old stuff people barely played. By every single account, the Oculus Rift is revolutionary.

The Virtual Boy provides stereoscopic 3D in shades of red and black. Its 3D is good, but trying to say it’s anywhere NEAR on par with any virtual reality setup, especially the Oculus Rift, is a bit of a stretch.

Edit:// You keep saying that human eyes have poor resolution. I don’t think that’s correct at all. Sitting at my desk I have a 25.5″ monitor that’s 1920×1200 pixels sitting about 3 feet away from me, and I can clearly see aliasing on text and “the pixels”, if you will. The Virtual Boy itself is much closer, so its resolution can be lower to achieve what Apple calls a “retina” effect, but the Virtual Boy is no-where near enough to be close to that; few displays on the market are.

Here is a good article about eye resolution, with this nice quote:

How many pixels are needed to match the resolution of the human eye? Each pixel must appear no larger than 0.3 arc-minute. Consider a 20 x 13.3-inch print viewed at 20 inches. The Print subtends an angle of 53 x 35.3 degrees, thus requiring 53*60/.3 = 10600 x 35*60/.3 = 7000 pixels, for a total of ~74 megapixels to show detail at the limits of human visual acuity.

Surely you’re just trolling us yes…?

i hate how the term “trolling” is thrown around so easily now. an internet troll is someone who derails a conversation into an off-topic discussion designed to elicit an emotional response, on purpose. i don’t see any trolling here at all in what vb-fan said. remember, he/she was only responding to what was already said by segagamer99. the comments read more like strong opinions that were pulled from some memory that made the comments seem true for that individual. misinformed, perhaps? i really do not know because i am not an eye specialist, nor do i wish to take the time to research the human eye just to make a response.

what segagamer99 did was more along the lines of trolling. their comments derailed the discussion about a virtual boy remake by tossing the oculus rift into the mix. i’m not sure if being rude was his/her intention, so i won’t assume. however, the “…” at the end makes it seem like everyone else is just stupid for not knowing about the rift and that this entire thread should just be lost and forgotten.

I think vb-fan was trying to remind us of an unwritten rule all VB fans should follow: thou shalt have no virtual reality systems before the Virtual Boy.

Anyhow, the Oculus Rift can’t natively run VB software, so it doesn’t qualify as a VB clone.

jrronimo wrote:
There’s actually another topic around here somewhere that has one of our users using a VB Emulator on an Oculus Rift, and it works great.

As for the Rift itself, every single video I ever see of someone using it talks about how incredibly amazing it is. Part of the driving force behind it was John Carmack, who is the main engine developer at id Software. He wrote the 3D engine for Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quakes 1 – 4 & Rage. He got behind the project because there was no such thing as immersive, responsive head-tracking 3D virtual reality gear; just that old stuff people barely played. By every single account, the Oculus Rift is revolutionary.

I have nothing against the OR; might even get one some day, if it gets cheap enough, and I find myself with excess cash.

The Virtual Boy provides stereoscopic 3D in shades of red and black. Its 3D is good, but trying to say it’s anywhere NEAR on par with any virtual reality setup, especially the Oculus Rift, is a bit of a stretch.

No one said that; but it’s much more of an “immersive 3D experience” than he was admitting.

Edit:// You keep saying that human eyes have poor resolution. I don’t think that’s correct at all. Sitting at my desk I have a 25.5″ monitor that’s 1920×1200 pixels sitting about 3 feet away from me, and I can clearly see aliasing on text and “the pixels”, if you will.

Think about what you just said — 3 FEET. I was white-hot furious at the “Digital Television Ripoff”, and am getting really fed up with American Congress ramming stuff down our throats (dictating what kind of TV’s we can have, toilets, light bulbs, food, socialized medicine, freon & halon & termite-control, America’s turning into a dictatorship!). I crashed a “digital television workshop” our local CBS affiliate had at a store (it was nothing but a sales-pitch for buying tv’s!!!).

They had two screens up, one HD and the other “standard”. “Isn’t it amazing the difference!” the salesman crooned. I stood up and said, “Excuse me — can ANYONE here see the difference? Anyone?” Of the thirty-or-so people there, NO ONE COULD! Salesman frowned and said, “Well, if you look around the eyes” — I said, “If I have to WORK at seeing the difference, what’s the point?

Yes you can see the difference if you sit 3 feet from the screen; but not at normal viewing distances — and “virtual reality” recreates optically farther viewing distances. Besides, I’m a bit myopic; most people are.

The Virtual Boy itself is much closer, so its resolution can be lower to achieve what Apple calls a “retina” effect, but the Virtual Boy is no-where near enough to be close to that; few displays on the market are.

As I said, both the “MyVu” (50 inch screen) and the Chinese linked above (80 inch screen) are high enough so that pixelation doesn’t exist, and one can see individual strands of hair and other fine details. The resolution of eyes is deceptive; of the approximately 100,000,000 sensors, many work in blocks, doing “edge” and “pattern” sensing. I am an Electronic Engineer, and I’m impressed by the complexity. (Not the least the compression algorithm that encodes each retina down to about 100,000 optical nerves!)

How many pixels are needed to match the resolution of the human eye? Each pixel must appear no larger than 0.3 arc-minute. Consider a 20 x 13.3-inch print viewed at 20 inches. The Print subtends an angle of 53 x 35.3 degrees, thus requiring 53*60/.3 = 10600 x 35*60/.3 = 7000 pixels, for a total of ~74 megapixels to show detail at the limits of human visual acuity.

Again, it’s deceptive; the retina is not uniform resolution — there is a central “hi-resolution” area called the Macula, peripheral being much lower resolution. And the retina is ROUND — the wider the screen, the harder it is to see (and the more jumping left and right the eye has to do!).

Surely you’re just trolling us yes…?

As Lester Knight wisely deduced, I do have some “emotion” invested in the topic. I had a LOT of equipment that was rendered “non-functional”, and the new digital format brings nothing of value to me. There are several things that are worse — several channels no longer exist for those who bought “converters”, and watching portable TV’s is virtually non-existent. And unless your signal is perfect, artifacts and… audio cuts out… …video drops …”no signal”… can’t watch… “no signal”…

This is not better!

In OKC May 3 1999 hundreds of people stayed alive from nearly 80 tornadoes (one an F5!) by watching weathercasts on pocket TV’s. We had an ice storm in December 2007, 95% lost power for 1-3 weeks; we used pocket tv’s. Not any more! The few ATSC pocket TV’s out don’t work well, or at all moving.

The “Digital TV lobby” is comprised of Samsung, Bestbuy, Cox, DirectTV, and other profiteers. We’re getting really sick of lobbies buying congressmen so the lobby members can get rich.

Most of the hype about “resolution” and “wide-screen” is just to sell more product to those led to believe they’re getting better viewing. Thirty people in that room in 2008 had to admit “it wasn’t”.

I can sometimes see pixelation on Virtual Boy games, but generally my eyes smooth it out and it all looks fine.

  • This reply was modified 7 years, 3 months ago by vb-fan.

HorvatM wrote:
I think vb-fan was trying to remind us of an unwritten rule all VB fans should follow: thou shalt have no virtual reality systems before the Virtual Boy.

Heh heh heh. 🙂

I don’t think it would be a capital offense for someone to buy one; might be interesting to read here how they like it. It will never kill the interest for the Virtual Boy among us enthusiasts.

Anyhow, the Oculus Rift can’t natively run VB software, so it doesn’t qualify as a VB clone.

I think it would only have two real advantages over the VB — color, and motion-tracking. The VB usually exceeds visual resolution (or at least meets it), and the way Human eyes work we are generally only aware of a limited field of view similar to what the VB displays. The brain tends to “tune out” peripheral in most cases.

One of my complaints about the VB is that many sprites are two-dimensional — in “Wario Land” all characters are paper-thin. Our home-brew games promise they can deliver “3D sprites” — like in Mario Cart and others; I’m excited about that.

I’m really pleased (and not a little jealous!) at those writing new games for the VB; hope it continues, and hope we eventually will come up with copies of the “Holy Grails” (especially Dragonhopper, Zero Racers, and Goldeneye). I confess I never thought I’d get to actually play “Bound High” — it’s one of the best games!

I’m betting that in less than a year someone will come forward with at least Dragonhopper…

I also think that digital TV and widescreen displays are bullshit.

With analog TV, I could watch movies in rural areas even if the picture wasn’t perfect. With digital TV, unless the signal is perfect, the picture is unwatchable and there is no sound at all.

Widescreen displays are completely useless on a PC unless all you do is watch movies. Maybe we should have square displays, they would be good for any purpose.

These “innovations” were obviously designed to make everyone “upgrade” their decades old 4:3 analog TVs by requiring us to buy those stupid converter boxes and then leave a quarter of the screen unused because of those black bars.

I do hope though that 3D TV becomes the affordable norm (possibly in an analog form :D). 3D TV for a 3D world. Hell, all pictures everywhere should be 3D if it makes sense; most of us have two eyes and we should use them both.

One of my complaints about the VB is that many sprites are two-dimensional — in “Wario Land” all characters are paper-thin. Our home-brew games promise they can deliver “3D sprites” — like in Mario Cart and others; I’m excited about that.

The problem with stereoscopic sprites is not only that it’s harder for the artists, but also that it can use twice as much character RAM, limiting the variety of graphics you see at a time, and it also halves the number of sprites you can have at a time.

I’m really pleased (and not a little jealous!) at those writing new games for the VB; hope it continues, and hope we eventually will come up with copies of the “Holy Grails” (especially Dragonhopper, Zero Racers, and Goldeneye). I confess I never thought I’d get to actually play “Bound High” — it’s one of the best games!

I think we should create original games, so the Ballface situation of wasted(?) effort wouldn’t happen again.

Please accept my apologies.

I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone nor suggest anyone was somehow lesser for not having come across the Oculus Rift.

Insofar as the nuances of the term “trolling”, perhaps that’s for another thread, but the point is taken. 🙂

Insofar as the future and preservation of the Virtual Boy’s legacy is concerned, my opinion is that it would be easier/better to have the most accurate VB emulator available functioning on some sort of 3D display — be it a Rift or a 3D TV with shutter glasses. When I talk about an accurate VB Emulator, I’m talking something in line with the ideals behind MAME or bsnes. (Here’s an excellent read about bsnes and why it’s a worthwhile goal if you haven’t read it: Accuracy takes power: one man’s 3GHz quest to build a perfect SNES emulator). Of course, being my opinion, the best solution would be “get out and write one!”, but I unfortunately can’t code my way out of a 2D plane, let alone even know where to begin writing a clock-accurate emulator. And maybe that’s not even really necessary… but for preservation, in my opinion, it’s the best path. Given time, all Virtual Boys will fail in some capacity or another — that’s just entropy for you. But an emulator, perhaps open source, can live on and be adapted for future display technology (holograms!!!111).

Insofar as TVs are concerned (a separate discussion?), I actually do quite like widescreen and HDTVs. I wish the resolution were greater (bring on 4K displays!), but LCDs do feel superior to CRTs in my eyes. The images are definitely more crisp. I have a 5 year old Toshiba 42″ that I sit about 8 feet away from. The display is on the low end of what the human eye generally can resolve at that distance, and as my eyes are quite good still I would prefer a larger TV… but that’s a luxury for another day.

That said, I *love* my CRTs. There are certain tasks and applications that *require* them. Any video game up to and including the Wii should be played on a CRT for the best possible image quality. I have a video game collection starting with an Odyssey 2 and featuring current systems, but I keep 2 CRT TVs in my basement for everything prior to a PS3/360. I also keep two CRT computer monitors at my work area for older DOS/Win98 games that are just SO much better at lower resolutions. Nothing beats a good scanline, either. 😀 There are just certain things that don’t look right without it. My dream display still runs about $75 on Craigslist last I looked — it’s a widescreen CRT that Sony made at one point. Some Gamecube, PS2, Wii and original Xbox games really rock the widescreen well; I just need a proper display to dedicate to my retro gaming area. 🙂

What about the 1080i HD CRT TV Panasonic put out? My friend had one and the picture on that thing was amazing. All the benefits of CRT but crisper.

LCD is good for the 1080p movies and newer games, but CRT is untouched for any game console that uses sprites. They are also good for digital cable as they seem to tone down the artifacting that seems to show up everywhere when watching D-cable on an LCD.

As for the original topic, the reason I like the VB is for it’s retro 1995 technology. So what if it’s only Red/Black, the fact that they came up with that technology at the time and had the balls to try to sell it to the world is amazing. Newer devices like the OR don’t interest me. They lack the charm and history that makes the Virtual Boy special.

 

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