PCGH Retro: Nintendo's biggest flop - the Virtual Boy
Once again PCGH takes a look at the short but eventful history of the computer. Today: What happened on July 21?
...1995: No one thought the Game Boy could be successful: out-of-date technology and a monochrome display weren't supposed to deliver mobile fun. But Nintendo is most successful. Now it is time for the successor: On the July 21 Nintendo releases the Virtual Boy, a revolutionary console technology, in Japan. For the first time the player could sink into the virtual world. The Virtual Boy doesn't come with an ordinary display, but glasses consisting of two tiny LCDs. And that's the source of most problems: the system is much too chunky and is so heavy it needs to be supported - the console is almost useless for any mobile gaming. The displays con only deliver red color, which looks old even in the mid 90s. And finally the 3D effect is hard to detect and causes a headache after some time. The design faults add up and the Virtual Boy becomes a huge flop, which gets its developer Gunpei Yokoi (the inventor of the Game Boy and the Metroid series) fired; only a few games are published and after a single year Nintendo stops the production. The world is not ready yet for Virtual Reality.