Virtual Boy…Was it Really That Bad?
Back in the mid 90's, there were 2 game consoles that were dominating the video game market. You either had a Super Nintendo or a Sega Genesis. Towards the middle of the 90's, these two juggernaut systems were reaching their end. Sony, Sega, and Nintendo were ready to bring in the new age of gaming with Playstation, Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64. One problem though, the Nintendo 64 was taking way to long to come out. Nintendo tried to fill the void with something that is viewed today as "The Red Menace."
Nintendo's Virtual Boy....does that ring a bell? It was a supposedly "portable" system that arrived on the scene in August of 1995. At first glance as a kid in 1995, I thought this thing was awesome! I remember playing the demo console at Target and thinking, "Wow! Look at the cool 3-D graphics! Ummm, why is it all red?" This is what about 90% of consumers thought too. Since then, Virtual Boy has been considered one of the "Worst Game Consoles of All Time." Is it really that bad though?
Here is the bad first. The Virtual Boy is a game console that both of your eyes to create an 3D image. This however could only be attained by looking into this "visor" type thing. Virtual Reality was all the rage in the 90's! Today though...eh...not so much. Games are most fun playing with a friend right? Not in Virtual Boy's world. The console only allowed one player to play at a time. There were only about 15 games released for the console, and many of them were just terrible games, most of which could have been easily played on a Game Boy. Plus, many of the games "barely" catered to the 3-D gimmick. You rarely could find a way to play this thing comfortably! Most of the time you had to stand it on a table. Who wants to play video games on a table?!?! To make things worse, there were reports of the console causing eye strain, dizziness, nausea, etc. All of these things combined, were a concoction for failure.
Now where was it good though? All the bad things aside, and in today's gaming world, it is "kind of" a fun gaming console. It is extremely nostalgic and very collectable! Not all of the games were bad either. Teleroboxer was fun, and the Wario Land game was amazing for a side scroller, and Mario Tennis had it's moments.
In the end, was Virtual Boy really that bad? Comparing the list of bad to the good, it's pretty obvious what the verdict on that is. It's not good....especially for the time it came around. Video games were getting better graphics, gameplay, and more. Virtual Boy was a step in the wrong direction. The only redeeming factor of this console, is the 'nostalgia factor' it holds today. If you look in someone's gaming collection and see this thing, it's a nice conversation piece, but that is pretty much it.
If you are looking for some sweet 90's nostalgia, Virtual Boy is the console you are looking for. If you are searching for an old gaming console and are expecting tons of fun, look the other direction and buy a Nintendo 64.