It’s A Whole New Reality


Dylan Berkowitz, Staff Writer

Who remembers the Virtual Boy? If not, then the Virtual Boy was a console made by Nintendo in 1995. The console was the successor to their very successful SNES and the predecessor to the Nintendo 64. This meant that there was a lot riding on the back of the Virtual Boy. It was a very ambitious system at the time because it was gaming’s first major step into the world of virtual reality. There were attempts at similar feats, but never a full console that could essentially transport the player into another world on their screens.

The console was a pretty much a pair of goggles on legs that the player would put their eyes up to and be able to play a game. The games were in 3D which was done by using two screens the player would look at to give the illusion that the game was in 3D. I’m sure it seemed so cool at the time! Who wouldn’t want to play games like Mario in 3D?

Well, the Virtual Boy came out August 16th, 1995, and it sucked. There were a number of aspects that made it bad, like how playing on it would give the player neck problems, how the screens used red and black for the graphics that would hurt the eyes, and how the controller was not comfortable while playing. There were some games that were pretty good, but they all suffered because of the negatives that the console had. Despite all this, Nintendo still had some hope that the console could live have some ground after more games could be released!

The Virtual Boy didn’t even last a year.

Ever since that failure, there were never any big attempts at VR in gaming, though in other fields, VR really helped like in therapy and training in the war. Despite this, the only big times VR was in gaming were in the form of motion controls from the Wii, Playstation Move, and XBox Kinect, none of which really satisfied the people. It wasn’t until about 20 years after the Virtual Boy that the gaming world started to really give VR a chance.

The old days of terrible red and black graphics are gone and now we have entire worlds with color and life.

Instead of boxing on a single screen looking one direction, you’re now boxing in an entire arena with a sold out crowd all around you!

Instead of controlling a character platform with only a few moments that show 3D, now you’re platforming through an entire world where you can pick up stuff and throw it as if it were really right in front of you!

While VR is clearly making a big swing in the gaming industry with products like the HTC Vibe and the PS VR, there are still many problems that come with this new form. While it may be true that you no longer have to sit in a weird position to play a game like the Virtual Boy, now you can get motion sick and feel dizzy in these worlds making it harder to play the game. Another huge issue is that a lot of people won’t want to back it until they can see a clear reason which may mean that more bad games will be made for VR until a few years down the road.

With that said, there are already some high end games that are being made for VR like Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and Resident Evil VII! These are some of the biggest games in gaming, and the fact that those are being put onto Virtual Reality might mean that the future of VR might be much bigger and come a lot sooner than many think.

It’s clear that the gaming world has recovered from the mess that was the Virtual Boy, and while the thought of being inside these new and improved worlds may be really amazing for many gamers, many gamers will still have to wait to use this luxury. Until the day comes where VR is the main form of gaming, we’ll have to stick with the games being plastered on our TV screens and computer monitors.

If you need to get into these worlds as soon as possible, then I would check out the various VR systems like the Playstation VR and the HTC Vive to find which ones will do the best for your personal needs.