The Virtual Boy video gaming system was developed and manufactured by none other than the mighty mighty Nintendo. It claimed the title of the first video gaming console being capable of displaying “true 3D graphics.” Cool, right? Well we thought so…
The Visual Boy was released in July of 1995 in Japan and in August of the same year in the United States. The initaial price was around $180. The system was not very popular: although cool in concept, people didn’t like it very much even with several price drops.
Here is the only Virtual Boy emulator that is currently available for Unix:
Reality Boy is currently the only Virtual Boy emulator out there for Linux/Unix.
Most video games use monocular (or singuar) cues to enhance the 2D screen to have the illusion of three dimensions. The Virtual Boy created 3D sense through the illusion through the parallax effect.
The Nintendo Visual Boy emulated 3D with a mask-type aparatus similar to a head-mounted display. The user would look in through the eyepieces and an eyeglass-style projector would then allow the viewing of a monochromatic (single color) image. Nintendo picked red to the be the color and we aren’t sure why.
Nintendo decided to discontinue the Visual Boy the next year and we think they made the right decision. This gave them more time to work on up and coming systems and technologies that eventually led to the excellent systems we have nowadays.