Virtual boy

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Japanese advertisement for the Virtual Boy

The Virtual Boy was a virtual reality, 3-dimensional gaming device made by Nintendo and was in retail between 1995 and 1996. It is widely believed to be Nintendo’s only glaring failure in its history. But the story of the Virtual Boy is the tale of one visionary who tried to alter the course of an entire industry, but failed due to the conservative nature of the games industry, as well as the American public’s reluctance to take a risk accepting new technology. It also exposed how perfection driven the Japanese business model was in terms of how the backlash of the Virtual Boy’s failure affected its creator. And finally, the Virtual boy stands as a great example of a ‘what if?’ moment in history, where we were presented with a potential new lineage of entertainment enjoyed through true virtual space instead of just at a flat, distant screen.