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Thread: digitalpress: Nintendo's Virtual Boy was widely considered a "failure", and in retail terms it certainly was. As players though,

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    Thumbs up digitalpress: Nintendo's Virtual Boy was widely considered a "failure", and in retail terms it certainly was. As players though,

    digitalpress: Nintendo's Virtual Boy was widely considered a "failure", and in retail terms it certainly was. As players though,... http://t.co/bCecvW54

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    The link is dead, it's 7 years on though.

    I remember the VB being uncomfortable to play, had to tilt my neck at an odd angle. The games were really nothing special, they were decent but not really worth the eye strain and discomfort. I'd definitely call it Nintendo's worst system. Most consoles that are commercial failures fail because they, quite frankly, suck. As retro-gamers we like to focus on the commercial failures that were good, the underappreciated consoles. Something like the Sega Saturn or Dreamcast, 3DO, or the Wii U fall into that category. There's plenty of good experiences to be found on those failed consoles, unique experiences too. The VB just had too many flaws to overcome a few decent games. Though it's not as bad as something like the HyperScan or Apple Pippin.
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    its hard to imagine why a console with one color on the screen, graphics of a portable console but not the portability, closed you off from the outside world, and caused headaches would be considered a failure. about as dumb as selling popsicles at the North Pole

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    The Virtual Boy failed commercially for a number of reasons, but it's not because the graphics were bad or all the games were mediocre. The level of detail in the graphics is far beyond what any handheld at the time was offering, even if it's similar to the original GB in that it's all different shades of the same color, and the 3D effect still has a wow factor even to this day, in my opinion. The problem with the latter point is that, in 2019, most people's exposure to Virtual Boy has been through emulation or Youtube, and you're not going to see the proper 3D effect unless you're playing an actual Virtual Boy. The game library is sadly extremely small, but there's some real gems in there nonetheless. It helps that many were first-party and produced by Gunpei Yokoi, the same guy behind classic franchises like Metroid and Kid Icarus. Virtual Boy Wario Land is still the best Wario game ever, in my opinion, and that alone makes Virtual Boy worth playing.

    A lot of the criticism the Virtual Boy gets is more on the consumers than the system itself. It's a system that requires more care in setting up and its use than most, and most people aren't willing to put in the effort. Neck strain is purely a product of how you place it. Personally, I prefer playing it standing up. I've got a shelf that's at the perfect height such that the visor lines up with my eyes. I don't have to tilt my head up or down, so my neck feels fine the whole time and afterward. I make sure to calibrate the screen as directed, using the dial on top, before playing, and I take breaks as directed too. As a result, I get no headaches or eye strain from playing, and this is despite the fact that I'm prone to things like that. I get motion sickness and headaches to the point that I avoid entire genres of games (like first-person shooters), yet I can play Virtual Boy without a problem (at least the kinds of games I can play fine on other systems; I still avoid games like Red Alarm because that's the kind of game that would make me sick on any platform).

    It was a stretch for the Virtual Boy to be advertised as a portable, but considering its era, it was definitely a lot more portable than a home console and CRT.

    Coincidentally, I just got a copy of Vertical Force from my husband for Christmas, without even asking for more Virtual Boy games. I'm looking forward to pulling mine out again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WelcomeToTheNextLevel View Post
    Something like the Sega Saturn or Dreamcast, 3DO, or the Wii U fall into that category. There's plenty of good experiences to be found on those failed consoles, unique experiences too.
    The Virtual Boy is much better than the Dreamcast, it's just a better console overall. I don't know how you can consider those consoles as having a unique experience moreso than the Virtual Boy, the Virtual Boy was actual 3D when no other console was.

    I sold off my Virtual Boy stuff mostly due to space reasons, but I was also nervous of the consoles breaking down for some reason as I heard it was common. I didn't play it too often because of having to set it up but I do sometimes regret not keeping that collection. I have no regrets getting rid of my Dreamcast. The Virtual Boy was just more fun.

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    I wouldnt consider the Dreamcast or Saturn a failure. I mean yeah they didnt sell as much as the competition but go into any used game store and you can find games for both those systems. 3DO I believe had a strong following but yeah it is borderline failure. When I think of console failures I think of systems that received less than 100 games; Jaguar, Lynx, Game.com, N-Gage, 32x. The Dreamcast was very popular at launch. those other systems were D.O.A. (though the 32x sold a lot of units, just not many games besides Doom and Star Wars)

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    I'll take the Virtual Boy over the 3DO any day of the week. I think I've had more fun with my Virtual Boy than with my Dreamcast too, to be honest.

    But I've always been a fan of underdog systems. Systems like the Saturn and Dreamcast have such zealous fans that I'm hard-pressed to call them underappreciated, even if they commercially underperformed (well, in the US at least; Saturn was plenty successful in Japan). But I find myself drawn to systems that are either ignored or constantly dumped on, like the Virtual Boy, PC-FX, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Wonderswan, etc. Whenever I hear people say a system has "no good games" or whatever variation of that, I invariably find at least a few games I really like.

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