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30 Retro Rumors
Virtual Boy Will Be Compatible With Super NES (Retro Rumor #1)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 26, 2015   |   Episode 1 (Show Archive)  

   
Welcome to 30 Ridiculous Retro Rumors, a brand new series that will run daily between November 26 and December 25, 2015. This is a series where we debunk some of the craziest rumors and predictions of all time. Today we're taking a look at the Virtual Boy. More specifically, we're talking about what EGM2's gossip guru thought Nintendo's VR helmet would be like. As you can imagine, he gets the information woefully wrong. See for yourself in the debut episode of 30 Ridiculous Retro Rumors.


This is a real rumor taken directly from the October 1994 issue of EGM2 ...


As you have probably figured out already, the system in question is the Virtual Boy. Released exactly twenty years ago, this was Nintendo's first large scale failure. It attempted to create an immersive experience that emphasized convincing 3D effects. It was neither true virtual reality nor a portable, two things that worked against the ambitious idea. Couple that with an expensive price point and the Virtual Boy barely made it out of 1995 alive.

Of course, this doesn't sound like the system EGM2's gossip guru described. He talked about how the Virtual Boy would be compatible with the Super Nintendo, and that no outside developers were being used to make new games. Both of those claims proved false, with nearly two dozen original games developed by a total of 16 companies.

Based on the wording of this rumor, it sounds like the unfortunately named X-Bert thought Nintendo was making a proper virtual reality headset. He pictured a fully-immersive Lawnmower Man-style experience, complete with head tracking and low-res polygons.

So I can only imagine his disappointment when he realized that all the Virtual Boy does is flash red lines until your eyeballs explode.

To his credit, X-Bert was right about one thing: The Virtual Boy did make its first appearance that month. Nintendo unveiled the prototype at the Shoshinkai show in 1994, confusing both consumers and the press alike. But I guarantee nobody was more surprised by the Virtual Boy than X-Bert.
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