Nintendo’s 1995 Virtual Boy was a whole cartridge based game system inside a desktop-mounted-head stereoscopic immersive display. Designed by Gunpei Yokoi of Gameboy fame, and offered for $180 retail, the market was less than kind. It was withdrawn from the market in less than a year and now can still be found late in the day at weekend garage sales.

The actual displays were unique, a rapidly vibrating linear array of 224 red leds. The array was vibrated at 55 hz, sweeping out a dim red raster. The concept was borrowed from Reflection Technology which had introduced a monocular augmented reality head mounted display in 1990.

Needless to say, Nintendo dumped Yokoi despite his success with Gameboy, and he died in a car wreck a year later. In many ways the Virtual Boy also put the final nail into the 90’s VR craze.

Apropos of the Virtual Boy, the following G4 critique features dominant raster lines, but sadly not Olivia Munn.