Planet Virtual Boy Founder Explains His Passion for Nintendo's Failed System
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
"It's like digital archaeology"
The Virtual Boy was, for a sustained period, ignored and essentially wiped from Nintendo's history — it was only released in Japan and North America and flopped, with only 22 official games making it to market. The company's stance has softened in recent times, with the system making cameo appearances in quirky 3DS games such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf and the upcoming Tomodachi Life. The system has never been truly dead due to dedicated enthusiasts, too, with Planet Virtual Boy being a stand-out example.
Planet VB not only documents the history of the Virtual Boy, but has also co-ordinated community efforts to finish un-released games — such as Bound High — and even created all-new titles. The site's founder, Christian Radke, explained his reasoning for the project in a recent article in EDGE magazine.
One thing I enjoy almost as much as a good game of building websites is researching and documenting niche videogame systems and their history. Searching through old magazines and websites, talking to former developers, looking at game binaries for cut content, unearthing previously unknown details, finding images of unreleased games — it's like digital archaeology.
...Compared to most other consoles, there's a manageable amount of Virtual Boy-related things. Getting it all together is very possible, be it in the form of a complete collection of games [22 were released], hardware and merchandise, or complete informational coverage, like on Planet VB.
Despite its failure when launched, there's a little life still in the Virtual Boy. Let us know what you think of Radke's comments and Planet VB, and you can always check out our making of the Virtual Boy feature from 2010. As a bonus, below is a Japanese promotion VHS for the system recently uploaded by Planet VB.