The Nintendo Virtual Boy may have gone down in history as the company's grandest folly, but it's clear that there are many fans out there who feel it didn't get a fair crack of the whip.
Team VUEngine is a group of Virtual Boy enthusastis who want to resurrect the failed console with a series of new homebrew titles. A Patreon crowdfunding campaign has been established to facilitate this endeavour, with the ultimate objective being to raise enough funds so the team can work full-time on creating new games for Gunpei Yokoi's misunderstood masterpiece, as well as making tools which will encourage other developers to support the system:
The ultimate goal is nothing less than to become full-time independent game developers and release regular new, high quality Virtual Boy games plus even better tools to create your own.
We want to engage this amazing community to closer collaborate on bringing new high quality homebrew software to the Virtual Boy. Everybody can contribute in some way to make this possible. If not through code, assets, media coverage or such, you can now lend a hand through monthly monetary donations.
With your support, we want to further improve the VUEngine and create full games with it. Furthermore, we aim to make the engine even more accessible to other developers by completing the documentation, creating tutorials and building new tools.
Through this campaign, we hope to raise enough monthly donations to be able to work less on our jobs and instead spend that precious time working on cool Virtual Boy stuff. It would be absolutely incredible if we were able to turn our passion into a part-time or even full-time job.
Will you be contributing? Or do you perhaps think the Virtual Boy is best left in the past, where it belongs? Whatever your perspective, we want to know - so be sure to post a comment.
Best left in the past
Sales of paracetamol will increase if and when that happens.
There aren't very many virtual boy owners out there though. I can't see many companies developing for it even with an easier engine
"a fair crack of the whip"
There weren't that many Virtual Boy consoles sold, and out of those that were - how many still work or exist? Must be a very small fan base.
VB had a few great games in its small library. I still dig mine out a couple times a year. I don't know about new games for it, but I still think it's criminal that Nintendo didn't release VB VC games on 3DS.
@SLIGEACH_EIRE how do you know that isn't the real hidden agenda? What if all of the team behind this Kickstarter are pharmacists
It would be interesting if Nintendo releas d a bunch of the Virtual boy's games as classics (and maybe with an option for black and white instead of red) on the switch
"a fair crack of the whip"
a reasonable opportunity to succeed.
Fair play to them for the enthusiasm, but with so few consoles out there (and a fair few of them broken, judging by eBay listings) and that user base largely moving on to other things while the console gathers dust, there surely is nowhere near enough demand to make this worthwhile?
I've literally never seen one of these in real life. The main thing I remember from articles I read about it at the time is that it gave everyone who used it a headache.
Contribute to your blindness.
Hey, it's more relevant than the Wii U.
The Virtual Boy community has come up with some decent stuff over the years and best of all gave us a working version of Bound High. The games (some complete, some demos) don't necessarily benefit from being on the VB, but then that was true of a lot of the official releases too.
Hyper Fighting is fantastic and Mario's Tennis recently got multiplayer. Other projects look promising too (a port of Snatcher). I look forward to seeing what else the community comes up with.
How many are still out there in the wild?
Whilst I love my VB dearly (hello profile pic) I'm quite happy to leave it's software as is. 😊😉
Edit: and not once has it impaired or made my eyes hurt. Truly suspect it was the 90's equivalent of the 3DS scandal that did the rounds in the tabloids a few years ago)
I honestly can't see many people funding this, especially with people who don't even own a Virtual Boy.
As far as I'm aware, there isn't even any clone versions of Virtual Boy out there. If there was, there may have been a growing market for new games.
good luck to them but agreed surely this wont appeal to many. its not like I can just go out and buy a virtual boy sounds like they are expensive. Im also very wary of crowdfunding campaigns as have been stung in the past.
I had 2 of em, loved it very much.
This isn't crowd-funding. This is Patreon where the user choices how much they give the person per month (which they can change the amount / cancel at any time).
I had one and had a blast. Teleroboxer is why I want a virtual boy virtual console on 3ds.
It stopped working or I’d be interested.
I'd welcome new software for my virtual boy. I do love the thing despite it's many, many flaws. If other people are passionate enough to develop for it I'll certainly play their games.
thanks for clarifying, doesn't make any difference to me as I wont be funding it @RadioShadow
Laugh all you want at the console, but my virtual boy is my most precious gaming item
I always like the virtual boy but I’m not sure this will work. As others have pointed out their just aren’t enough virtual boys in the wild.
I won't do patreon, but if they make a good game I will buy it for sure. My VB is hungry for more games! I haven't ever had a headache while using mine either (but then again I haven't used it for a long time non-stop either though) -I think it's likely a lot of the reports at the time may have been from people who didn't even try it / were particularly sensitive.
There are a lot of factors to consider here, but I think this is an intriguing prospect to be sure.
First off, the crowdfunding concern. There's something very unique about this one, in that the main goal is to get the scene moving again. This isn't about getting some massive new action rpg to market, or producing an icebox with 20 gadgets attached, it's primarily about being able to design a few new games for some old hardware, and building a toolset for that hardware so that others can build on it too. Any crowdfunding campaign can fail, can vanish, but the warning signs are usually the loftiest promises from those with no prior experience. These people are promising something that's very good (tools for potential Homebrew developers), but not necessarily all THAT complicated in comparison. When you consider the fact that some of the more basic rudimentary tools exist, and simply aren't all that accessible or user friendly, or are very limited in scope, it becomes a lot less of a feat to get to those final tools that could really be used for Homebrew devs. It's not THAT far of a stretch compared to some of the projects where I see people throwing upwards into the hundreds of dollars person, with little or no track record for the devs.
Next, consider the home brew community for super Nintendo, hell, consider the Super Mario World modding community. Many of the most popular SMW hacks in recent years (and there are TONS of them) won't function on a real system without using one or more of the special chipsets (FX, etc.); many others couldn't work on a real snes at all without some serious retooling. My point is that these people obviously aren't just writing for the original system. They're writing the game they want, in the format that works for them, which happens to be the SNES (or nes, etc, depending on the game being hacked/modded). By the same token, tools for Virtual Boy development wouldn't be limited to those who own a Virtual Boy. One advantage to this system, is the idea of native stereoscopic 3D, implemented in such a simple way that you could literally just emulate that 3D with a set of red and blue 3D glasses with no real loss of fidelity. It's ONLY black and red shades, it would translate far better than any old 3D movies from the red and blue era did. We also live in an era where many gamers have vr setups of some form or another readily available to them. Whether it's something pricey like the Vive or an Oculus, or something in the lower price range like Gear VR or even one of the hundreds of different model Cardboard/Daydream centric options (if you haven't checked out the Reddit Cardboard or Daydream sections before, take a look at some of the discussion, there are a lot of very viable options for those who want to try a little vr without spending an arm and a leg or strapping recycled paper product to their face, lol). Retroarch has a very nice little config that takes mere minutes to set up one time, enabling SBS left/right images for vr, or older blue/red glasses for those who want to mix one kind of retro with another kind of retro. And of course, there are a handful of people with proper 3D television sets (though I don't know of any new units being produced since last year, I believe manufacturers completely stopped offering the feature after 2016 models).
The point is, you really don't need the hardware to play the system. It's hasnt stopped the Homebrew community in the past, and I don't predict it will stop them now -given reasonable development tools.
The system itself, honestly, did have some good along with the already virally-established bad. And honestly, the negative features were greatly exaggerated in the same way that the concept of VR motion sickness is today -yes, some people have trouble adapting, most (not all, there are always outlying cases) of those people appear to be unaccustomed to high motion games to begin with. And for every person I've heard complain about experiencing it personally in real life (as in, not on the web where anonymity often encourages bandwagons of negativity about anything and everything), I've personally met or spoken with at least a dozen that have tried it WITHOUT any side effects. I don't expect anyone to take my word for that though -internet anonymity doesn't give most folks a lot of credibility, but I'd recommend talking to gamers who've tried the tech if you really think that many people are experiencing it. People who aren't into gaming already really aren't the target market anyway.
Personally, I've been looking at trying to do a little Homebrew development for the Virtual Boy myself lately. I had one in the past, I know about the one major lens issue, and I have comfortably repaired several of these units -it takes about five minutes for someone with very little electronics experience. They didn't have a lot of good games -the (still) unsubstantiated rumors about eye damage did a lot to ensure parents wouldn't buy this thing for their kids, so there wasn't a lot o time for devs to get much software off the ground before it failed in stores. Having played it for several hours as an adult now, I'd really like to see some new games made for it. It's not all about crazy wireframe polygons like you usually see. It was great for taking otherwise quaint traditional 2D titles and giving them a nice visual flair or even a slight gameplay tweak that the 3D visuals made more natural. Warioland, Tennis, and Teleroboxer were some good examples of what the game system can do with 2D sprites on a 3D plane. I'm looking forward to the possibility of a new bigger Homebrew community, on any retro platform.
I can’t remember what I did with my Virtual Boy. I think I might have sold it to a friend for a dollar. Oops.
I'd only be interested in VB redux if Jamiroquai made a music video for it.
If I'm going to be funding a pipe dream, then it has to be Crazy Taxi on Wii U with the Gamepad as a GPS, complete with racing seat/wheel.
It's such a missed opportunity for Nintendo not to have released VB games on the 3DS VC. I would love to try Wario Land VB, it genuinely looks good. The only way I know to play it is to buy a Virtual Boy, which I'll never do.
My eyes, my poor eyes. Mine is best left in the attic, never to be used again.
Yeah they should have. Especially as 3D Classics on 3DS or something like that. I would love the chance to play some of the games like Wario Land, Mario Clash, Jack Bros. I tried a Virtual Boy out in a store like Toys R Us or KB Toys back in the day when it came out. The game I played was Teleroboxer and I remember it being fun.
Nevermind that, im still waiting for Virtual Boy games on the 3DS Virtual Console
The Virtual Boy is the only classic system don't wish to own due it's red and black goggles rubbish, I can't play games on it unless I want a headache too...
However it's games are worth playing but on something a Red Dragon Emulator where you can change it Black and white (like the Game Boy) and play on a proper screen, which has a nice wide screen effect.
What they should do is get Nintendo to do VB Emulation or make a clone console that supports B&W
Forget the 3D stuff, it's graphics and scaling effects are more then enough. (remember it is basically a 32bit system)
VB Wario Land is amazing to look at and play, and from seeing the Street Fighter 2 fan VB port also shows it's a great little 2D powerhouse (looks better then the arcade) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUChl88zcZE
@SLIGEACH_EIRE that's a complete myth- I had a virtual boy for ten years and never once got a headache playing it. Wish I'd never sold it. 😪
@nab1 I'm with you there- I sold mine when my first born came along. I still give him grief for it 14 years later. 😂
@Lukeim64 I just said that 👊
Oh... let it die.
Nintendo could put together a Virtual Boy comp for play on the 3DS... which would actually make a load of sense... but even then it wouldn't be a hot seller.
@darthstuey Exactly! It's completely not true! 😂😉
If they were doing say, VB games on the 3DS, then that might be kinda ok. Problem is the ship has sailed/sailing on those systems so, I can't really say I can get behind this idea. :/
Ha, some of the games actually look pretty cool. But they'd be better off putting these games on the 3DS while keeping the retro Virtual Boy look and style in stereoscopic 3D--no glasses required.
Good to hear. My VB could use a few more games
@sleepinglion I saw once a video of Warioland VB running on Google Cardboard, and it looked really nice. It's on my list of things to try some day.
@rdrunner1178 see the 3ds would be the obvious choice, but they really missed the opportunity... But now that they have some obscure classics like the arcade Mario bros maybe virtual boy could get resurrected
Best of luck to them. The problems the Virtual Boy had were greatly exaggerated and due to people not heeding the advice of taking a break after an hour of play.
It sound interesting, but I’d rather fund a kickstarter. Monthly giving is too much for something that will most likely never produce anything.
Awesome. The only problem will be that the hardware supply probably won't meet the demand (which is typical for Nintendo ).
Maybe Nintendo could revamp the Virtual Boy just as they did with the NES and SNES? This would be 1000 times more interesting since almost no one has ever played any VB games.
Just...why? There weren't even a million of these produced in total. Hardly anyone has one. Many of them don't work properly. I always wanted a Virtual Boy growing up. I thought it was a cool looking piece of hardware but it is the most dead console in existence. At least if people make a new NES or SNES game, there are a lot of people that still own those.
This is probably the best and only Virtual Boy homebrew title out there:
I love my Virtual Boy. I still have it. But I can't really imagine using again, either. I don't think I need my vision to be any worse than it is
Honestly, I wish Nintendo would remake the Wario game for VB on the 3DS or something. That was an amazing game and has yet to be remade or re-released in amy form.
This is proof that people will try anything...
But my question is still: WHY?
the virtual boy in my avatar is broken, and i don't trust my skills enough to try and fix it myself. it's a lovely item for a shelf, but other than that, i don't know..
There have been multiple releases over the years from finished to finished up (hacked to done) prototypes and then some homebrew like the solid SF2 conversion already mentioned.
This isn't really new that the VB has picked up new software, but I question their sanity entirely panhandling on patreon.
Taken from a wikia is a quote below about the terrible sales figures on the quickly Old Yeller'd system. Now imagine how many have ended up being totally broken or assumed as much with the common enough view piece failure (lines or worse) in there? I hope they can profit selling maybe a 100 or so games as this seems fairly idiotic to me.
Maybe they could simulate 3D using the 3DS or other forms of it and get the games to a larger market or dual code them to work in 2D without the effect then I could see some utility in it.
Virtual Boy - Wikia:
Nintendo of America, perhaps even more than their Japanese parent, tried very hard to sell as many units as possible. They even went as far as to spend twenty five million dollars on marketing. Ultimately, this was a waste as nothing came of it. In fact, of the 770,000 units sold, only 140,000 were bought by Americans in the United States and Canada. In Japan, the disaster was less profound, with Nintendo pushing a still very small 630,000 units. The Virtual Boy was never released in Europe or Australia possibly because it was unsuccessful in Japan and North America.
All the resources should be put into developing new games for the Switch not some old videogame machine.
Who's "resources?" Perhaps some people find the Virtual Boy better than the Switch. I currently do!
And half the stuff that is coming out for the Switch is utter garbage anyway.
I don't know why Nintendo even thought this system met their standards enough to release it in the state and design it was in. Even just looking at screenshots are painful to look at. You can't even play this thing outside the house since you have to rest it on something. I've heard there are some decent games on there but honestly, the system feels more like a cynical and careless product than a fun and respectable video game portable console. No wonder it never made it to the PAL regions...
@Rudy_Manchego funny. I was thinking about selling mine, soon.
Every so often I think about selling mine too, as its in pretty much new condition (headaches & backache stopped me from using it). Still sits boxed on a high shelf in the lounge and will probably be there until I'm in a box.
How is it a misunderstood masterpiece? Lack of software was hardly its only issue. It's awkward, uncomfortable, causes headaches, and only displays in monchrome. The Sega 32X is more of a misunderstood masterpiece than this piece of junk. They'd be much better off focusing on making new 3DS games, you know, that stereoscopic 3D system that actually works well.
The Virtual Boy holds a special place in my heart and I would love to see more software released for it. It was a unique system with a small library of well crafted games which featured gameplay that can't really be replicated elsewhere. It's an absolute shame Nintendo didn't port any of the titles to the 3DS. An imperfect version of Mario Clash or Teleroboxer is better than no version at all.
I was not aware of any homebrew, ports, or rom hacking efforts for the Virtual Boy. Thanks for sharing!
The virtual boy was a virtual piece of crap that's best left in the past.
...Except, the handheld (yes it's a portable system) is kind of nostalgic for those of us who grew up when it came out. As someone who owns one, I'm here to say it sucks every bit as bad as you've heard and then some....The library of games however are actually quite good. It's strange to look upon something like the Virtual Boy and know that it's garbage, yet feel some nostalgia for it.
I'll echo the sentiments that it's disappointing Nintendo never remade any Virtual Boy games on 3DS. I'd kill for some Wario Land without getting a headache, or maybe some Mario Clash.
@OorWullie My bad, hadn't heard that one. Learn something new every day, eh?
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