After watching a couple a videos on Youtube about “The worst consoles released”, I kept seeing the Virtual Boy in them, and I’ll be honest, I want a Virtual Boy!
As much as people says they hate this thing… I still want a Virtual Boy. Shame they never released it in the UK. pic.twitter.com/3WHc9UxRnL
— Great Bit Blog (@GreatBitBlog) November 10, 2013
Sure, the Virtual Boy was Nintendo’s pathetic excuse to fob off customers with new hardware when they kept pushing the release date of the Ultra 64, which then became the Nintendo 64 to later dates. Thing was at the time I was a huge Nintendo Fan; I hated the idea of Sega consoles, and I have yet to try out a PlayStation (to later discover my hatred to load times). Nintendo Magazine System, the Nintendo branch of the UK’s famous MeanMachine magazines would keep me informed about Nintendo related news on a monthly basis.
As you can imagine they would announce anything that was Nintendo related, even if there was a chance of it not being released in Jolly Ole’ England. Games such as Mario & Wario, Earthbound, Super Mario RPG, Final Fantasy VI and Ogre Battle were the many games that the magazine was known for hyping up, and then not getting a release in the motherland with no decent excuse why!
Oh Nintendo Magazine System, why tempt me into games I couldn’t get! Plus that’s a really bad image of a polygon Mario, best to leave that the experts guys!
As you can see, they pushed the Virtual Boy big time, and with positive praise like with any other magazine at the time. However Mean Machines and EMAP publishing had no idea that this would be a flop, and by the time the system hit the United States, Nintendo of Europe refused the sell the system.
It wouldn’t be until years later I would have the chance to finally play with one of these bad boys! Back in 1998 I visited my Dad in the states that Christmas, the same year that I discovered that my Step Mother was pregnant with my to become half sister, the year where I discovered that Christmas in the States aint that great, and where I met my Step Mother’s family. Now that was something interesting, I thought my Dad’s family was huge, having five other siblings, all with their own kids, making up quite a lot of cousins, oh no! My Step Mother has EIGHT siblings! Yeah, and meeting almost all of them in my “Would-be Step Aunt’s” house (is Step Aunt even a word?) was insane, but meeting up with one particular Kid who you could call my “Step Cousin” (OK I’m in the realm of making up words here, I do apologise!) had in possession and a Virtual Boy! He only had three games for it, then again only thirteen games were released in the US; that and it was 1998, at this point the Virtual Boy had been discontinued for a few years how. Regardless of it’s commercial failures, I had to try it out! Begging my “Step Aunt” for six double A batteries, I finally got a glimpse of something that I missed out on, something that I only read in magazines, and I got to play Teleroboxer, the Sci Fi boxing game on the Virtual Boy that I believe was the only Virtual Boy game that took advantage of the two Dpads that were on it’s controller. The two Dpads simply moved your left and right fists, whilst the L and R Buttons would execute a punch based on where you positioned the fist. I thought it was a good game anyway, though to be honest I wouldn’t have paid the prices that I heard. I was told that some Virtual Boy games cost a whopping $90! Let’s remind ourselves that the system was released with a $180 price tag, it’s crazy to imagine that a game would cost HALF its price!
The few times I got to play with the console, I never once really had any “Eye ache” that people will ALWAYS say about the system. I must have really good eyes or something. Though I will admit, it does leave a bit of neck ache from putting your head down to look into the console. But for me the Virtual Console, despite it’s failures, it a system that I remember being a kid of the nineties, being excited for virtual reality, and reading all the news about Nintendo’s answer to VR was something awesome to look forward to. In many ways the Virtual Boy represented what the mid nineties were, an age where gaming could’ve been totally different, but was snuffed out because of cost, and things were too ahead of it’s time.
Now there is a thing called eBay, or feeBay as we like to call it; for obvious reasons. But there’s an issue trying to find a Virtual Boy being sold into the UK at a decent price! After all I did find one in a game shop where they were asking £200 for it! They’re not the easiest consoles to find over here purely because they were never sold here, meaning that one would’ve had to be import or brought into the country. So they price gets hiked up either because it’s being sent from Japan, and/or knows that they’re rarely seen in Jolly Ole’ England!
Alternatively you can be like this jammy bastard! How dare you get one for free Ben! D:<
@GreatBitBlog I’m still ever grateful that I ended up with one for free
— Ben Lancaster (@random_dave) November 10, 2013