The Virtual Boy Failure

Though many swear by its solid gameplay, there’s no denying that Nintendo’s Virtual Boy was a commercial flop. ModoJo reminisces and writes: “Like it or not, the Virtual Boy did try to be different and bump up the handheld market to something new. It was significantly flawed, to be sure, but it brought with it an experience that couldn’t be ignored, and at least had to be played once.”

What were some of your most memorable moments (if any) with the Virtual Boy?


  1. My most memorable moment with the Virtual Boy was playing some kind of spaceship flying game on the demo model at Sears. It was a cool enough game, but my parents couldn’t afford to get me one. In hindsight, I kinda really don’t mind that I didn’t get one.

  2. ^I think that game was called Red Alert. I remember getting the virtual boy for trading in four or five snes games to eb games. I believe i got Red Alert, Teloboxer, Mario Tennis and the Wario game. I guess they were trying to get a least something for all those systems that they had left in stock, it was a great deal too. fun little system but sucked because you had to take breaks every 15 or so minutes but other than that i loved it. I guess no one bought it becuase it was so damn expensive, $170-180 i believe.

  3. i had to gave that thing when it came out . so my mom got me it for christmas. i got red alert, wario land, and mario tennis. And to tell you the truth i really, really enjoyed it. mario tennis was a blast and i played all the way through wario several times to get the different endings. But, i honestly think that the Virtual Boy cause me to have bad vision. my vision used to be perfect but after playing it all the time it got pretty bad. of course i ignored the mandatory rest breaks the system imposed. so it is my fault after all.

  4. I think my best experience, even though I did not purchase the thing, was getting the Nintendo Power magazine with the 3D glasses to see what virtual boy would be like. The screenshots of the game in the magazine would pop out when wearing the glasses.

  5. i don’t know the actual name of the game but I have a Japanese Bomberman tetris like game that is just wonderful. it’s so addictive, it dosen’t really use the “3d” of the system. But it’s so much fun. And I played the heck out of mario tennis

  6. My most memorable moment with the Virtual Boy was also my only moment with the Virtual Boy… the first (and last) time I saw one on display in a store, right by a much more tempting display of the brand spankin’ new Super Mario 64.

    All I remember was that I didn’t like the controller and was generally not impressed by the gameplay or supposedly “3-D” aspect of the graphics. I also remember thinking “Who cares if it’s 3-D when you only have ONE color and the graphics suck this bad?” I was very accustomed to the processor-pushing beauty of Yoshi’s Island by that time.

  7. I first rented it from Blockbuster the week it came out, and thought it was the coolest thing. I remember thinking wow, I could take this to school and keep it in my locker, cause it was so “portable.” A few months later, EB games was trying to dump their stock BIG TIME, so I bought a brand new Virtual Boy for $25, and about 4 or 5 games for .99 each. Mario Tennis is the best game for the system, followed by the Wario game, the pinball game, Teleroboxer and some japanese baseball game with a bunch of monkeys I got. I love that thing, and it is stored away in a closet with my other consoles of years past, waiting for me to move out and get my own place and build up my Nintendo Museum room 🙂

  8. My most memorable moment with the gadget was also my only memory of it: playing the Mario Tennis demo at a store.

    The “memorable” thing about it was the major headache it gave me!

  9. The first time I remember playing a Virtual Boy was about a month ago. My friend ordered one off of eBay with Wario Land and Mario Tennis.

    I played Wario Land for about 3 minutes before the thing gave me a migrane. Then my friend played it for about 20 minutes. When he lifted his head from the viewfinder he said “What happened to your shirt?”. My shirt was red. He said he saw a very strange grey color, like it wasn’t a color. And his eyes were bleeding.

  10. Everyone knows the story about poor Gunpei Yokoi (god rest his soul) and how Yamauchi wanted the system but half assed it. The virtually boy was first to be just a strap on headset portable enough you could play it on a bus etc. It was like a pair of VR goggles nowhere near as big as how it turned out. It was supposed to have color as well….COLOR! But Yamauchi…”naw lets cut corners.”

    I sill play mine to this day. I cant say I have any memorable moments that stick out but it was a unique idea that if done the original way without the cut corners then it would have been da bomb and not the flop they made it to be!

    I don’t think Nintendo will make the same mistake twice

    Fool me once shame on you
    Fool me twice shame on me

  11. i think the game you are referring to is “panic bomber”

  12. I remember the horrible neck-aches it gave me. Oh, and the way my eyes hurt after using it. But other than that, it was quite fun.

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