In Brief: The History and Technology of Nintendo's Virtual Boy

By Norman Chan

The precursors to Google Glass and modern VR head-mounted displays.

Technology historian Benj Edwards (who writes the great Vintage Computing blog) celebrates the 20th anniversary of Nintendo's Virtual Boy with an exhaustive history of the failed game console for Fast Company. Edwards chronicles the development of Reflection Technologies' PrivateEye display which was featured in Virtual Boy, and the vision of its creators to build a true head-tracked HMD like today's virtual reality headsets. It's a great read that gives context to why the LED display tech was so interesting to Nintendo, despite its color limitations. To get a closer look at that tech, iFixit also did a teardown of the Virtual Boy a few years back.