The Virtual Boy Lives Again On Google Cardboard

Nintendo Virtual BoyA long, long time ago, I was a boy growing up in Misawa, Japan.  One of my good friends had parents who spoiled him rotten.  When Nintendo announced the Virtual Boy almost 21 years ago, he got super excited and convinced his parents to get him one.  I remember sitting on his front porch with him waiting for his dad to get home from the store with his new toy.  I also remember wishing it was the other way around and that we were sitting on my front porch waiting for my dad to come home.  It didn’t take long before I decided I was OK not having my own Virtual Boy and was OK to let my friend keep it.  In fact I don’t think we ever played with it again after that first time.

The Virtual Boy was unique in its time in the way it presented video games.  It wasn’t a Virtual Reality (VR) headset but more of a 3D headset (even though it was sometimes called a VR headset).  It worked by projecting a red monochrome image on to two separate lenses and gave the game you were playing a 3D effect.  I remember we played Tetris and some form of a Mario game.  Mario was fun but it only took a few minutes before the heavy headset became too heavy for our young heads.  Ultimately it was a cool experience but it was one of those cool experiences that only had to be experienced once or twice, anything more than that was overkill.

Nintendo Virtual Boy On Google CardboardFast forward to today and we have Google Cardboard.  Google Cardboard is similar to the Virtual Boy in that it is a headset but it is capable of much more than the Virtual Boy ever was.  Thanks to the work of Reddit user, The-King-of-Spain, we can now enjoy some of the Virtual Boy classics on Google Cardboard!

The method involved requires using the emulator RetroArch and setting some custom settings to get the desired effect.  I haven’t had a chance to test it myself but I plan on doing so soon!  In the meantime you can find directions on how to set up the app to work correctly on The-King-of_Spain’s Reddit thread and on Imgur.  While you wait you should check out his video below too!