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Unofficial Virtual Boy emulator brings Nintendo games to Google Cardboard

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Sean Hollister / The Verge

Nintendo's Virtual Boy is often used as a grisly warning in articles about virtual reality. "This is what you get when expectations outpace technology," they say. "A bulky headset, six months of nonexistent sales, and users complaining of dizziness and neck pain." But we've moved past these failings with the latest VR boom, and now, even the Virtual Boy has been made palatable with time, with one Reddit user (The-King-of-Spain) managing to get some of the system's old titles working on Google Cardboard.

As The-King-of-Spain explains, to get the games up and running you'll need an Android smartphone, vintage emulator RetroArch (including the necessary ROMs), and some sort of Cardboard-compatible VR headset. You'll then need to tweak the emulator's settings a little, but the end result is apparently pretty smooth, as you can see in the video below:

"After about 30 minutes of play time, I'm not experiencing any of the Virtual Boy's trademark motion sickness," writes The-King-of-Spain. "There's also something to be said for playing the games in grayscale instead of the headache-inducing red. It's pretty cool to see Virtual Boy games in their full stereoscopic glory, but the added depth doesn't seem to add much value gameplay-wise."

Well, that's certainly a better write-up than the original Virtual Boy got, and it might only be a taste of things to come. Earlier this year, Nintendo said it was researching VR technology once more, but had no specific plans to launch any new products yet. Making some Virtual Boy titles available to download might be a good start.


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