Even though Nintendo's Virtual Boy virtual reality concept failed to take off despite being a pioneer in the virtual reality space, it can still be of some use to gamers who love to experiment with different platforms. This is now possible thanks to a new technique which involves a VR headset, an Android phone and an emulation software to do the trick. While Virtual Boy was made infamous owing to its not-so-user-friendly interface and because it caused nausea and eye strain, the new technique, revealed by a Reddit user who calls himself 'The-King-of-Spain', can reduce the migraine-factor in Virtual Boy and will enable you to play Virtual Boy games for long periods without suffering from any form of strain.
'The-King-of-Spain' used a Samsung Gear VR to test the new technique but he claims that gamers can also use cheaper Google Cardboard VR headsets for the purpose. As per the user, the RetroArch emulation software, which is an open-source front for the Libretro API and is a portable and light-weight multi-system emulator, carries a Virtual Boy core by default which can render games in 2D as well as in 3D anaglyphs. The software also supports a 'video shader' feature which can convert any anaglyph image into a side-by-side image that modern virtual reality headsets can process. What's more, the software also offers you the choice of viewing games either in a red shade or in grayscale. '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,' he said. By using the grayscale mode, not only will you protect your eyes from strain but will also be able to play popular Virtual Boy games like Waterworld or Mario Clash for longer periods. The RetroArch emulator app for Android phones is available in the Google Play Store and currently boasts over half a million downloads.
According to Goldman Sachs, even though Nintendo's Virtual Boy was way ahead of its times, the experiences it offered were not immersive enough and users could not get a realistic view of augmented reality. In contrast, modern virtual reality headsets carry new displays, sensors, and immersive graphics which appealed to both general consumers and business consumers and apart from gaming, offer a range of functionalities for industries like architecture, invasive surgeries, engineering, and designing. With the RetroArch emulation software making it possible for gamers to try out vintage Virtual Boy games, a large number of gamers who once tried arcade games will be able to relive their memories, albeit will much lesser strain on their eyes.