Virtual Boy

From Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Platform - VB.png
Virtual Boy
Virtual Boy.jpg
Released: 1995-07-21
Discontinued: 1996-03-02
Developer: Nintendo
Type: Hardware

The Virtual Boy is a 32-bit game console designed by Nintendo, mostly intended to fill the gap between the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Nintendo 64, while also taking advantage of an early-mid 1990s Virtual Reality fad. Unfortunately, the system flopped dismally, getting panned as being uncomfortable to use due to its awkward design and the eyestrain caused by the primitive 3D technology (delivered in a red-and-black only color scheme), being discontinued after less than nine months, and being remembered as one of, if not the worst gaming machines ever made.

Despite its terrible reputation, the Virtual Boy was well-supported with games by Nintendo themselves, and even the third-party titles are generally decent enough, as most developers didn't even bother releasing the usual cheap cash-in titles. It's just that the games would likely have been better-served coming out on the Game Boy or SNES, as they didn't really take advantage of the platform's features.

Music and Sound

The Virtual Boy used a custom-designed Virtual Sound Unit (VSU), which contained five wavetable synthesis channels and a noise channel. The chip was similar to the TurboGrafx-16's sound chip and the Namco WSG, though heavily cut down compared to them both, that is being the lack of bass range and frequency precision. The Virtual Boy could also accept additional audio chip inputs from the cartridge slot, though with so few games made for the platform, unsurprisingly none of them ever took advantage of this feature.