While virtual reality might have boomed in the past year or so, the reality of it is that the concept has been around for a while now. In fact, one could even consider the View-Master as one of the first few devices to embody the concept of being transported to another world just by looking through a pair of lenses.
However as far as VR efforts are concerned, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey seems to think that devices like the Nintendo Virtual Boy did more harm than good. For those unfamiliar, the Virtual Boy is a wearable device launched by Nintendo back in 1995. Granted it wasn’t strictly virtual reality, but it did share some of its concepts.
According to Luckey, “Not really a VR device, IMO. No head tracking, low field of view, essentially a monochrome 3DTV. A real shame, too, because the association of the Virtual Boy with VR hurt the industry in the long run.” The device was priced pretty high at its time but due to very poor sales, it was discontinued after 6 months.
That being said, it’s interesting to see how far virtual reality has come. One of the criticisms that the Virtual Boy faced was that it induced headaches and motion sickness, something that modern day VR headsets like the Oculus Rift have since addressed.