Virtual Boy

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Virtual Boy
[[File:Virtual Boy.jpg|230px]]
Manufacturer Nintendo
Generation Fifth generation
Release date July 21, 1995 (JP)

August 14, 1995 (NA)

Media type Game Pak ROM cartridge

The Virtual Boy (バーチャルボーイ) was a table-top video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was the first video game console that was supposed to be capable of displaying "true 3D graphics" out of the box, in a form of virtual reality. Whereas most video games use monocular cues to achieve the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional screen, The Virtual Boy creates an illusion of depth through the effect known as parallax. In a manner similar to using a head-mounted display, the user looks into an eyepiece made of neoprene on the front of the machine, and then an eyeglass-style projector allows viewing of the monochromatic (in this case, red) image.

Hardware Specifications[edit]

Technical Specifications
Processor Customized NEC V810 (P/N uPD70732) 32-bit RISC Processor @ 20 MHz (18 MIPS) 1 KB instruction cache
Memory 128 KB of DRAM
Video 128 KB dual-port VRAM
Display x2
  • Reflection Technologies Inc. (RTI) Model P4 – mechanically scanned, monochrome, red, LED display
  • 384 x 224 pixel resolution (produced by scanning a 1 × 224 LED array)
  • Four simultaneous red shades (black + 3 different red shades, chosen from a set of approximately 32,000)
  • 50 Hz double-buffered frame rate
Audio 16-bit Stereo
Controller 6 buttons & 2 D-pads
I/O ports Serial Port (8 pin cable)
NES controller protocol
Media Game Pak ROM Cartridge
Weight 750 grams
Dimensions 8.5"H × 10"W × 4.3"D
  • 6 AA Batteries
  • 10VDC at 350mA AC Adapter
  • Unofficial Performance Adaptor DC 9V 500mA


The Virtual Boy uses 60-pin cartridges which connect to the console through a series of needle-like pins instead of a typical cartridge slot with flat contacts. Unlike cartridges for most other consoles, the ROM chip in a Virtual Boy cartridge does not sit on the label side of the board.