Nintendo has been one of the top brands in the world of video games for several decades now. Today, the Nintendo Switch is one of the best-selling video game consoles of all-time, however the company had one of their worst commercial failures ever back in the mid-1990s. The Nintendo Virtual Boy was presented as one of the most innovating gaming products ever, but it flat and is remembered as one of the biggest missteps in the company’s history.
Here are four interesting Nintendo Virtual Boy facts.
- In the United States, the Nintendo Virtual Boy was discontinued less than seven months after it was released. (source) The Virtual Boy was considered to be a huge commercial failure on Nintendo’s part. After being released in the United States on August 14, 1995, it was announced by Nintendo on March 2, 1996 that the Virtual Boy was being discontinued. Close to 800,000 units had been shipped.
- The Virtual Boy’s entire game library consists of only 22 titles. (source) Of the 22 games that were released for the Nintendo Virtual Boy, only 14 of them made their way to the United States, including Virtual Boy Wario Land, Mario Clash and Mario’s Tennis.
- There were only three Virtual Boy games that were exclusive to the United States. (source) Of the 14 games that were released for the Virtual Boy in America, three were never made available to gamers in Japan. These three U.S.-exclusive titles were Waterworld, 3D Tetris and Nester’s Funky Bowling. 3D Tetris was released on March 22, 1996, nearly three weeks after Nintendo announced that they were discontinuing the Virtual Boy.
- The upcoming release of the Nintendo 64 didn’t do any favors for the sales of the Virtual Boy. (source) At the time of the release of the Virtual Boy, the Nintendo 64 had already been announced, and gamers were expecting it in 1996. Therefore, along with gamers saving for their Nintendo 64, along with the retail price of the Virtual Boy at the time ($180.00 USD), many opted to skip out on purchasing the Virtual Boy.
The Nintendo Virtual Boy didn’t sell well at all. If you happened to be someone who actually owned one or played one back around the time of releases, share your experience with us in the comments below!