Some may not know this, but the 3DS console is not Nintendo’s first attempt at a 3D game system. Although they don’t like to admit it, in 1995 they released the Virtual boy…thought of by some as Nintendo’s biggest failure.
The Virtual Boy is essentially a pair of glasses on a tripod that uses oscillating mirrors (one for each eye) that vibrate at high speed to create the 3D effect. The problem with this (an the fact that it used only a monochrome red and black display) was that it gave users everything from headaches and eye strain to seizures…meaning that breaks had to be taken every 10-15 mins.
Nintendo also marketed the device as a portable gaming machine, the problem with this was that it weighed almost a kilo, took 6 AA batteries (which only lasted 4 hours) and was too big to fit anywhere except a suitcase…and as Nintendo saw fit to not make a headstrap for the device, you needed a completely flay surface, or to lay on your back to play it (using it in the car was impossible).
The Virtual Boy was phased out in less than 6 months from launch, meaning that: there were only 22 games released for the system, the cable for the expansion port (to link 2 units together) was never released, and that it now goes for ridiculous prices on eBay as there were only 770,000 units sold world wide. Because I am a collector (or an idiot), I happen to have a Virtual Boy, and I can say from experience that it definitly hurts your eyes and gives you headaches. I haven’t had a chance to play with a 3DS yet, but I hope it is not the Virtual Boy v.2.
Below is a picture of the unit:
*Image from Wikipedia