Although Nintendo tried to portray the Virtual Boy as a step forward for video game consoles, it was actually several steps backward. The Virtual Boy only had a monochrome red and black screen, wasn’t portable in the same way as the Game Boy, and many found the 3D effects didn’t add much to the overall gaming experience. games, according to Business Insider. Additionally, the games themselves were found to be lackluster and didn’t generate much excitement from gamers. Only 22 Virtual Boy games have been released. Not to mention, the Virtual Boy came with a wide range of potential health risks, including nausea and eye strain (via Business Insider).
In fact, Nintendo was to issue a warning about these health risks with the console. He also said allowing young children to play the Virtual Boy could lead to lasting vision problems. This is the more extreme end of the health issues with the console, but players have also reported back issues from having to lean into the headset on the tripod instead of being able to carry it. Headaches have also been widely reported.
These shortcomings led the Virtual Boy down a path of destruction. The console’s initial price when it was released in 1995 was $179.95, but Nintendo eventually had to lower it over time as sales stagnated. In total, only 770,000 units were sold in total (via Fast Company), a very small number compared to the Game Boy, which achieved 40 million in total sales. This complete lack of interest in the Virtual Boy caused Nintendo to discontinue it a year later.