In 1995, Nintendo capitalized on the virtual-reality craze by coming out with the Virtual Boy game console. The “portable” unit consisted of goggles mounted on a stand (looking like some kind of compact, plastic peep show), along with a full-size controller. By rapidly displaying slightly different images to the right and the left eye, the goggles made players experience the illusion of three dimensions. Although the technique is not unlike the one used for 3D IMAX movies, the console’s cheaper technology meant that instead of bright colors, players got pixilated red-on-black monochrome images. The Virtual Boy still has its fans (check out www.virtual-boy.org), but back in the mid-1990s people stayed away in droves. Nintendo pulled the plug on the Virtual Boy the year after its debut.
And that’s just one of them.