Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Three Dimensional Nintendo


The gaming industry has always been cut-throat, with each company looking to obliterate the competition by introducing 'must have' systems. Nintendo often takes enormous risks to keep market share. In the mid-1990s, Nintendo took their most extreme gamble so far by introducing the Virtual Boy 3D gaming system. This odd-looking cross between a Viewmaster and Virtual Reality goggles attempted to redefine the portable console world. Unfortunately, the technology wasn't quite ready for prime time -- not only was the system bulky and power hungry (6 AA batteries lasted a mere 7 hours), it  displayed images in four ghostly shades of red & black.

Mariored The device used a complicated dual LED/mirror system (licensed for a reported $5 million from an American company) to generate a 384 x 224 pixel monochrome image for each eye. The oscillating mirrors generated a distinctive buzzing sound while running and proved too fragile for a portable system: one good drop and things would never be the same again in Mario Land.

Nintendo probably intended to release a system that was small enough to wear like goggles or large sunshades. Unfortunately, the final machine weighed 760g and required a fiddly 'bipod' stand. This made it impossible to use as a truly portable system -- it was too unwieldy to take to school, play outdoors or use in a vehicle. Probably the only thing that kept Nintendo from canceling the project was that it was helmed by visionary Nintendo designer Gunpei Yokoi (the driving force behind the Game & Watch, Game Boy and other landmark products).

The system was introduced in the USA with much fanfare on August 14, 1995. Unfortunately, customers were immediately underwhelmed by the nightvision-style red display and awkward shape. It carried a price tag of $179.95 but failed to sell well against less gimmicky full-color handheld devices. The system sold a mere 750,000 units worldwide and was relegated to the bargain bin shortly after the Christmas season. I've been waiting over a decade for someone to introduce an improved 3D console based on modern full-color technology, but perhaps the moment has passed.

Games That Defined the Nintendo Virtual Boy [Retro Gaming with racketboy]
Nintendo Virtual Boy pixs and info [vidgame.net]


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