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NintendoVirtualBoy2

A Nintendo Virtual Boy System.

The Virtual Boy (also known as VR-32) is a 3-D display unit created by Nintendo.

he system consisted on forming two images on the viewers eyes to display 3-D images and to simulate the feeling of Virtual Reality. It was released August 1995 and Discontinued May 1996 in America.

ReleaseEdit

Nintendo released the Virtual Boy (designed by Gunpei Yokoi) to make the time pass by for the Nintendo 64 system to have more development time. The system was immediately pushed to market.

MarketingEdit

When the system was pushed to market. It was marketed as portable and at the price of $200.00 US. It was sold with the pack-in game Mario's Tennis. Many other popular games were sold for the system such as Red Alarm and Wario Land for the price of $30.00 US.

TechnologyEdit

The Virtual Boy, contrary to popular belief, did not use LCDs for its display. They had three problems: 1.) at the time, they blurred anytime anything on the screen moved, 2.) test players saw double instead of depth. 3.) the setup would have made the Virtual Boy even more bulky and cost-prohibitive. Also, the bright high-preformance LEDs for green and blue did not exist at the time. While green and blue LEDs did exist, they were very dim, not efficient, and did not make for appropriate display LEDs. Gunpei Yokoi instead turned to Reflection Technology, Inc. for their just-created SLA (Scanning Light Array) display. How this works is complex, but an easy way to remember how it works is like a supermarket laser scanner. A thin line of 224 very tiny LEDs are turned off and on in different patterns, and a mirror reflecting the light at a 90º angle shines the light into your eyes. However, the light pattern changes very quickly at a set speed (50 Hz to be exact). The mirror vibrates at the same speed, changing the angle and direction at which the light hits your eye. [Needs to be updated]

[Demonstration Animation to come soon]

Modern IssuesEdit

Those who own a Virtual Boy can and possibly will run into problems with these aging consoles, due to its somewhat poor design.

  • One or both of the displays can develop several problems, ranging from bright lines appearing on the screen, to mirrored displays, to the displays not working at all. The display PCBs are connected to the main logic board by thin, flat, flexible cables. When the VB was rushed to store shelves, Nintendo made the rather poor choice of attaching the cables to the PCB with adhesive. With time, this adhesive dries out and causes the flat copper traces to separate from their contacts on the board. However, this is a temporary problem and can be fixed by those who can work with electronics and very small wiring. Some of these solutions include:
    • The Oven Method: If done properly, the oven melts the adhesive on the cable(s) and can be pressed back into place, but this is only a temporary solution that is not very reliable and will need to be addressed again sooner or later.
    • Bypass Method: This method involves completely removing the cable from both PCBs and soldering wires to spots directly on both the display board and the main logic board. This is reliable, but users run the risk of damaging the original cable permanently, with no way to replace it.
    • Cable Soldering Method: If one is careful and done properly, this method is reliable and permanent, and can use the original cable. This method involves soldering the cables directly to the display PCB. This can be accomplished either by removing the plastic cable covering with a strong sodium hydroxide solution and then soldering, or by using just solder to melt the plastic away and solder the board to the cable. While difficult, this is also possibly the more secure method to do, because the cable is already technically connected, and the cable will stay connected permanently afterwards because of the solder.
  • The tiny plastic plate on the front of the Virtual Boy's almost all-metal stand has a tendency to develop a crack, even with extreme care taken. Sometimes this is possibly due to the stress of the bulky display googles on the stand, but usually it is caused by snapping the legs into their standing position and back. In a worst case scenario, the plate will completely snap in half.

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