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Welcome to the third dimension! On this site you will learn everything about Nintendo's Virtual Reality experiment, the Virtual Boy. Released back in 1995 only in Japan and North America, the system failed all along the line and disappeared from the market less than a year later, quietly and without any official word. Only 22 games were released for the Virtual Boy during its short lifespan. Here we want to build a memorial for this unique oddity of videogame history. Dedicated to its brilliant creator, Gunpei Yokoi.


VBDE 1.2.0 with VUEngine 5.0 now available

Here is the brand new version 1.2.0 of VBDE, your full fledged Nintendo Virtual Boy development environment for Windows!

New compiler

For this version, gcc has been updated to 4.7 with amazing new patches by ElmerPCFX for wider compatabilty (e.g. frame pointers and prolog functions are now supported), better code optimization and much lower compile times.

Thanks a bunch Elmer! Also thank you to Jorgeche for helping with getting it up and running in VBDE!

Pro updates

For the Pro Version, IDEA has been updated to the latest version, 2106.3.5. Furthermore, the C/C++ plugin has been removed since it was causing slow-downs and broke auto-completion.

Tiled support

A script has been added for converting Tiled maps to VUEngine stages. It not only builds Stage definitions from Tiled maps, but also allows to mark certain object or tile layers as "Composites", which get combined into single images and converted on the fly.

Most Stages of the VUEngine demos have been converted to Tiled maps and can be converted with the script, but in its current form, it's not very robust against misconfiguration and more of a hacked together proof of concept. I hope to find the time to refactor this into a clean and highly extensible class structure for a future VBDE release.

New major VUEngine version

The VBJaEngine has been renamed to "VUEngine" and updated to version 5.0, which has seen tons of optimizations and bug fixes, new features as well as new, Doxygen-based documentation.

The VUEngine Barebone and Platformer Demo have also been massively updated. Check out the updated VUEngine Platformer Demo version, it now runs flawlessly on hardware and has improved graphics and animations, new level elements, new menus and an overhauled save feature!

In the following folder you'll find the latest compiled and padded binaries, constantly fed by our new, automated release process.


Keep in mind that you can stay up to date, independent of releases, by grabbing VBDE and the VUEngine directly from their Git repositories at Bitbucket.

So, instead of using the download links on top of this post, you can alternatively just clone VBDE's Git repo with your Bitbucket account, which would also enable you to easily update to future versions through a simple git pull.
git clone --recursive 

1995 and 1996 Nintendo Annual Report Booklets

Benjamin Stevens has done complete scans of Nintendo's 1995 and 1996 Annual Report Booklets. While the 1995 one contains about a dozen pages about the Virtual Boy, including a bunch of nice images, the latter has only a single sentence about it (page 31).

Sales of the Company's Virtual Boy system did not meet expectations.

Yep. :-)


Virtual Fishing English translation patch finalized

thunderstruck has released version 1.0 of his and Benjamin Stevens' English Virtual Fishing translation patch. All the bits that were missing in the previous release have now been translated as well.
  • added translation for the ending
  • fixed all time record screen
  • replaced title image
  • replaced image in the stage selection
  • changed the version to indicate it is an english release

Get it here.


Vb3dConverter is out

thunderstruck has released version of Vb3dConverter, a tool that allows to convert any 2D image to a 4-color stereoscopic image suitable for the Virtual Boy through the use of depth maps. The tool was originally written during the development of Snatcher to create the game's impressive 3D environments. Now it's your turn!

Get it here.


Nintendo Mania Dragon Hopper Coverage

Mexican TV show "Nintendo Mania" covered the Virtual Boy quite a lot back in the days. Here's a report from E3 1996 about the unreleased Dragon Hopper from their "Nintendo News" column, which features a good amount of gameplay footage. Although it can only be seen on a small screen in the background, it gives a good idea of the jumping mechanics among other things. Skip to 6:27 for the report, some additional footage can be found at 0:48.