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WELCOME TO PLANET VIRTUAL BOY!
HTTP://WWW.PLANETVB.COM

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.


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2
Dec

HyperFlash32 is taking shape

For many years, the FlashBoy series of flash carts has been a great way for people to play Virtual Boy homebrew on real hardware, as well as hacks, translations or simply the few super rare games which the average fan could never get their hands on otherwise.

Obviously, the discontinuation of the FlashBoy Plus earlier this year left a big hole. And, being the huge undertaking that it is, Kevin Mellott's upcoming MultiBoy32 multi cart is still rather far away on the horizon. So, aside from second hand units or a sometimes shady repro market, there currently is simply no way for Virtual Boy fans to enjoy homebrew on the real hardware. Let's face it - emulation can only get that close but never be as good as the real thing.

Luckily, to fill the gap, Kevin Mellott has recently announced the HyperFlash32, a new one-game-at-a-time flash cart with 32 MBit of flash memory. Apart from a single VUEngine video player demo, which is 128 MBit in size, that is enough space to hold everything the Virtual Boy#s library has to offer, even the largest homebrew game for the system, the infamous Hyper Fighting.

While sounding like just a bigger capacity FlashBoy replacement at first, new details shared by Kevin demonstrate that the HyperFlash32 is much more than that, in an impressive way. Here's a quick overview of what the flash cart will have to offer, as of the current state of development:
  • 32 MBit flash memory, holds one game at a time
  • 32k x 8 nvSRAM, no save battery required
  • SRAM contents can be dumped to/read from SD card
  • PC connection via USB
  • Fully custom, a bit longer than usual, cart shell incorporating an ingenious triple-layer PCB design
  • E ink display shows label of currently loaded game, possibly multi-color
  • Three capacitive buttons built into the cart shell allow for flashing games from an SD card, without the need for a PC

Find all the juiy details and early images in this thread.

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9
Nov

Space Invaders English translation patch released

Thunderstruck has released yet another English translation patch for a Japan-exclusive Virtual Boy game, this time it's Space Invaders: Virtual Collection. More information and download here.

You can also now support thunderstruck on Patreon.

28
Aug

VUEngine now has full sound support

In these past years, VUEngine has improved so much and become better and better in all areas imaginable... well, except a single one: music. As one of the oldest parts of the software, the engine's sound manager has been seriously lagging behind, supporting only single track music and lacking any tools to actually produce any music, or convert some into the engine's format.

But that's history from now on! We have finally filled in the missing puzzle piece and rewritten the entirety of the engine's sound code. From now on, it is possible to play either PCM, converted from WAV files, or MIDIs, converted to a special format readable by the music player. You can use all 6 tracks, which are automatically allocated and released, and there are fading effects and spatial positioning of audio sources, allowing you to locate the source of a sound thanks to the Virtual Boy's stereo speakers. You can also modify sound while it is played, and for instance speed it up. See below for a full list of features that are already implemented, as well as possible future additions.

Of course we also added another tool to the existing range of debug tools to accompany the updated sound support. Build your project in tools or debug mode and press LR+RT+RDown in-game to bring up the Sound Test.

You can find a standalone version of the Sound Test tool attached to the post on our Patreon page, including a selection of sample songs and sound effects.
Read More... | 4073 bytes more | 8 comments
Kresna has just released Red Square, a Yume Nikki fan game for the Nintendo Virtual Boy, created in 6 weeks for the 2019 Dream Diary Jam.

It is written entirely in NEC V810 assembly, with programming by Kresna and graphics by Nyrator.

Play as Nina and explore her dreams, collecting various effects along the way. Once all 4 effects have been collected the ending becomes available.

The source code for Red Square is also available for free and is licensed under the permissive ZLIB license. For information regarding the license, please read the included LICENSE file.

The source is designed to be assembled with Intelligent System’s ISAS and ISLK assembler and linker package.

Check out the release thread and the game's website.

20
Jun

SPONG goes public

Jorge and I have released both the playable ROM and source code of our first VUEngine multiplayer demo on our Patreon page. The ROM is almost identical to that released last year, but it has slightly different physics and updated credits.

For those of you who weren't able to see the original, Patron-only release post for "SPONG", it is a multiplayer top-down Pong variant for the Virtual Boy that supports the link cable. It's meant as a rather simple demo project for the engine's multiplayer capabilities.

We have moved away from further developing this game due to people's interests in other projects, so we think that it is time to release the sources to give developers some solid sample code at hand that shows how to implement multiplayer game logic using VUEngine's CommunicationManager class. Please, find the sources in the link below:

https://bitbucket.org/vuengine/spong

The demo has rudimentary versions of both the Marathon Mode (single player) and Versus Mode (multi player) enabled. While the game's multiplayer code is already working nicely, the actual gameplay requires proper polish and additional features on top. There's also no AI in Marathon Mode, so you control both paddles at once.

Although we don't plan to put much more time in this project going forward, we still would love to hear your feedback on a few things; who knows, maybe some among you may want to try to improve and to complete it:

- Did you experience any problems with Versus Mode?
- Did you enjoy the top-down gameplay? Or, in other words, do you think it is a fun mechanic or something like a traditional Pong game would be better for instance?

We're looking forward to hearing your feedback either in the comments below, in Discord or via email (vuengine@planetvb.com)!