TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 14, 1994–Nintendo, the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of video games, today announced the introduction of “Virtual Boy”(TM), the first virtual reality system developed and produced for the mass market. The RISC-based, 32-bit system utilizes two high-resolution, mirror-scanning LED (light-emitting diode) displays to produce a 3-D experience not possible on conventional television or LCD screens.
Virtual Boy’s unique design eliminates all external stimuli, totally immersing players into their own private universe with high-resolution red images against a deep black background. The 3-D experience is enhanced through stereophonic sound and a new specially designed, double-grip controller that accommodates multidirectional spatial movement.
Virtual Boy will be unveiled tomorrow at the Sixth Annual Shoshinkai Software Exhibition in Tokyo. The new product will be released in Japan in April of 1995 at a suggested retail price of 19,800 yen for the hardware system. Three cartridge-based software titles will be introduced at launch, followed by two to three new titles each month. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the software will range from approximately 5,000 to 7,000 yen. Nintendo projects Virtual Boy sales in Japan of 3 million hardware units and 14 million software units by March of 1996.
Virtual Boy combines 3-D image immersion technology developed by Nintendo with proprietary display technology created by Reflection Technology Inc. of Waltham, Mass., and licensed exclusively within the video game market to Nintendo on a worldwide basis. Reflection is a recognized leader in miniaturized display products and holds exclusive worldwide patents for technology that incorporates color matrix LED (light-emitting diode) displays which, when combined in the stereoscopic Virtual Boy, produce a complete 3-D experience.
“It has always been Nintendo’s strategy to introduce new hardware systems only when technological breakthroughs allow us to offer innovative entertainment at a price that appeals to a worldwide audience,” said Nintendo Co. Ltd. President Hiroshi Yamauchi. “Virtual Boy delivers this and more. It will transport game players into a ‘virtual utopia’ with sights and sounds, unlike anything they’ve ever experienced — all at the price of a current home video game system.”
Virtual Boy is a standalone, table-top unit that does not connect to a television screen. It is powered by six AA batteries. Accessories will include an AC adaptor and a rechargeable battery adaptor, which will be sold separately.
Nintendo’s U.S. subsidiary, Nintendo of America, will officially unveil Virtual Boy hardware and software at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show (WCES) on Jan. 6, 1995, in Las Vegas. The product will be released in the Western Hemisphere in April of 1995. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices will be announced at the WCES.
“We are very confident of the market potential for Virtual Boy,” said Nintendo of America Chairman Howard Lincoln. “Nintendo is extremely excited with the tremendous opportunity which this exclusive technology affords.”
Reflection Technology Inc. is a world leader in virtual display technology and mobile messaging. Reflection develops and markets virtual displays and products that incorporate these displays. Reflection’s patented Scanned Linear Array (SLA) displays are being used in a new generation of products that are expanding the horizon of the telecommunications and consumer electronics markets.
Nintendo Co. Ltd. of Kyoto, Japan, is the leader in the worldwide $15 billion retail video game industry. As a wholly-owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere where more than 40 percent of American homes own a Nintendo system. -0-
Virtual Boy is a trademark of Nintendo.
Reflection Technology will be in the Cellular Alliance Booth, L4216 at COMDEX in Las Vegas, Nov. 14-17.