Nintendo has had some failures in the past when it came to consoles and peripherals, but none are more infamous than the Virtual Boy. Bulky and uncomfortable to use, it failed to perform well due to its tendency to give players headaches, as well as not having many games developed for it.
However, one innovative Youtuber, Shank Mods, has recreated the unique Nintendo experience in handheld form – and most importantly, he also made it headache-free.
As originally reported by Nintendo Life, Shank Mods spent a year on the project, crafting it with a ton of custom-built electronics, coding, and hardware. The result is the new “Real Boy”m which is the size of your smartphone and can even run the actual Virtual Boy game cartridges. It’s a great new modern twist on a console that was originally too big to comfortably use and relied on using the earliest form of VR and 3D gaming to play.
The problem with the original Virtual Boy was that it was difficult to play, with the nausa-inducing graphics and sheer awkward way to hold it. Who wants to play a video game that gives you migraines? It is still considered today to be Nintendo’s greatest commercial failure having sold less than a million units. For comparison, the Wii U – often regarded as a commercial failure – sold 13.6 million consoles.
Real Boy isn’t Shank Mod’s only invention. He has also created portable Wii consoles, as well custom Gamecube Joy-Cons. His latest mod, which he posted to his Youtube channel, already has almost 30,000 views. Those interested can check it out below. For those curious, Shank goes into full detail about the process and dedication that went into making it. Perhaps Nintendo should hire this innovator to work on future consoles?
Another cool handheld is also about to debut on the market – Playdate from publisher Panic. The unique little console with a crank is set to release soon with pre-orders opening next month. It will retail for $179 and will include 24 games for its first season.
The theme as of late seems to be returning to more retro-looking consoles that have a modern twist added to them. Now if only Nintendo could bring back its full lineup of Virtual Console games from the Wii to Switch, that would be something.
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