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I recently read an article entitled “The 10 Most Overhyped Products”. Items on the list included the Segway, McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, and the new Yankee Stadium (ha!). But my favorite on the list, that I vaguely remember from my childhood, was Nintendo’s Virtual Boy -which was the first attempt at virtual reality. A segment of the article is posted below.

Sandwiched somewhere in between Nintendo’s triumphant releases of its Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1993) and its Nintendo 64 (1996), a long-forgotten gaming console has been marooned on an island of obscurity. Its name: Virtual Boy.

At a time when video-game graphics were still in puberty, developers were racing for the next big graphics breakthrough, and virtual reality was an uncharted wilderness. In 1994, Nintendo engineer Gunpei Yokoi created a system that displayed real three-dimensional images rather than rendering the illusion of a third dimension, which was the case in all systems up to that point.

Virtual Boy got a lot of hype, but its performance didn’t live up to it. When looking into the display goggles, the popping picture was a simple red-on-black background. The company had determined that adding more colors would have been too pricey, causing it to retail for over $500 as opposed to the $179.95 it actually sold for initially. After only one year on the market, the line was discontinued.

Now here are some pictures of what the system actually looked like.

virtualboy--article_image_combined_600mario-tennis-virtual-boy_219150510_stdI’d like to point out a few things…

1. How ridiculous this boy looks with the chunky computer goggles protruding from his face.

2. Is this safe? Wearing these goggles would render you defenseless from attacks.

3. Is standing up to play the “Virtual Boy” really necessary?

4. Monochromatic fail.

5. Can you imagine if Nintendo sprung for more colors and actually sold this pathetic system for $500! That’s more expensive than an iPhone!

6. Oh how far we’ve come in video game development.

The Carolina Panthers are embarrassing the city of Charlotte this year. My frustration is rapidly increasing and I want it to stop. The trend for our hometown team seems to be great season, bad season, great season, bad season. Since last season’s 12-4 record was considered a great season (besides Delhomme’s 5 interceptions in the last playoff game against Arizona), it seems this year the routine leaves the Panthers with no choice but to fail, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Which I’m not. There, I had my sports rant. That felt good.

I’m gonna try to get better at guitar.

Thursdays are my new favorite night of TV. 8pm-Flashforward /9pm-The Office/ 9:30-Community. See for yourself. Then go outside and jog to compensate for two hours of straight television.

I have a daily routine of watching viral videos from various sites. I’ve decided to share this tradition with all you blog readers and will from now on post a viral video each time I post. Today’s clip is entitled “Cool Human Jumbotron Performance”. This is real!

-Todd

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