View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
November 15, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Nintendo Co has lifted the veil a little on that mysterious 32-bit virtual reality machine that suddenly surfaced earlier this year (CI No 2,397), and it turns out that it is getting the key technology for it from Reflection Technology Inc of Waltham, Massachusetts, in which it is buying a minority stake. Availability of the product, called Virtual Boy, is set for next April in Japan: it is described as the first virtual reality system developed and produced for the mass market. It is RISC-based, presumably using a 32-bit member of the MIPS Technologies Inc R-series family, and it uses two high-resolution, mirror-scanning light emitting diode displays to produce a three-dimensional experience not possible on conventional television or liquid crystal screens. Nintendo claims that Virtual Boy’s design eliminates all external stimuli, totally immersing players into their own private universe with high-resolution red images against a deep black background. It has stereophonic sound and a new specially designed, double-grip controller that accommodates multidirectional spatial movement. The hardware will cost $200.Three cartridge-based titles will be introduced at launch, followed by two to three new ones a month at $50 to $70 each, and Nintendo hopes to shift 3m Virtual Boys and 14m cartridges in the first year. The contribution of Reflection is the display: the firm first surfaced way back in 1988, at Fall Comdex, when it showed its tiny screen, Private Eye, measuring 1 by 1.2 by 3.2, puts up 720 by 200 pixels and can be worn on spectacles – and was the subject of an OEM pact with an unidentified Japanese giant even then (CI No 1,061). It is licensed exclusively worldwide to Nintendo for the video games market. Little has been heard of Reflection since it raised $3.3m in venture capital for its Scanned Linear Array displays in 1990 (CI No 1,517).

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.