Earlier this week a teaser image showed up on Hyperkin’s Facebook page. The image, shown below, with no caption or comment was posted to mass intrigue. What could Hyperkin, the folks that brought us the Retron line of consoles, be gracing us with in 2019? Well, it’s really not hard to deduce from looking at the image. But put on your Sherlock Holmes Deerstalker Cap, and light up your pipe, sir. Tis’ quite Elementary, indeed.
Three main ideas “Pop out” (Pun intended, of course)
Is Hyperkin recreating Nintendo’s biggest mistake?
Let’s start to disassemble elements of this mysterious image
- The big 2019, that draws your attention straight away, has a “3d” look to it. Duck!!! Flying Numbers Incoming!!!
- That sure is a lot of Red and black… It’s the NWO Wolfpack???
- At the bottom of the image are what appear to be… My Kidneys?!? So, that’s where I sat those darned things down…
All kidding aside, Hyperkin is clearly teasing a Virtual boy clone here. The Virtual boy was a piece of hardware produced by Nintendo, way back in 1995. Deemed an absolute failure, it was quietly discontinued soon after release, in early 1996. Only 22 titles were released for the console, only 14 of which saw store shelves here in the US.
What’s so wrong with the Virtual Boy?
Nintendo’s Ill-fated Virtual boy was critically and commercially panned for a few painful reasons. First off, to use this guy, (er… boy…) you must either crunch your face into it while sitting in a chair. Hello Scoliosis! Or, I have heard a lot of people say that they have had more success lying down, and resting the unit on their face.
The virtual boy also only displayed 2 colors. Skull piercing red, and dull black. Not even 50 shades of green. See, the gameboy really only displayed black and white too, on a green lcd. You can also hold the gameboy where ever you want to. You could hold it right in front of your eyes, if you want to, I guess. But, you don’t have to stick your face into it. The bright red and black can be quite headache inducing to most. And the last reason the Virtual boy failed, was, it was confusing. Is this supposed to be a portable console? As referenced by it’s name, Virtual Boy. Or, is it purely a home console, like your NES and your SNES. The Virtual boy was a marketing nightmare.
The Virtual Boy of the future!
So, the Virtual Boy wasn’t well liked in it’s time, and it didn’t sell well. Why on earth would Hyperkin, arguably the most successful clone console developer in the retro gaming industry, make a clone of the guy? The answer seems quite simple to me. Because they can, that’s why. Just like Nintendo, Hyperkin is a gaming hardware developer. And, when you make breakthroughs and discoveries in gaming hardware, you share it with the community. That’s how these folks make money. Product=Revenue. That is the long and short of it.
Hyperkin may have even found a way to solve the problems of the Virtual Boy. Maybe they have found a way to make this unwieldy “bad boy” accessible? If so I would, personally, definitely like to check it out. I never experienced the skull numbing excitement of 3d Tetris or Wario Land. Which, among other titles released for the system, are said to be quite good.
If you like hyperkin’s products, like I do, you’ll want to keep an eye on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HyperkinGames and follow them on Twitter @Hyperkin. Or, better yet, keep it right here at Game Trader USA for the latest on Hyperkin’s products, The Virtual Boy, (It’s weird to say that… “The latest on… The Virtual Boy) and all things gaming, Retro/Vintage to the Cutting edge, Next Generation killer games of tomorrow!