While other game developers are looking towards the future for what’s next in VR, some are looking at the past for ideas. Few would argue that Nintendo’s ill-fated Virtual Boy headset was a success commercially or critically, but if it was anything at all we can all agree it was certainly ahead of its time.
In an unprecedented move, Funktonic Labs, the indie game development studio behind first-person VR RTS game Cosmic Trip, is officially announcing that their premier title is releasing for the Virtual Boy, the first title to support Nintendo’s device in over 20 years. The idea originated from what many thought was just a joke months ago when the developer posted the above image mockup on Reddit. Come to find out the team was very serious.
“The VR community thought that it was all just a funny light-hearted joke, but Funktronic Labs don’t play,” warns Funktronic Labs founder, Eddie Lee. “If we say we are going to target that platform, you better freakin’ believe that it is coming to that platform!”
Lee explains that the complexity of modern VR has been a put-off for developers and consumers alike. “There are just too many cables, too many colors, too many pixels — and we simply wanted to bring VR back to its roots,” elaborates Lee. “Just like indie games have revitalized the nostalgic pixel-art aesthetic, we strongly believe that VR experiences will eventually come full-circle back to low-resolution single-color displays.”
Many consumers dream about living inside their favorite pieces of pop culture, such as Tron, so it only makes sense that real world art would imitate the designs of our favorite works of fiction.
The current version of Cosmic Trip will remain available on Steam for HTC Vive and Rift (as well as on Oculus Home for Rift) indefinitely while the studio shifts all available manpower to working on the smaller, tighter, streamlined, and unequivocally better version of Cosmic Trip for Virtual Boy.
What do you think of the move? Do you think it’s the right idea to embrace the past in order to move forward? Let us know what you think down in the comments below!