Forget VR support on the Switch; a new mod for Nintendo’s ill-fated Virtual Boy console integrates multiplayer support.
Nintendo might say that current VR systems are too isolating for its attention, but a member of the Planet Virtual Boy fan forums just released a patch for one of the 22-year-old console’s games, making it multiplayer. You can download the unofficial update for one of the system’s only games, Mario Tennis, for free. The video below shows multiplayer support in action.
Multiplayer support for the console was a long rumored feature, fueled by the appearance of a GameLink Cable in the console’s instruction manual. As Motherboard reports, developer Martin Kujaczynski used a modified emulator to locate assembly code relating to multiplayer, which he was then able to implement into the game and get multiplayer up and running with a homemade cable. Sadly it doesn’t solve any of the numerous other problems the Virtual Boy suffered from, but it is pretty amazing to see.
Released in the mid-90’s, the Virtual Boy was Nintendo’s first shot at a sort of virtual reality console, projecting 3D images into your eyes using a head-mounted display. Though that might sound similar to the likes of the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, the technical constraints of the era meant the experience was uncomfortable and games only displayed in a depressing shade of red. Needless to say it was a commercial failure, and Nintendo discontinued the device the same year it was launched.
Now in 2017 Nintendo is all-in on its Switch portable/home console hybrid, which has long been rumored to be getting some form of VR support. If it ever does happen then we’d sure like to play an updated Mario Tennis VR.