The 10 worst gadgets so far

By , PC World |  Personal Tech, gadgets, slideshow

Number 7: Not Virtual Enough

Nintendo Virtual Boy (1995)

This "portable" 3D gaming system may have been the biggest disaster to come out of Japan since Godzilla. (It also holds the distinction of being named one of the ugliest products in tech history by the late, great tech journalist Emru Townsend.

Virtual Boy fans had to press their eyes into the 1.7-pound machine's goggles to get the 3D effect, while simultaneously holding the unit steady and manipulating the unit's six-button control pad. The Virtual Boy chewed through AA batteries like a hungry virtual goat, displayed monochrome images only, and offered a paltry 22 games (14 in the United States) before getting pulled from the market a year later.

And did we mention that using the Virtual Boy made some people ill? Nintendo advised users to take breaks every 15 to 30 minutes to avoid eyestrain, headaches, and nausea. Still those users probably didn't feel as bad as its creator, Gunpei Yokoi, who quietly left Nintendo shortly after his pet project was euthanized.

Video: Our Brief History of Game Consoles, as Seen in Old TV Ads includes one the original Nintendo Virtual Boy commercials.

Nintendo Virtual Boy

Next: A Bad Homage to Dance Dance Revolution

Republished with permission from PC World. (View original version.)

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