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Back in Massachusetts, Reflection Technology reeled at the turn of events.“We were all shocked when it tanked,” recalls Wells.Luckily for Nintendo of America, the American press had not piled on the Virtual Boy for health reasons, so when it launched on August 21, 1995 for 9.95, sales seemed brisk at first. S, Nintendo had partnered with Blockbuster to rent out Virtual Boy systems so people could try it for themselves, a unique strategy to get around the difficultly of conveying the system’s 3D effect in print and TV advertising.Meanwhile, in Japan, things were looking dim for the system.But along the way, it helped kick-start the concepts of wearable computing and augmented reality and captured the imagination of one of the world’s foremost toy inventors.
Even the chairman of Nintendo of America, Howard Lincoln, fell under the impression that Yokoi left in regret over Virtual Boy, and he openly lamented the loss of such a great talent.“Yokoi was very troubled by these reports, which were all based on misunderstandings,” says Makino, who witnessed Yokoi’s discomfort in person not long afterward.Howard Lincoln said as much to Andy Eddy in the extended chapters of , revised in 1999.This point of view is based on a flawed assumption. Shortly before his death, he was happy with the path he had chosen.Yokoi threw himself into his new gig with great enthusiasm, working on a new series of LCD keychain games and even a new handheld game console, a monochrome unit that ran off of a single AA battery.It would later be sold to Bandai and released as the Wonder Swan, exclusive to Japan.