Apple Vision Pro will soon be able to emulate Nintendo's biggest failure — enjoy the best Wario Land game that no one has played

8BitDo Pro 2 Apple Vision Pro Gaming
(Image credit: 8BitDo)

Spatial gaming is cool, sure. Being able to physically map out your space to play a game on a huge screen or with real-life dimensions is awesome, but one developer is trying to get possibly the worst VR headset ever created to run on Apple Vision Pro. I can’t wait to give it a go.

As originally spotted by retro gaming website TimeExtension, a fully-fledged Virtual Boy emulator is on the way. A niche Nintendo console launched back in 1995 and discontinued in a single year, it is seen as Nintendo’s biggest failure. It is an ugly red headset attached to a controller, which is then placed on a desk. The Virtual Boy exclusively uses reds and blacks to simulate a 3D effect. This visual design was infamously nauseating for users.

The Virtual Boy saw a grand total of 22 games while it was on the market, almost half of which were never officially released in America. For context, the Nintendo 64, which launched the prior year, saw 388 games on its platform, comparably much lower than the 1,755 Nintendo’s SNES saw.

Adam Gastineau, who has previously worked on emulators for the Analogue Pocket, Game and Watch, and more, announced on X that they were working on the Virtual Boy emulator. However, they have run into some problems stating “I have to track down some kind of memory bug, that may be in the compiler that I introduced.” They further clarified this issue "will likely cause it to be a while before I'm able to make a release.”

What should you play first?

Perhaps the most well-regarded Virtual Boy game is Virtual Boy Wario Land, a platformer where you play Wario, who is hunting for treasure in a strange world. He can move into the background and foreground of scenes, taking advantage of the Virtual Boy’s 3D capabilities. It is beloved retrospectively, with Nintendo Life giving it 9 out of 10 stars in its review.

Another oddity, Jack Bros. is a game exclusive to the headset developed by Atlus and part of the adorned Megami Tensei series. It allows the player to take control of Jack Frost, Jack Lantern, or Jack Skelton, the titular Jack Bros. as they attempt to return from the human world to their own. If you’re a fan of Megami Tensei or the Persona series, you may get a kick out of it.

Finally, 3D Tetris is said to be a surprisingly fun experience, that takes advantage of the compelling gameplay of Tetris and the unique aesthetic of the Virtual Boy to provide a Tetris experience that has not been seen since. When the emulator finally launches, you will be able to try a piece of very messy VR royalty.

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.