Sega VR

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The Sega VR was a virtual reality headset under development by Sega.

Features[edit]

The Sega VR was based on an IDEO virtual reality headset (HMD) with LCD screens in the visor and stereo headphones.[1] Inertial sensors in the headset allowed the system to track and react to the movements of the user's head.

Development[edit]

Sega, flush with funds from the success of its Mega Drive (released as the Sega Genesis in North America), announced the console in 1991.[1]

Because of development difficulties the Sega VR remained only a prototype, and was never released to the general public. It was last seen at the 1993 Summer CES where it was introduced by Alan Hunter.[2] It vanished from release schedules in 1994. Four games were apparently developed for the system, each using 16 MB cartridges that were to be bundled with the headset.[1]

The company claimed to have terminated the project because the virtual reality effect was too realistic. Users might move while wearing the headset and injure themselves.[1] The limited processing power of the system makes this claim unlikely,[citation needed] although there were reports of testers developing headaches and motion sickness.[1] Mark Pesce, who worked on the Sega VR project, says SRI International, a research institute, warned Sega of the 'hazards of prolonged use'.[3]

Games[edit]

Only four games were known to be in development.[4]

  • Nuclear Rush: A simulation in which users pilot a hovercraft in a futuristic war.
  • Iron Hammer: In this helicopter simulation, gamers pilot a flying gunship a la EA’s popular “Strike” series.
  • Matrix Runner: This has nothing to do with The Matrix, it was reported to be a “cyberpunk” adventure game inspired by Hideo Kojima’s Snatcher.
  • Outlaw Racing: Road Rash meets Rock -n- Roll Racing in this vehicle racing/combat game.

Legacy[edit]

Sega went on to other VR projects for use in arcades and a similar add-on was reported but never seen for the Sega Saturn.[1][5] The project encouraged a brief flurry of other companies to offer VR products.[citation needed]

Sega's chief competitor, Nintendo, would go on to release the ill-fated Virtual Boy in 1995. The table-top device also brought discomfort after extended play.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Horowitz, Ken (December 28, 2004). "Sega VR: Great Idea or Wishful Thinking?". Sega-16. Archived from the original on 2010-01-14. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "SegaVR". YouTube. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Robson, Wayde. "WARNING: 3D Video Hazardous to Your Health". Audioholics. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Vinciguerra, Robert. "Sega VR Console: – To Obscurity and Beyond". The Rev. Rob Times. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Gaming Gossip. Electronic Gaming Monthly. Issue 70. Pg 54. May 1995.
  6. ^ Frischling, Bill. "Sideline Play." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): 11. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1995). Oct 25 1995. Web. 24 May 2012.