Interesting fact: In the early 90’s, SEGA was very close to the release of VR headsets. Peripherals were never on the market due to concerns about dizziness and headaches in young players. This year, the Video Game History Foundation emulated the hardware and one of its games to create a playable version of the VR precursor.
The entire journey is documented on the VGHF site and is a wild and exciting reading. Basically, researcher and writer Dylan Mansfield contacted one of the developers who worked on future SEGA VR games. Lo, the developer said he was able to track the old build of the CD-ROM. From there, the game, Nuclear Rush, and its support system were reverse engineered into an emulator that could run on the modern HTC Vive. It’s a kit that has never been on the market and has been playable after nearly 30 years of experience.
The game itself is probably crude by today’s standards, but it’s easy to see that this 2D FPS game was astounding in 1994. The hardware was reasonably priced at $ 200 and was advertised as early as 1993 and worked with Sega. Genesis (Mega Drive to UK and Irish readers). I’m not pretending to be able to summarize the detailed game development process outlined in this article, but it’s worth reading if you’re intrigued by this kind of thing. Links to the ROM and emulator are included at the bottom.
As mentioned in the last paragraph, this is another example of why game preservation and archiving is important. This is the history of real games involving one of the largest companies in the industry, and without all of this, it would eventually have been lost over time. Unlike the Quake arcade game, which was successfully cracked earlier this year, it is now widely accessible.
Here you can see some gameplay footage:
To further support these efforts, you can visit here and donate to the Video Game History Foundation. For those who want to try VR, we have a list of the best VR headsets.