Virtual Boy emulators

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Nintendo Virtual Boy
Developer Nintendo
Type Luggable
Generation Fifth generation
Release date 1995
Discontinued 1996
Introductory price $179.95
Predecessor Game Boy
Successor Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance

The Virtual Boy is a fifth-generation luggable game console released by Nintendo and created by Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi on August 14, 1995. It has a NEC V810 CPU. It was the first games console to utilize 3D effects, however, is notable for only displaying graphics in red and black, as well as requiring users to attach the console to their head, usually while rested on the included tripod. The product was pulled shortly after release due to the majority of users getting headaches from using it. Notably, it was rushed to market and was never meant to be released in its current form.


Name Platform(s) Latest Version libretro Retro
VB Link Netplay FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
libretro core
~[N 1]
VBjin   SVN r103
Rustual Boy         git
MAME         0.267
Planet Virtual Boy emulator         2019-03-27
Red Dragon         0.38 Final
Mobile / ARM
mednafen_vb_libretro         libretro core
Virtual Virtual Boy   git1.11.0 ~
libretro core
Red Viper   0.9.5
Red Dragon   1019
r3Ddragon   git
  1. Exclusive to libretro core.


Has 100% compatibility with commercial games. Lets you change the Virtual Boy's color output to any hex color. For example, changing it to white shows all the games in greyscale instead of red, which really helps. 3D is enabled by default, but you can turn it off. To play it on platforms not supported by Mednafen use the libretro port which also supports SBS 3D by using glsl shaders, check this Reddit post for instructions. Doesn't seem to run at playable speeds on 3DS using the latest nightly build as of 2020-06-15. (Side by side 3D is now available built into the normal Beetle core options. A special shader is not necessary.)
Also has 100% compatibility with commercial games. Has a fork that supports the Oculus Rift.
Rustual Boy
Claims 100% compatibility, however, accuracy isn't as good as Mednafen or even VBjin, and speed is even worse.
Red Viper
An updated fork of r3Ddragon, which itself is based on Reality Boy / Red Dragon. Runs all officially released Virtual Boy games at full speed on the original 3DS and has 3D support.
Planet Virtual Boy emulator
A Virtual Boy emulator written in Java and it was first released in 2018. 3DS support was planned. Forum thread