Gaming Historian gives the complete history of the Virtual Boy. Released in 1995 by Nintendo, the Virtual Boy was supposed to change video games. Instead, it became one of the worst selling consoles of all time.
The Virtual Boy system uses a pair of 1×224 linear arrays (one per eye) and rapidly scans the array across the eye’s field of view using flat oscillating mirrors. These mirrors vibrate back and forth at a very high speed, thus the mechanical humming noise from inside the unit. Each Virtual Boy game cartridge has a yes/no option to automatically pause every 15–30 minutes so that the player may take a break.