How Video Game Historians Resurrected Sega’s Lost VR Headset
In 1993, Sega made a Power Rangers-esque VR headset that the company hoped would bring VR to the masses. “It takes us into the future,” said MTV’s Alan Hunter on stage at that summer’s Consumer Electronics Show. “The future, of course, being virtual reality.” On a highlight reel behind him, a guy wearing a Sega VR shoots down space objects with a controller. “Just a game? No way!”
Sega never released the headset. It was discontinued shortly after the trade show, and then it vanished. Not even the video game archivists over at the Video Game History Foundation could track one down. But as of today, Sega VR lives. Like digital-age necromancers, Video Game History Foundation director Frank Cifaldi and head of digital conservation Rich Whitehouse resurrected Sega VR, emulating it along with the Sega VR game Nuclear Rush on a modern Vive VR headset. “I can’t think of too many instances where anyone’s replicated a piece of hardware virtually without actually having access to it,” says Cifaldi.