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Welcome to the R-ZONE! *woosh* (Official thread)

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#1 Spike Danton OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:51 PM

Seeing some of the Virtual Boy threads inspired me to accidentally remember the R-Zone. The R-Zone was basically a Virtual Boy with lower resolution and lacked the 3D effect the Virtual Boy had, although it arguably had the better headset. It was made by Tiger Electronics, and sold around about as well as the Virtual Boy. Which of course means it was a commercial failure.

I got one because I was a HUGE fan of the VR headsets used at some local arcades and at the amusement parks like Kings Dominion. I figured we were finally getting VR to consumer level prices and it would be at least half the experience as the ones at the parks. I was of course completely mistaken and then made the SAME mistake AGAIN for the Virtual Boy. Wasn't a total loss though, me and some friends got some enjoyment out of it drunk, same as the Virtual Boy when I got it the next year.

However there were some interesting things about the R-Zone people don't know about. For example, it got a lot more licenses than Nintendo did. Games Like Virtua Fighter and Mortal Kombat 3 were on the R-Zone. In name...

Some commercials:

Virtua Fighter

Mortal Kombat 3 (Anyone else find it weird Tiger was advertising an M rated game series on a console that was targeting children?)

Daytona, Virtua Fighter, and Virtua Cop (Notice they use VF footage for Daytona.)

But don't be fooled, these games play like those electronic games you saw in the late 80s. Don't expect actual Mortal Kombat 3, more like two sprites blinking next to each other and punching with reappearing limbs. For example-


It came out around the same time as the Virtual Boy, so I wonder if Sega supported it only because it was competing against it? But it's not all hype and no substance with the R-Zone. In my opinion the R-Zone at least has a decent controller-


Of course many people didn't like the headset design, to the point people were complaining about marks appearing on their heads after extended use. Tiger did the sensible thing by not fixing the problem ASAP and instead releasing a portable version of the R-Zone, I actually had this for some reason. It's basically a controller with a slot to put in the game, and the back of the controller has a small screen. Needless to say it was executed horribly. Here's a picture-


Soooo, Anyone other than me ever got their hands on one of these? What were your experiences? I'm sure you were just as excited as I was!*

The Commercials were darn good though. They did their job, too bad the product wasn't any good.

There was an optional add-on that would enable R-Zone games to be in color, I believe it was called the R-Zone XTG. I only ever saw it at an in-store demo and have never seen since. I guess it would help give it a 1-up over the Virtual Boy, I suppose.

#2 jaybird3rd ONLINE  



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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:56 PM

You seem awfully familiar to me ... I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but somehow, you remind me of someone else I know.  I'm sure it will come back to me.

#3 Video OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:35 PM

I got the headset version and a few games. Never used it much as the thing never quite fit properly and the lense never could be seen reliably. I was the handheld version advertised but never in person. This predates ebay so I never got one. Outside a few games with a color overlay, I never did see the color version.

Looks cool though, it would be at home in a cheesy sci fi set.

The thing that gets me, is I'd imagine the lcd, even at this point, was still the expensive part, so you build that into the cart and we'll it (relativeky) cheaply, and have people pay up for the console which amounted to a controller and battery holder.

I ALSO have a device from a few years earlier called game wizard, I really liked that. Shaped like a game boy with interchangeable carts that had the screen on the cart. I don't think it's carts could be bought stand alone, only in packs of 3or 4 with the system, but they're interchangeable so you only need one system. I've got a dozen or so games for that and still play it occasionally.

I've no idea where my rzone or the half dozen carts are.

#4 Tanooki OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:22 PM

I never had one, considered it but looked like trouble.  By the time there was a handheld version that used the games I was into other stuff and forgot about it.  I think I could probably get one for comedic value at this rate if it were cheap since I still do like picking up cheap Tiger handhelds when I can.  The last one is kind of a predecessor, it's Sega Daytona USA which is a VRT-X model.  That has a hologram background on it, and a pop up set of orange LED lights so you can play it in the dark and gives it another hue of color in that mode too making the now green holorgram orange.  Despite being a racing game on a screen like that it strangely is actually fun and plays oddly well.

#5 mbd30 OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:32 PM

The R Zone was just a gimmicky way of playing Tiger LCD games. Calling it a lower resolution Virtual Boy is far too kind.

Edited by mbd30, Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:32 PM.

#6 Tanooki OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:12 PM

I wouldn't call it being too kind but downright insulting to the Virtual Boy.  It may have had a small library worldwide (like I think 22 games) but it has since I think about doubled with leaked prototypes and homebrew projects of decent to excellent quality.  It may have shared being red, but the games were mostly rock solid and actual games, not a printed LED panel with lit and unlit points to fake motion. :)


It's kind of why I went there on the VRT-X Daytona, segmented screen and looked 3D too because of the really nice hologram background.  That seems more like R-Zone.

#7 jaybird3rd ONLINE  



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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:13 PM

Sorry, folks ... I'm locking this one down to avoid feeding yet another sock puppet.

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