Lost “Sega VR” game unearthed, made playable on modern VR headsets

Enlarge / Sega VR was manufactured, advertised, and pushed as Sega’s next big thing, up until its unceremonious cancellation in 1994. Twenty-six years later, we finally get to see how it worked. (credit: Sega)

One of Sega’s most mysterious products ever, the canceled Sega VR headset, finally emerged in a “playable” form on Friday thanks to a team of game history preservationists. It’s a tale of a discovered ROM, a search for its source code, and efforts to not only rebuild the game but also adapt existing Genesis and Mega Drive emulators to translate virtual reality calls from today’s PC headsets.

The story, as posted at the Video Game History Foundation’s site, begins with a ROM discovery by Dylan Mansfield at Gaming Alexandria. The game in question, Nuclear Rush, was one of four games announced for Sega VR, a headset system designed to plug into standard Genesis and Mega Drive consoles.

Not quite 72Hz…

Gamers from that era likely heard about Sega VR, as the game publisher’s PR push included plenty of mentions in gaming magazines, a public reveal at 1993’s Summer CES, and even a segment on ABC’s Nightline. But the ambitious device, slated to launch at a mere $199, was quietly canceled, and former Sega President Tom Kalinske eventually confirmed why: researchers found the device made a huge percentage of testers sick with headaches and dizziness.

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