Two years after the Power Glove bombed, Sega announced it was working on a head-mounted display (HMD) for its popular Mega Drive/ Genesis consoles. Featuring dual LCD screens, stereo headphones, and inertial sensors to track head movement, the HMD was scheduled for a 1993 launch, would cost 200 bucks American, and would come bundled with a port of Virtua Racing.
To keep the HMD affordable, Sega’s engineers were forced to use lowquality components. Lag was abysmal and the display’s low resolution rendered even very simple scenes a blurry mess, causing testers to complain of nausea and headaches. For all Sega’s ambition – some might say hubris – there was simply no way the Sega VR would live up to the hype without a very large price hike. The tech simply wasn’t there yet.
So they canned it. The official spin was that the experience was too realistic, and Sega was concerned that people might, like, hurt themselves or neglect their real-world responsibilities or something. In addition to the Virtua Racing port (which was released by itself later on), four games were in development before the hammer finally fell: hovercraft combat sim Nuclear Rush, Desert Strike rip-off Iron Hammer, a Snatcherish cyberpunk adventure called Matrix Runner, and Outlaw Racing, an arena racer in the vein of Rockn-Roll Racing.