April Fool’s Day is more than just a time to pull harmless pranks. It’s also about putting on your ‘skeptic hat’ and really asking whether you can believe your eyes, as trusted companies and key figures in XR dropped a few doozies yesterday that are so great they’re terrible.

‘Virtual Boy Pro’ MR Headset

Nintendo actually teamed up with IGN to poke some serious fun at the biggest XR companies out there—but also apparently anyone who wanted the Japanese gaming giant to poke their heads back into the medium since it last released its Nintendo Labo VR kit in 2019, which brought not only a few fun VR mini-games to Switch, but also VR support for a number of Switch titles.

While the so-called ‘Virtual Boy Pro’ has seemingly better ergonomics than its 1995-era namesake, it still looks pretty dang front-heavy. Just the same, here’s the main copy from the fake reveal video, seen above:

Virtual Boy Pro turns the world around you into a new level from Nintendo’s most beloved video game properties. Super Mario: Home Run is an all new platforming adventure featuring everyone’s favorite plumber, but this time, he’ll be running, jumping and ground-pounding Goombas in your world. Virtual Boy Pro transforms any environment into an interactive level, allowing Mario and friends to interact seamlessly with your physical surroundings.

Nintendo and IGN promised Virtual Boy Pro players could also play augmented reality versions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, as well as fictional games Link’s Korok Catcher, Animal Crossing: Moving Day, and Luigi’s Mansion 4. 

Not only that, but Virtual Boy Pro was said to transform supported vacuum cleaner models by Dyson, Oreck, Shark or Bissell into Luigi’s Poltergust 3000, “creating a seamless integration between virtual ghost hunting and real-world housekeeping.”

If it wasn’t obvious by now, Virtual Boy Pro also promised to actually let you drive while playing fictional game Mario Kart: Open Road, which would “transform your daily commute to work into a 200cc Grand Prix race down Rainbow Road.”

‘Walkabout Mini Golf’ Legs Update

Walkabout Mini Golf is one of the bigger VR success stories, as the game has found solid footing among fans, letting developers Mighty Coconut attract some high-profile partnerships over the years to really flush out its paid DLC courses to include everything from the original MYST map to a new Wallace & Gromit course coming soon.

But what is really missing from the hit indie putt-putt golf game? Why, legs of course!

The studio doesn’t lay it on too thick, as the linked blog post simply says “April Fools,” although you can’t help but wonder when the game that tasks you with walking about will include the game’s second most important limbs.

Meta is Killing off Virtual Pet 'Bogo' & 'Dead and Buried' Series This Week

Virtual Desktop Developer Hired by Meta

Guy Godin, the developer of Virtual Desktop, has had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Meta over the years. While the highly-rated paid app has done very well on PC VR platforms as well as Quest, staying relevant as Meta ostensibly replicates a lot of your functionality has presented Godin with a constant battle to stay one step ahead of Quest’s baked-in functionality Air Link, which lets you stream PC VR games to Quest over Wi-Fi.

When we heard he was making the move to Meta Reality Labs, it was basically like hearing Canada was dissolving its border with the US—and of course being polite enough not to ask for a star on the flag while they were at it.

Godin doesn’t mince words either. In a follow-up post, he promised he would also “make sure to take at least 6 months before adding 120hz support. I’ll also randomly remove or break features people use. Can’t wait!”

Pillow’s New Toilet Mode

Pillow is a mixed reality app from serial inventor and XR designer Lucas Rizzotto. The app is meant to be used laying down so you can do a host of relaxing things like transform your ceiling into an interactive night sky and unwind to rhythm-based breath-tracked meditations.

Rizzotto announced a new ‘toilet mode’ was coming to Pillow, which admittedly is the second most comfortable place in your home.

Not only does the fake update let you use Pillow in the toilet, but Rizzotto also teased the studio was announcing a new shower mode too, which would actually be pretty cool if the darn lenses didn’t fog up so much.

Indie adventure RPG Dave the Diver (2023) isn’t a VR game, but developer MINTROCKET announced it was coming out with its own fake DLC which would include a VR love simulator based on Dave’s favorite anime idol, Leahs.

The fake Steam update says it even includes voiced lines in Korean, Japanese, English, Chinese, German, French, Vietnamese and Lithuanian.

What was your favorite April Fool’s joke this year in XR? Let us know in the comments below!

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Laugh if you will. lol
    But how sweet would a Nintendo AIO HMD be ….
    I’d get one just for “Mario Kart VR”,
    like you see in all those waycool Japanese VRcades.
    []^ )

  • another juan

    guy godin is so irrationally petty and resentful against meta, despite having made a living thanks to their store. reminds me of those pompous windows programmers back in the 90s talking crap about microsoft 24-7

    • ViRGiN

      Yeah, he is pretty much anti hero, just like Palmer.

      I’ll remind everyone that godin app was generally seen as a joke and not a viable vr-pc connection, that is until Meta publicly showcased spliced encoding, massively bringing the latency down.
      Godin STOLE this feature, and since then it started to get recognition.

    • Cl

      I mean, they did block his app for a while until they came out with their own version. Best to just let it go tho.

      • another juan

        that much parroted victim narrative was debunked by john carmack back then, but some people still don’t want to understand. it seems to be cool hating meta and having a “morally superior” attitude towards corporations in general.

      • ViRGiN

        They didn’t block it, godin broke the agreement and submitted an app that was doing more than officially submitted.

  • Nevets

    Guy Godin really needs to let it go! It’s not like he patented his concept.

    • Let it go …??
      Then what would all his fanbois have to pout & whine about …?

  • Damn, that Virtual Boy Pro is like taunting me specifically lmao. I was over the moon when they did Labo VR, limited as it was, and was really sad they didn’t do more with the concept. I also super love VirtualBoyGo on SideQuest which IMO is hands down the best way to play the entire Virtual Boy library in the modern day. It drives me nuts that they made a freaking camera attachment for Labo VR and did not make some kind of slow, 3DOF, immersive VR version of Pokemon Snap for it. I have often considered registering for the Switch SDK just to build it myself, but I don’t know if that would additionally make the stereoscopic renderer that they use for Labo VR easily available…

  • These are all hilarious! On my blog I released some exclusive info about the Valve Deckard the first of April… it was fun :)

  • VR5

    More VR from Nintendo is still something I want to see and kind of the condition for me getting another hardware by them. But strapping that heavy console in front of your head just isn’t it, too uncomfortable and too low res.

    Best way I see them support VR would be via streaming to a range of 3rd party VR devices, the most common to be slot in smart phone (Android, iOS) headsets, which are a huge addressable market and would be super cheap to provide. They already did it with their own cardboard solution, now do that for smart phones as streaming receivers.

    Obviously that would mean 3dof and no tracked controllers but they could also bring such a hypothetical streaming app to proper HMDs like Quest, Pico and AVP with optional 6dof. Actually newer smart phones could support 6dof tracking for the head node as well, they support that for AR already.

    Something like the 3DS, so allow most of your games to support optional flat to VR with traditional or 3dof motion controls, would be the perfect compromise as it wouldn’t split the dev pipeline and fit in with the Switch’s philosophy of letting players play how they prefer to play.