"Just when you thought the most sorry, pathetic excuse for a video game was the Tiger Wrist Games, oh, no. Imagine playing one of these... up close to your eye, in red and black!"— The Angry Video Game Nerd
The R-Zone was a game console developed by Tiger Electronics.
The system came in four models: the original headgear model, the Xtreme Pocket Game, the Super Screen, and the rarest of the bunch: the Data Zone.
Why It Flopped
- The most (in)famous model, the head strap, ripped off the Virtual Boy the most by attaching the screen near your eyes (though the head strap is the one positive thing about the model) and giving gamers headaches and eye strain. Having the eyepiece over one eye forces you to either go crosseyed or to cover / close your other eye to look at it properly.
- The other three models are a little more comfortable to use but have their problems. The Xtreme Pocket Game relies on a mirror to reflect the game into the player's eyes, which just looks awkward. The Super Screen is extremely bulky, almost as much as the Sega Game Gear or Atari Lynx. The Data Zone is very rare, and not particularly comfortable or useful as either a gaming device or an electronic organizer.
- Only eight games were featured on the system, and there's little to no variation between them.
- The reflective plastic could get detatched and lost easily, rendering the system useless unless you have an alternative reflector.
- Could not adjust audio settings, beyond muting the audio entirely. The system also didn't have anything more than a beeper for sound, meaning that sound effects tended to be annoying, and music even worse.
- The commercials featured a kid screaming in horror, as well as misrepresenting the quality of the games by showing footage from versions on other systems, only tinted red.
- It is the same as Tiger's LCD Games, except red and blurry and in cartridge form.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- As mentioned, the head strap model ripped off the Virtual Boy, but added a head strap on it, something the Virtual Boy lacked. That being said, however, the Virtual Boy was originally designed to be worn on the user's head, but Japanese safety regulations had it changed to a tabletop unit.
The Angry Video Game Nerd once considered it as the worst video game console of all time (until the LJN Video Art came along) calling it a "shitty version of the Virtual Boy... as if the Virtual Boy isn't already shitty enough!" The poor screen display, sound and music, practicality, and weak library of games that some called glorified versions of Tiger's LCD games, are all major points of contention, with some outlets even questioning the purpose of the R-Zone.