We’ll never truly get to relive the ‘90s again, but technology is getting us pretty darn close. This moment, you could be sitting in your modern home in 2022, surrounded by iPhones, big screen OLED TVs, and smart gadgets of all kinds, all the while experiencing a room decked out with classic posters, old-school TVs, and retro games filling every corner of the bookshelves. It’s not magic: It’s EmuVR.
EmuVR recreates the 90s bedroom of your dreams, allowing you to play one of more than 70 different classic consoles one on TV, while watching retro cartoons on another. Because EmuVR is, at its core, an emulator, you can play games from a wide range of platforms, including PlayStation, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Sega Dreamcast, SNES, NES, and even more modern consoles like Wii.
The coolest part of EmuVR, in my opinion, is it recreates the gaming experience down to the smallest detail. You don’t pick your games from some in-game UI, or dig through your Windows files to find them. Once you add your games to EmuVR, they appear in your “room” as cartridges and disks. You can then pick up the console you want to play, grab a cartridge, and pop in it, just as you did back in the 90s. So cool.
Not all console models are currently supported, but there’s a good list: PS1, N64, SNES (USA, PAL and Japan), NES, GameCube, and PS2 all have detailed models to interact with in the game. There’s even a VCR! The TVs are also realistic: Get up close, and you can see pixels and scan lines. If you don’t have a CRT in your real-life retro gaming setup, this is the next best thing.
You can customise your room to your liking, from the posters on the walls to how messy a space it is. Plus, there’s multiplayer support, so you can invite friends to visit your room, and you can visit theirs. Take turns playing Super Mario Bros. on your digital NES, or head back to theirs for some Mario Kart 64.
As cool as EmuVR is, it isn’t for everyone. That’s because it only works with Windows and PC VR systems, like Oculus Rift, Oculus Link (Quest with PCVR), Valve Index, HTC Vive, and WMR. If you don’t have a VR headset, no problem: You can play EmuVR on your 2D monitor like you would any other game or emulator. However, you won’t be able to access EmuVR on other VR headsets like PSVR, Oculus Quest (without PCVR), Oculus Go, Gear VR, or cardboard VR. That’s likely because EmuVR is ROM-based emulation, meaning you need to have the game files downloaded and saved on your Windows PC in order to run them in-game.
That’s another caveat: As with any emulator, EmuVR does not provide games to users. You need to bring your own ROMs to the table. If you’ve used an emulator before, however, you know that isn’t a difficult endeavour. Just know EmuVR won’t help you on that front whatsoever.
How to play EmuVR on your PC
If you do have a PC and/or a PC VR headset, and you’d like to give EmuVR a spin, you’ll first need to go to their Discord. Read through #welcome channel to familiarise yourself with the platform, which will also walk you through the various Wiki pages you’ll need to get set up. This page features the installation guide, which, while lengthy, essentially boils down to downloading and extracting EmuVR, copying your games to the correct folder, and scanning your games and downloading cores before you’re ready to go. There are also guides for starting up games, adding light gun support, and troubleshooting any issues you may have.
Stick to these guides rather than looking for YouTube tutorials. While video walkthroughs can be more helpful for some of us, they could have outdated or incorrect information that will mess you up. The official wikis will always have the latest instructions and updates, so you can get yourself set up.
I don’t have a PC VR headset (I’m a PS VR fan boy), but I do have a PC, so I’m excited to take this time machine back to my childhood.
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