Unfortunately, then it all went a bit wrong; Sega's VR dream turned into a nightmare, arcade VR specialists Virtuality fell apart, and Nintendo's Virtual Boy proved to be an actual dog's toilet.
With hindsight, the VR boom was premature; the technology back then simply wasn't advanced enough to provide experiences that seemed remotely real, unless your idea of "real" is a world made of dull, untextured polygons. "Barely Reality" would've been more accurate.
Now, though, we seem to be in a second VR boom.
With Oculus Rift constantly threatening to one day be finished potentially, and Microsoft announcing its weird Hololens thing, now Valve has gotten in on the act - unveiling the RE Vive VR headset, in partnership with HTC.
Boasting "high-quality graphics, 90-frames-per-second video, and incredible audio fidelity", the Re Vive could be the first real threat to the Oculus Rift - not least because the consumer version is due to be released by the end of this year.
Valve and HTC are apparently already working with the likes of Google and HBO to make content for the device - though it will also work with existing PC games. And so, the Steam monopoly gains yet more momentum...
Details remain on the scant side, but as usual the hyperbole is high: "Imagine standing on the bridge of a starship rocketing across the galaxy, or strolling through the streets of ancient Rome, or shrinking down to subatomic size and watching molecules collide. Now Re-imagine.
"HTC’s Vive headset, powered by SteamVR, pulls those virtual worlds off your computer screen and into your home. You’ll experience sights and sounds vivid and lifelike enough to transport you to another place, another time—whole new realities with limitless possibilities."
Here's one of those promo video things that, typically, promises the earth: