You can't use how dreadful an initial product is to excuse it or how poor it was implemented. I'm sure the first TV sucked too but it was still a TV. You can't provide that as an example then change the goalpost after the fact. Virtual Boy may not be VR in your opinion but that doesn't change what the product actually is or does.
TV's have taken off at an unprecedented rate compared to VR. 30 years later, still niche. Amazon numbers posted by LudicrousSpeed don't flatter it like you initially thought. They do the opposite.
the Virtual Boy doesn't do VR, it's a personal (stereoscopic) 3D viewer and does nothing that a 3DTV can't, unlike VR headsets
it wasn't even "VR at the time", as professional VR headsets had been a thing way before it's launch and actually did VR