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Emulators are usually just used to play older games from discontinued systems... like old Atari titles, old Sega Genesis games or old NES titles. Well, one developer has decided to make a 3DNES Emulator that transforms the 2D ROMs into 3D games by adding 3D depth perception to the titles. It's crazy and as cool as it sounds.
Extreme Tech did a write-up on the emulator that is currently in its beta form and it's available over on this web page right now where it can be played through a web browser. It runs the Unity 3D browser plugin and it's only available for the latest version of Firefox. So you'll need a fairly up-to-date PC to make use of the 3DNES Emulator. You can see a demonstration of some of the games running in the emulator with the video below from Geod Studio.
A lot of people who watched the video agreed that Legend of Zelda did not turn out so great but that both Mega Man and Castlevania obviously looked the best.
Geod Studio actually took note of this and offered a slightly more technical explanation on why people believe that Mega Man looks best running in the emulator, writing in a YouTube comment post...
Many comments agrees that MegaMan is the best. It's true but not totally true. Let me explain it. The new sprite will be calculated, built and positioned only one time at its first appearance then cached for later usage. Mega Man part is recorded at the second life so there is no new sprite. Everything is clean/clear. Other games are recorded at the first try there are glitches, blinks every time one new sprite appears. This video was recorded as a tech demo not as a trailer so I tried to show how 3dnes actually functions in the background not how user experience is […]
Very interesting. The “second life” of the sprite rendering for Mega Man makes the game look like a whole new remake of the classic NES title. It's exceptionally good looking with the z-depth on the stages, the same applies to the original Castlevania, which has a few scenes depicted at skewed angles, giving the game a very distinct look. There's also a first-person exploit users can apply to some games in the 3DNES Emulator, but it's practically unplayable and completely glitchy.
Of course, the footage above is all from the beta build and many of the games still have some troubles running properly. Contra, for instance, has a lot of issues with the transparency and some sort of parallax bleed over from the alphas. It looks pretty rough at times for some games.
Not everyone has had the best of luck in playing NES ROMs on the browser-based emulator, so if you were hoping to play some of your favorite NES titles it may require a bit of fiddling around. Again, there's no proper executable that users can just download and play to their heart's content. It all has to be played through the browser and the Unity 3D plugin.
Even still, it's cool to see some of those Nintendo classics in 3D, especially Super Mario and Mega Man. This is definitely a project worth keeping an eye on when it finally moves out of beta.