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Emulator makes NES games 3D - sort of

A layered approach.

A nifty new emulator lets you play NES games in 3D - sort of.

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It's still pretty rough, but the idea behind the software works in practice. Footage posted to Reddit shows NES classics Super Mario Bros. 3, Mega Man and Contra running with 3D-converted visuals.

The emulator appears to be converting the game's 2D sprites into 3D objects based on their layer in the game's code, and their shape/gradient.

2D games frequently layered objects on top of one another (think how Mario can run in front of a level's background, or behind other objects).

But it's unclear whether work has gone into improving or tweaking how the emulator reads each game - or whether it really is just reading code and converting it on the fly.

Regardless, it is an intriguing concept. It's reminiscent of the 3D Classics series of re-releases on Nintendo 3DS which have converted retro 2D titles into games that take advantage of the handheld's stereoscopic 3D.

Sega used a similar method to re-release some of its back catalogue as 3D Classics titles - where it made an emulator for a NES-like console also capable of 3D rendering. The results were then individually patched and improved.

It's clear from the results below that there's still work to do - but for a first effort, you can forgive the rough edges:

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