Even as the newborn virtual reality storefronts get flooded with new games and apps of dubious quality, other people are still busy figuring out how to use the technology to bring new life to the gaming hits of yesteryear. By far one of the most fascinating developments in this regard is the introduction of Dolphin VR, a virtuality reality feature for the open-source Nintendo GameCube and Wii emulator Dolphin.
Dolphin VR brings head-tracking for some (but apparently not all) 3D first-person games for Nintendo's GameCube console, allowing you to play them on a PC somewhat in the style of a more modern game designed with the technology in mind. As Rock Paper Shotgun points out, you can get an idea of how well it works by watching YouTuber JoshDub play 2002's Metroid Prime with Dolphin below.
JoshDub, who's using Dolphin with his HTC Vive, is apparently quite a fan.
"I can't believe how much that actually feels like you're wearing a helmet," he says early on in the video, which depicts the UI the protagonist Samus Aran would see in her own helmet. "If Nintendo doesn't release a VR version of this game one day then they're missing out."
Virtual reality has never translated well onto the flat screen; it's larely something you have to experience rather than watch. Still, it's cool to see how the movement of the camera mimics the movements of JoshDub's head in real life, or how the booger-green guts of the aliens he shoots splash up on the visor.
The video goes on to show JoshDub playing other GameCube games in virtuality reality with mixed success, including Super Mario Sunshine, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Pikmin (which clearly doesn't want to play nice with the user interface), TimeSplitters 2, and F-Zero GX. None, however, seem as well-suited to the task as Metroid Prime.
And here's your usual reminder that emulation is technically illegal and arguably piracy. But considering that it took Nintendo an age to produce its first mobile game (and which wasn't even really a game), we could be waiting on that virtual reality version of Metroid Prime for a long time yet.