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'Super Mario' and 'Legend of Zelda' in HoloLens Is Gaming's Potential Future

NES emulator developer Andrew Peterson showcases the latest footage of his ‘Super Mario Brothers’ port for HoloLens.

by DJ Pangburn
Aug 22 2016, 7:00pm

Screencaps via

When Mario isn't busy accepting the Olympic Torch on behalf of Japan, it seems he's exploring the tools defining the next generation of gaming. Recently he 35-year old plumber and star of one of Nintendo's most popular franchises found his way into a Windows-based 3D Nintendo Entertainment System emulator called N3S. Currently in alpha, its developer, Andrew Peterson, is experimenting with bringing this 3D voxel-based system to Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens.

A few weeks ago, Peterson demoed his Super Mario Brothers N3S port for HoloLens. He followed that up with a showcase of more N3S HoloLens games, including Tetris, Zelda, Donky Kong and others. Peterson says there are some obstacles to overcome as far as rendering and the positioning of the holographs in space.

“While there are some inefficiencies in my rendering, I'm actually not sure the device will be able to render most games at full speed, especially as the geometry gets more complex with hand-edited meshes,” he explains in the description of his original Super Mario demo. “The biggest issue with this is that you can't update the holograph's position in space frequently enough to maintain the illusion of it physically existing. It moves with your vision and jumps back to it's original spot every time it recovers from dropped frames.”

So, we probably won’t be seeing these NES ports in HoloLens anytime soon, but it’s awesome to see that it is, at the very least, a future possibility.

Click here to see more of Andrew Peterson’s work on N3S.

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