Multiplayer 8-Bit NES Unfolded

8 Player NES Experiment Wows Across the Pond

Imagine playing your favorite side scrolling NES games in a huge square room, creating a seamless adventure. Super Mario Bros.CastlevaniaContra. At best, only one of these games listed is a true two-player game – the other two are take-turns games. Now, thanks to some very crafty innovators from ETH Zurich and Disney, this seamless multiplayer idea is breathing out the dust from those old 8-bit NES cartridges.

nes console

Using a 360-degree projection system at a Swiss night club, this team of innovators used an Arduino-based multiplexer that enabled eight controllers to be connected to an unmodified NES. The projected video output was dispersed to an upscaler and  a computer with custom software that manages panoramic images better.

But how did these typical single player games accommodate 8 players? The team from ETH Zurich and Disney made modifications so that gamepads would switch after a certain amount of time and to transfer control to the next player once the previous player reached a certain point.

The Oculus Rift idea that is show towards the end of the above video is also a really interesting way to marry the past and the present in regards to gaming and technology.

While it’s very unlikely to see this reproduced officially by Nintendo, this form of entertainment would be very worth while in any club or bar aiming at an audience of retro gamers. Personally, I’d like to see how either NES Legend of Zelda titles would fare on this platform.

For more information on this really cool idea, visit ETH Zurich’s website here.



Ben Cornett

Ben Cornett

Ben Cornett is the lead content contributor and co-owner of The Hyrule Herald.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *