Researchers at the ETH Game Technology Center of the Swiss national technical institute in Zürich, have applied their considerable talents to the critical problem of immersion in 2D side-scrolling, 8-bit era games. Witness in this video the splendor of a 360° projected Mario world that unrolls across the walls as players reveal each subsequent tile of the game map.
Robert Sumner, founder of the GTC explains:
...we observed that the 8-bit era of gaming had a huge collective influence on so many people, but the actual gaming experience was typically an individual one. We wanted to turn this idea upside down, and elevate the NES console experience into a group experience where the game surrounds a large event, allowing multiple people to play in a collaborative setting. The panoramic stitching and 8-way controller multiplexing hardware were the main ways we accomplished this task.
The group submitted the paper "Unfolding the 8-bit Era" to the European Conference on Visual Media Production, and then built the system to unveil at the Eurographics Conference. Utilizing a vintage 8-bit Famicom/NES system and a PC with a point-correspondence vision tracking algorithm, the researchers developed methods to detect the edge of each screen segment, adding it to a continuously expanding texture map in real-time. This panoramic texture is then seamlessly displayed on eight aligned projectors. The vision algorithm requires no prior knowledge about the game, so it is possible to play any side-scroller on this system, such as Super Mario Bros., Castlevania, Metroid, and the like. Read the rest
AnalogNT is an 8-bit gaming console precision-crafted from a single block of aluminum, resulting in something beautiful but no more capable than thrift store tat. The Verge calls it the Leica of game consoles.
This has little to no bearing on how the Nt actually functions, of course. But Analogue believes that it’s energy worth expending. "For us, the quality and aesthetics of a product should be carried all the way through," says Taber. "Putting this much effort into designing something that most customers will never end up seeing may seem superfluous — but we couldn’t imagine making something any other way."