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Here’s how to play NES classics like Mario in VR using a HoloLens

Retro gaming is totally a thing now, whether it’s using emulators on your PC to run Atari games, or building your own Gameboy.

But this latest development marries retro gaming with a firmly futuristic platform: the Microsoft HoloLens.

Yes, another of the internet’s seemingly endless supply of ingenious home developers has decided to port the NES classic Super Mario Bros. to Microsoft’s augmented reality headset.

Andrew Peterson has managed to get an NES emulator up and running on the headset, which overlays virtual elements onto the real world, and it looks like one of the coolest tech projects we’ve seen this year.

Calling his emulator N3S, Peterson has demonstrated his efforts in the following video:

Related: How to build Raspberry Pi retro gaming centre

And it’s not just Mario that gets the AR treatment. Peterson shows off a number of other games, including Donkey Kong, running on the headset.

More information on the tech can be found at this site where the enterprising developer goes into detail about how N3S works.

Apparently it involves rendering “voxel-based 3D meshes that are 8×8 and 32 voxels deep,” so we’re pretty sure anyone could do this.

The HoloLens itself is yet to be made widely available, but was sent to developers earlier this year.

As he explains in the video description: “The HoloLens won’t run most games full speed, especially when the editor is built-in and people make more complicated 3D meshes for the sprites.

“I’ve also had to hand-tune and optimize the app for HoloLens in a way that won’t work with many games to get a consistent enough FPS.

“But… it is really cool.”

That it is Andrew. That it is.

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What do you think of the N3S? Let us know in the comments.

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