For those of us who grew up with the likes of the N64 and Gamecube, it’s really not difficult to enjoy the old games as they are. It’s how we remember them after all. Still, there’s no denying that these games are getting older with each passing day, and are thus looking more and more archaic to younger players. As it stands, the time may come when games from the 90’s and 00’s will seem just as quaint and unplayable as stuff from the late 70’s and early 80’s. What if that time could be delayed though?
Enter emulator developer Dario, and his incredibly ambitious efforts to bring ray-tracing and other modern graphical techniques to these old Nintendo classics. He’s developing a plugin for the sm64rt emulator that will enable some N64 titles to be experienced in a completely new way. This developing plugin has the potential to bump framerates up to 60fps and enable other features such as object motion blur, DLSS, widescreen and of course ray-traced lighting. Have a look at his sample reel below and prepare to be amazed.
This really is nothing short of fantastic! Sure the old textures and geometry are still there, but there’s no denying that N64 games rendered this way are downright gorgeous. In fact, I can’t help but feel like this is how many of us used to picture these games when we weren’t actively playing them. Dario says the project is still in its early stages, but still! Seriously, why isn’t Nintendo working on something like this? Can you imagine the sales figures for a Switch version of Ocarina of Time that looked like this?! Amazing! Here’s hoping N64 enthusiasts will get to try this out soon, at least.
Would something like this sell you on yet another port of Nintendo’s old games? Why do you think they haven’t tried to make something like this themselves?
Image is official Nintendo artwork