“Emulators” are programs that allow users to play old video games from different systems, like Nintendo’s original Nintendo Entertainment System from 1985, on their PCs. The idea is that the emulator does the work of the original game console, so game software thinks it’s running in the machine it was originally programmed for.
The existence of emulators isn’t anything new, but they’re generally pretty run-of-the-mill. 3D NES Emulator, on the other hand, adds a new dimension (heh) to the emulation scene.
Created by Vietnamese developer Trần Vũ Trúc, the emulator takes old Nintendo games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, and Super Mario Bros. 3 and converts the 2D graphics to 3D graphics. For some of the images, like the pixels that arrange to form Mario, it looks like a freakish digital mutation. The whole thing is a bit like playing a video game made out of a diorama, but a diorama that is also an abomination against nature.
Creepier still is that 3D NES Emulator has the capability of turning these old games into first-person experiences. Check out Super Mario with the first-person treatment.
Not every game takes to 3D especially well, and the tool is a bit on the buggy side because it’s still in beta. But if you’re looking to warp your mind a bit, you can play a bunch of games right now at 3DNES.com. Just note that you’ll need to use the Firefox browser.