Virtual reality gaming has come a long way since the short-lived days of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, and it remains to be seen if Nintendo ever decides to dip its toes back in the VR gaming business as the genre gains popularity today. In the meantime, Nintendo-loving gamers will have to resort to combining the two worlds on their own, as one devoted software developer recently showed off.
Using Microsoft’s augmented reality headset, the Hololens, and the Unity3D engine, Abhishek Singh has recreated the first level from the original Super Mario Bros. in an augmented VR environment.
“I recreated the iconic first level, dressed up as Mario and then played it in Central Park [in New York City],” Singh said in his video description on YouTube. “Built in Unity3D for the Microsoft Hololens. This video was recorded entirely through the hololens with no post production.”
Watch as Singh walks his way through the recreated level as people continue walking their dogs by him, probably wondering what the heck is going on.
The attention to detail here is truly commendable. Creating 3D objects out of 2D pixels can be a challenge, but that’s just the beginning. If you noticed, Singh even programmed the super mushroom and invincibility star to rotate along their regular paths as well. He even made sure to include the hiden 1-UP block in the first stage as well. And pinching fingers together to throw fireballs at oncoming enemies is a nice touch as well.
Now, there were some obvious challenges that could not be faithfully recreated. You will notice there are times when Singh walks around obstacles like pipes and stairs, but we can give him a pass here. The effort put into this is inspiring and helps show there is no shortage of ways to enjoy classic games from the past using today’s technology. I would love to see somebody find a way to implement this technology under water so we can see Singh swim through a traditional Mario-themed water level, for instance.