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This is what it looks like to play 8-player co-op Mario on an NES

Students at the ETH Zurich Game Technology Centre built a rig that lets 8 people cooperatively play NES classics like Super Mario Bros. displayed across the inside of a room via 360-degree projection.

Alex Wawro, Contributor

December 3, 2015

1 Min Read

A group of graduate students at the ETH Zurich Game Technology Centre recently cobbled together a device that lets eight people cooperatively play through NES classics, including Super Mario Bros., displayed across the inside of a room via 360-degree projection.

What's especially interesting about this stunt is that the students -- led by Centre founder and Disney Research Zurich associate director Bob Sumner -- didn't crack open either the NES or its controllers to pull off the trick.

As Ars Technica UK reports, the trick is accomplished by routing game input and output through an Arduino-based multiplexer and a PC that does the work of stitching frames of the game together into a panorama and dynamically switching input between the eight NES gamepads.

The whole thing was built as an exhibit for the Eurographics 2015 conference that ETH Zurich helped host earlier this year, and while the eight-player Mario projector rig was only set up on a temporary basis, the developers have adapted a single-player version that can be played in a virtual panorama with an Oculus Rift VR headset.

For more details on how the students pulled it off, check out the above-linked Ars Technica UK report and the academic paper they published about the project.

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