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Nintendo Businesses Entertainment Games

Revolution Downloads To Recieve Graphic Upgrades 90

Joystiq reports that certain Revolution-downloadable games will be recieving graphical upgrades, ala the classic NES titles released for the GBA. From the article: "...[Nintendo] did not divulge the nature of the enhancement, nor did he hint at whether the technology would be integrated into the Revolution's hardware or be a part of the downloaded game itself. Theorists speculate that it may entail reskinning some or all of the classic games in Nintendo's lineup, as was done for the compilation Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES..."
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Revolution Downloads To Recieve Graphic Upgrades

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  • by MagicDude ( 727944 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @08:38PM (#12896619)
    I hope they also upgrade the sound as well. They can do so much with the scores to Zelda or Metroid if they can escape the limitations of the original NES and its midi sounds.
    • by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @08:53PM (#12896713) Homepage
      I don't know about that. I love the old NES midi. For instance, I have Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the GameCube. Mega Man 2's music was fucking inspired. I don't want anyone messing with it. In fact, I wish more people would use that old synth.
    • Actually, the didn't use MIDI--they used 2a03 sound chip in the NES. There are still nerds making 2a03 music, with many actually writing it in assembly.
    • Nitpiks

      "They can do so much with the scores to Zelda"

      Listen to just about any Zelda game released from the SNES era onward.

      "or Metroid"

      Metroid: Zero Mission for the GBA.

      "original NES and its midi sounds."

      The NES wasn't anywhere near advanced enough to handle MIDIs. IIRC, it was all analog.
    • First off, the NES did NOT use midi.
      NES Sound []

      Second, that's not necessariliy a good idea. Composers often write for the instrumentation they have, and changing the instrumentation afterwards can really harm a piece.

      Here's a good (but probably nit-picky) example. In the original SMB3 the steel drum sample was of low sample rate and resolution. In the SNES version (and especially GBA) the higher sample rate and resolution sample wasn't equalized the same. The composer would have picked up on this, but
      • Agree with everything you say, apart from the fact you seem to be equating MIDI with samples, which is most certainly not the case. For example:

        This is something that can't be done in MIDI without special samples,

        Or a square wave generator.

        MIDI doesn't control how a performance sounds, that's the instruments. As an extreme example, I'm sure you could MIDI retrofit a NES, then you could have exactly the same sound, but from MIDI.
        • I'm sorry, but I don't follow.

          MIDI works by storing musical information such as note pitch, duration, location (in time), special effect, etc... Because of this, you can very closely reproduce a musical performance if you put enough work in your sequencing. A problem with MIDI, however, is that your bank of instruments changes from device to device, so unless you write a piece for keyboard X and only get it played through keyboard X it will sound different (and probably awful) otherwise.

          You mentioned MI
    • As others have already pointed out, the NES didn't use midi. Midi is a very specific thing, not just a general catchphrase for "digital music." Please try to have a basic grasp of the terminology before throwing words around that you don't understand.
  • Mixed Feelings (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bleaknik ( 780571 ) <> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @08:40PM (#12896630) Homepage Journal
    I, for one, have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I want the original classics just the way I remember them.

    Then again... I wasn't one to complain about the All-Stars cart graphical upgrades, neither.

    Hmmm.... Vintage games do have small footprints. Maybe the Big N could bundle two different versions of a game's textures with each download...

    That's right. I rock.
    • That would be nice. Part of the fun of playing these old games is the nostalgia factor, which is reduced when you update them.

      Then again, I'm one of those weirdos that wants Lucas to release the original trilogy without the later additions/changes.
    • Nintendo have a rather good record when it comes to graphical updates , unlike some other companies(Namco ,Atari etc.)
      Generally i have always been rather please to play the graphical updates of some of the vintage games.
      Mario all-stars just been an exceptional make-over.
      Come to think of it though , i do really enjoy the classical look as-well and hope they keep it as an option (preferably with an option switch so you don't have to download two copys
    • You don't rock. Someone already put forward the idea of having original and updated sets for download in the linked article.
  • by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @08:43PM (#12896645)
    "Then again, Nintendo may choose the simpler route of merely incorporating a filtering or anti-aliasing method to improve the quality of the existing graphics. Certain N64 and SNES titles could benefit greatly from a method such as this."

    This seems more likely to me. Most modern emulators have various options for filtering and antialiasing the graphics display. While purists may scoff at the softening and smoothing effect of the filters - it definately makes the games look let chunky.
  • Simply put ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They are probably paying a couple of artists (per title) to update the sprite based graphics on the NES/SNES titles. If I remember correctly, the SNES had a maximum resolution of something like 320 X 240 so this graphical update would put the graphics as being more detailed than SNES games. As a guestimate, this would probably cost $50,000-$100,000 which (compared to modern 3D games) is cheap; hell, I'd bet that they could update their entire library of 2D games for less than it would cost them to produce a
    • Then I guess the updated "Mario revolution", formerly "Mario GB advanced", formerly "Mario 3" would be another title to the library.

      Perhaps it works. After all, if there is one thing you see today's DS landscape... Nintendo can't ever backup a new system with enough games anymore. The last Nintendo system with a decent sized library is SNES. So why not bring everything back legally instead of letting people use emulators and roms for free.

      • actually the gamecube has a pretty big library, it definatly has more games than the xBox has (about even on the cross platformers, with more gamecube only games than the xBox despite what xBox players want you to beleive)

        Likewise the DS theoretically has a much larger library than the PSP, if you count Advance games too, since they play both advance and DS games. Infact all my games for the DS right now are advance games, cause Im waiting on the big games I want to play to be comming out for it (Animal C

    • NES and SNES where both 256x224, although SNES supported 512x448, it was only used for some still screens usually, not any action in-game.
      It's the 8x8 tile which is only allowed 4 colors per tile (on NES) that really creates the bad graphics. Allowing truecolor sprites and backgrounds, and taking advantage of that, even at 256x224, would make the games look a ton better probably.
      • 240 rows, not 224. I hate it when people repeat and spread this lie around, many emulators got crippled in their ability to display full NES resolution due to belief in that lie.

        • 240 internally, but 224 externally on NTSC, so 224 is what really matters. I don't know if the extra 8 pixels on the top and bottom are actually possible to see or not, if you adjust your TV to shrink the image vertically. I assume they are not.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I used to play Perfect Dark on the N64 with my brother-in-law all the time. He eventually got an XBox, and we didn't touch the N64 for a while. We were feeling nostalgic about 6 months ago, so we pulled out Perfect Dark and tried some four-player action.

    The gameplay was still fun, but was hindered by the horrible frame rate. We turned it off in under 10 minutes because a couple of people (who regularly play FPSs) were getting motion sickness.

    Anyone know if the Revolution will increase the frame rate or
    • That terrible framerate was, IMO, the only strike against an otherwise perfect game. Single-player was really superb. Multi-player was ok, but not as smooth as Goldeneye.
    • I wonder if that feature returns with Perfect Dork Zero?
    • Anyone know if the Revolution will increase the frame rate or will it only make the games look prettier?

      I would guess that the framerate remains as it is. If there are slowdowns during parts of a game which result from the old hardware's unability to keep up with it, they will probably disappear. But the framerate of the game itself is most likely by design. It may be quite hard to speed up the framerate without speeding up the game or changing the game's code, depending on how it is written.

      • It may be quite hard to speed up the framerate without speeding up the game or changing the game's code, depending on how it is written.

        Nintendo has the source code to all the N64 games it developed. Overclocking the emulated video chip (and updating the game's source code where that causes a problem) would help solve the N64 frame rate problems.

        • Nintendo has the source code to all the N64 games it developed. Overclocking the emulated video chip (and updating the game's source code where that causes a problem) would help solve the N64 frame rate problems.

          True, but will they do it? Maybe it's possible that they would do it for A-list titles, I guess.

          Only "overclocking" the emulated chips will probably cause problems since games may rely on the speed of the chips being constant, and fixing that problem may be quite a bit of work.

          • Only "overclocking" the emulated chips will probably cause problems since games may rely on the speed of the chips being constant

            Games rely on the speed of the audio and video DACs being constant. The video DAC goes through a 320x240 pixel buffer 60 times a second, and the audio DAC goes through a 2 channel by 800 sample buffer 60 times a second. Overclock the T&L and the triangle filler without overclocking the RAMDAC, and the game may not notice. For those games that do have race conditions under

    • "Anyone know if the Revolution will increase the frame rate or will it only make the games look prettier?"

      Firstly, I don't understand how they plan to update the graphics of Nintendo games without designing them as though they were for a new system. This is something beyond normal emulation (where you do your best to emulate the way the system works - not so much for specific games).

      Secondly, to improve the framerate, it would require changes to the game's code. If you run Zelda 64 next to Zelda 64
  • Framerate upgrade (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grumbel ( 592662 ) <> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @08:50PM (#12896691) Homepage
    What I would find most interesting would be an upgrade in the framerate, some of the early 3D titles on the SNES and later the N64 were just painfully slow and suffered from huge drops in the framerate. I would love to be able to replay StarFox or StuntRaceFX with constant 60fps.
  • So this means i _do_ need to keep all my roms around if i want to play the real originals =P

    I suspected that would be the case, but i was kind of hoping it wouldn't be. And on the dark side, the fact that they're rereleasing the early titles, even in an altered state, may mean they'll try to crack down even harder on the rom sites =/

    • Roms? Why not fish out your originals? I can't stand playing on a keyboard honestly, and I can't justify the 26 bones it costs to buy this [], so I just stick to my old NES. Somehow I managed to take care of it and my games, so I haven't had to blow into my old cartriges yet. But seriously, I'd gladly pay $5, $10 on eBay for the actual game. Much better experience, if you ask me.
      • Which is why you buy this. [] No, seriously. I play every emulator that I have using this. With the exception of the N64, every console (and arcade button layout) works with this thing. I love it. I've always liked the PSX/PS2 controller style though.
        • I personally use a "PC Magic Box" (PS / DC / SS to USB) and a Japanese style Sega Saturn pad. Works great for almost all retro games, and I prefer the Saturn pad to the PSX one, with a nicer D-pad, and six face buttons. Although I haven't got a PlayStation, so I haven't used the pad that much.

          For analouge it's a bit crap, it doesn't support the NiGHTS pad, and with the Dreamcast pad it's horrible, very glitchy. I haven't used a PSX pad for analouge with it yet.
          • 6 face buttons would be rather nice for figting games.... Or just all arcade games period.

            I've never actually played a Saturn, except a friend's. That would be a case where you'd need to do some creative problem solving for getting games to work well (like the N64)... Alas, the Saturn doesn't emulate well anyway (ShF3, how I've longed to play thee...).

            My question about what you mentioned would be if it could use all of them at once. I've had some multiplayer fun with emulators and the adapter I linked to
            • My question about what you mentioned would be if it could use all of them at once. I've had some multiplayer fun with emulators and the adapter I linked to.

              Unfortionatley you're limited to one pad at a time, but as it's USB you could theoretically connect several convertors at once. The multiplayer bit of your pad convertor does seem quite good.

      • I'd like to agree, but those gamepads aren't particularly ergonomic. They hurt my hands long before newer gamepads do (like PS2, etc).
  • More images (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frikazoyd ( 845667 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @09:07PM (#12896809)
    Images of Super Mario Brothers 2 a la Super Mario Advance [].

    Also, Super Mario 3 a la Su per Mario Advance 4 [], and Super Mario World a la Super Mario Advance 2 []. Yoshi's Island (Super Mario Advance 3) has screenshots here [].
    • Note that the images of Super Mario Brothers 2 are more familiar on page 6 of the first link.
    • awesome, makes me wanna play mario and all nes games for sure, but i never take me the time to do it, if the downloads are free i might buy a revolution just to do take the tame... even thought it's quite easy to get the roms for an emulator anyway, but that doesn't feel right.
  • Filters (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dsparil ( 844576 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @09:26PM (#12896911)
    They'll probably just bring the NES games to SNES quality graphics then run everything through a filter. That wouldn't neccessarily be a bad thing since Yoshi's Island looks amazing using hq3x.
  • They say that they are going to duplicate the gameplay of the original games exactly, but I honestly have to question whether this is really going to be the case. With Super Mario All-stars, there were subtle changes to both 1 and 3 (and probably 2 as well, but I never played 2 on the original NES so I can't say for sure). Whether such changes were intentional or not I can't say, but it does tell me that once they start changing things there's no telling what might be affected.

    One thing I noticed when I
    • I really hope that the games have the gameplay perfectly intact. I also found the All-Stars versions of the old Mario games feeling a bit sluggish compared to the originals, which was weird because to my understanding they made All-Stars by taking the NES games and just changing the sound and graphics code. Nonetheless, gameplay should come first.

      As far as the presentation, I feel that developers should really go one way or the other with the ports: either pixel-perfect, or redone very nicely. I was
      • My guess is very few people want a truecolor remake of Duck Hunt

        Given the success of the Deer Hunter franchise and the various knockoffs, I think Duck Hunt is due for a sequel, although the home version would have to be controlled with a mouse because light guns don't work with LCD TVs.

        complete with orchestrated soundtrack.

        You asked for it: Duck Hunt Soundtrack (OC Remix) [].

  • The lackluster spelling on Slashdot is rediculous*.

    * giggle

  • by LKM ( 227954 )

    First, People blame Nintendo for constantly re-using their old content. "Where's the innovation", people cry. "I've already paid for the exact same games on my NES, and now Nintendo wants me to pay again so I can play them on my GBA! And they look like crap, anyway."

    So Nintendo goes and updates the graphics. That makes matters even worse, of course, because now people complain that they aren't getting the originals, the games they used to play when they were young. "I love the vintage graphics! And damn t

    • Exactly. I just want the choice. Of course, given that I've already purchased any game I'm likely to want to download (in some cases, multiple times) re-buying yet another time is not going to appeal to me. In fact, the updated graphics might actually sway me on a few games (I'd like to play The Legend of Zelda legitimately with SNES-style graphics, for example).

      It's the same with Star Wars. I don't particularly care how Lucas screws up his movies. I just want the option of the originals. If Lucas pu
    • Personally, and I speak as someone who has Super Mario Bros. DX for Game Boy Color and all four Super Mario Advance titles, I'd rather see an original 2D Mario game. Rumor has it that one is coming out on the Nintendo DS, but last I heard was that it was going to be called "New Super Mario Brothers" and that there were five boring screen shots circulating. I want details!
      • I'd rather see an original 2D Mario game. Rumor has it that one is coming out on the Nintendo DS, but last I heard was that it was going to be called "New Super Mario Brothers"

        It's not rumors, it's official. There's even a gameplay movie from Nintendo itself []. It looks really cool.

        And I agree, this is a lot more exciting than remakes of the old Mario games. Still, I'm glad I'm going to have both - a new 2D Mario (after 10 years since the last one, no less!) and remakes of the originals.

        It's a good tim

  • I hope it isn't redundant by the time I post it, but Prefect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie and many other games belong to rare.. I doubt they'd want to resell them now they're Microsoft owned.

    I really miss my B-K.. *Double clicks on PJ64*
  • George Lucas will be pleased...
  • If it's just filtering I can deal with it. I do that on my emu now, if anything so that it looks cleaner with the much higher resolution.

    But please don't go messing with the games. I love the old games becasue they are old games.

    Give me a box that will play four generations of Metroid and Zelda and I'll be good. I wish Rare was still Nintendo aligned for Conker and RC Pro Am. Although I would rather have Bad Fur Day on DS than on Revolution.
  • I hope they're only updating graphics for their n64 games (and maybe SNES games with that anti-aliasing mentioned). I don't care so much if the add more polygons even and make the n64 games spiffy looking, probably because I don't have the same kind of nostalgia for them as I do for the old NES and SNES titles.

    I suppose that if Nintendo does upgrade the games, it'll make some sense. While there are plenty of nostalgic nerds like me there are also plenty of children who haven't seen any of this. Having play

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"