Under the Radar – 3dSenVR

For this week’s Under the Radar segment, we take a look at 3dSenVR (formerly 3dNesVR), an NES emulator that can transform classic games from the 80s into 3D rendered VR games. 

By utilising a shape-detection algorithm, this emulator is able to convert 2D shapes into 3D objects in real-time. However, this process isn’t as straightforward as it sounds since the algorithm is far from perfect. 3dSenVR is unique when compared to most emulators because each game has to be carefully configured to get the best results in virtual reality. This emulator currently features support for the three big VR headsets (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality).

The closest thing to this emulator that you can play right now is the 3D Classics on the Nintendo 3DS. Whereas the 3D Classics utilise the 3D feature to separate the characters you play from the background, 3dSenVR allows you to move around your playspace in VR to get an entirely different perspective on the game. If this feature doesn’t appeal to you, or you aren’t a fan of the way the 3D models look, the emulator does have a 2D mode which should make the games play similarly to the 3D Classics.

During this Early Access stage, 3dSenVR will come with support for 48 NES games, with more classic and homebrew titles to join as development continues. You can see the full list of games that the emulator currently supports at the Steam page. Some of the highlights of the supported games include Castlevania, Duck Hunt (with full Zapper/Light Gun support), and Super Mario Bros.

While the emulator does have support for the tracked motion controllers that come with both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, you will want to plug in a normal gamepad in order to get the best experience. The main appeal of this emulator is the way you can move around while wearing the VR headset to see the game from a completely different perspective. Fortunately, this does not involve the tracked motion controllers, though you will want a wireless controller to avoid tripping up over yourself!

3dSenVR is scheduled to release on Steam Early Access by June 4th. Currently, there is no set price for the emulator and, as expected, you will have to supply your own ROMs to play any of these titles.

Written for the May 31st issue of DailyBits.