SNES Cartridge Mod Adds Real-Time Ray Tracing

/ 11 months ago
SNES ray tracing

Ray tracing certainly isn’t a new technology, but you would’ve been forgiven for thinking that it would’ve been impossible to implement it on a Super Nintendo. Designer Ben Carter, however, has found a way to seemingly make the impossible possible. Yes, through the use of a (heavily) modded cartridge, a base Super Nintendo is capable of using real-time ray tracing graphics effects.

SNES ray tracing

SNES With Ray Tracing

The design, as a whole, isn’t that largely removed from games such as Star Fox or Stunt Race where the cartridge itself was used (in those instances, through the FX chip) as a piece of hardware to make 3D graphics a possibility on the Super Nintendo’s relatively limited specifications. – Through the use of some extensive modding, however, the bottom line is that this ray tracing capability is still directly fed into the Super Nintendo solely via its cartridge port and, more so, the console’s own hardware hasn’t been touched in the slightest.

As such, although it’s only running at around 20 FPS in 200×160 resolution, ray tracing is possible on the Super Nintendo.

What Do We Think?

This is, quite frankly, pretty amazing to see and while I don’t personally understand all of the technicalities involved, I frankly would not have thought that this was achievable. Well, not without basically butchering and extensively modding the console itself.

If you do, however, want to learn more about this, you can check out Ben Carter’s official website via the link here, or, alternatively, watch the video below where the process of how this was achieved is broken down!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

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