3DNesVR is an emulator tool that runs Nintendo Entertainment System games in VR, letting you play the ’80s and ’90s classic titles that made the console a world-wide phenomenon.

Created by Geod Studios and first launched on itch.io in May 2017, 3DNesVR is finally heading to Steam, with support for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows VR headsets.

3DNesVR automatically turns NES games into a sort of ‘pop-out’ 3D version of the 2D game (not included), and lets you play it natively via SteamVR and Oculus runtime. While there are controls that let you adjust how the 3D effect renders, Geod Studios has created a few presets and tips in its 3DN Repository.

 

You can try it our for free now, as the demo on Steam supports a limited number of titles including:

  • Super Mario Bros
  • Circus Charlie
  • Elevator Action
  • Battle City 1990
  • Donkey Kong
  • Dr. Mario
  • Kungfu
  • Legend Of Kage
  • Tetris

The full release, slated to launch on January 21st, will support what Geod calls “massive games” including both classic and modern homebrew NES ROMS.

Supported controllers include gamepad, Steam controller, and system-specific VR motion controllers.

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For obvious legal reasons, 3DNesVR doesn’t provide ROMS, so you’ll have to obtain them yourself and plug them in like any other standard emulator.

If you’re looking for a decidedly more modern emulating experience, Dolphin VR does a surprisingly good job with Nintendo Wii and GameCube games, although the project seems to have been put on hold since mid-2016.

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  • Bernard Cozier

    You can also use the most recent Dolphin emulator in 3D Side By Side mode then use Bigscreen to play on a large 3D screen, not quite VR but still 3D.

    • There’s already a build of Dolphin with proper VR support floating around, you could just use that instead.

      • Fred

        +1. Mario Kart Wii in VR is insanely fun.

  • doug

    Adapting an old game’s essence to a new medium like VR can be brilliant. Straight porting a two dimensional game into VR with a simulated third dimension seems as unimaginative as using television to display a book’s pages.

    • Holger Fischer

      And yet, curiously, e-book readers are a thing.

  • Ragbone

    It’s not possible to download the demo from steam. The demo page leads to the non demo page. Maybe someone else managed to find a work around?

  • FriendlyCard

    It is a great project – it’s very cool to play classic NES games in virtual reality.

  • It’s a brilliant idea for an emulator, very outside-the-box, but I’m not sure it works well AS an emulator. By adding a dimension to something that actually works based on NOT having it, perceiving where an element is on screen could become very difficult. It’s solid for the platforms, backgrounds, and most enemies, but projectiles fired at you become harder to properly gauge. The Megaman example alone shows a projectile that appears to hit Megaman in the head, but in a 2D view you’d have seen it clearly missed.

  • Les Vega

    Incoming Nintendo cease and desist letter in 3..2..1

    • Charles

      No more likely than for a regular NES emulator, which I’m pretty sure has never had that happen about.

      • Harold Van Der Waay

        An emulator does not have an intention to make money out of it, selling your thing on steam does. But it seems Nintendo got to them, same goes for Duck Hunt Vr.

        • Charles

          Hmm, I guess that’s true – I don’t think I’ve ever seen an emulator that wasn’t free. Nintendo got to them? They got cease and desist letters? Source?

          • Harold Van Der Waay

            Well there is Cemu, but with Nintendo going after year long fan projects and rom sites recently (that did happen) they don’t even care if someone makes money out of it or not, but saying if you try to gain money from it they are more quicker to get removed i guess.

            I have no official thing about official letters on those 2 games, that is just my guessing.

            If anyone is still interested they still can get it at. https://geod.itch.io/3dnes