Google Maps NES Nintendo Entertainment System
Way back in 2012, Google released a video showing Google Maps 8-Bit for the NES as an April Fools’ Day joke. This version would let NES users search for famous landmarks and sites around the world, complete with 8-bit Street View. You could also get detailed directions to avoid dangerous paths or battle your way through a world of powerful monsters and mystic treasures. Read more for a video of a programmer who brought this joke to life in 2021.

This wasn’t a straight forward mod, as this programmer had to first learn how to create a custom NES cartridge to house the Raspberry Pi computer and FX2LP microcontroller required for the Google Maps mod. Next, Bing Maps was used for their aerial imaging data, which was then converted into a tiled 16×16 grid, similar to what you would see in The Legend of Zelda. The end result is a pixelated version of what you’d see on Google Earth that can be navigated with an NES controller.

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A technology, gadget and video game enthusiast that loves covering the latest industry news. Favorite trade show? Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.