Ray tracing is all the rage in games right now, with NVIDIA pushing it hard on the PC while the PS5 and Xbox Series X are bragging about it in the console world. But if you have the right gear, you can run ray traced lighting on almost anything … including a console released way back in 1
At least you can if you’re Ben Carter, an engineer and modder who created his own custom graphics processing chip for the original Super Famicom (the name for the Super Nintendo in its home area, Japan). He based his design on the add-on Super FX chip seen in early 3D games such as StarfoxCarter’s “SuperRT” version adds a De10-Nano FPGA development board to amplify the console’s own little graphics power.
The result is a custom video demo with polygonal graphics and dazzling ray-traced lighting effects at 20 frames per second and 200×160 resolution. Even the original PlayStation wouldn’t be that bad. proud of it, but technically it’s ray tracing on the Super Nintendo. If nothing else, it’s an amazing engineering feat, especially when you see the custom wiring that was required for the new board to actually communicate with the hardware.
Source: Ben Carter (Shironeko Labs) via Gizmodo