Ray Tracing on a Super Nintendo? Yes, it seems like a delusion, but it is true. An experienced engineer managed to bring the RT in real-time to the classic console, featuring impressive reflections and effects.
It’s true that Ray Tracing is all the rage on RTX graphics cards and next-gen consoles, but did you know the Super Nintendo can handle it too? The feat was accomplished by software engineer Ben Carter, who created SuperRT, a custom cartridge that uses a DE10-Nano FPGA board with a Cyclone V FPGA to add hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing to the Super Nintendo.
Carter recently showcased his creation with an impressive demonstration achieving effects such as shadows and RT reflections in real-time. While it sounds like witchcraft, SuperRT was built as something that could actually run on the SNES, as the cartridge only handles Ray Tracing due to “image data conversion”.
In this way, SuperRT grants a resolution of 200×160, up to 30 FPS and adds a whole new dimension to the game. It’s hard to imagine what our childhood would have been like if something like this had existed on the Super Nintendo.