In a nutshell: Modder-turned-software developer Dario is working on a Nintendo 64 emulator plug-in that will add ray-traced lighting, motion blur, widescreen support and more to several classic N64 games. Dario was also responsible for adding ray tracing to the PC port of Super Mario 64. In fact, it was this project that inspired the developers to start working on a generic emulation solution capable of applying improvements globally rather than on a case-by-case basis.

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Dario teased some of what is already possible on Twitter, noting that the project is still a few months away from launch. The developer also acknowledged that it would be impossible to get every N64 game to work, but the whitelist of compatible games should help minimize confusion among gamers. The list is small right now, but expect it to grow substantially in the coming months.

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Further work may result in additional improvements such as higher frame rates in games that have never received 60 FPS patches, HD texture replacements, and a detailed graphical debugger that romhackers and homebrewers may find useful.

It’s worth reiterating that this project is at a very early stage of development as there are hundreds of unresolved issues and many features yet to be added. However, I suspect that some fans of retro games will be thrilled to be able to play classic games with improved performance and visuals.