We propose a hardware and software system that transforms 8-bit side-scrolling console video games into immersive multiplayer experiences. We enhance a classic video game console with custom hardware that time-multiplexes eight gamepad inputs to automatically hand off control from one gamepad to the next. Because control transfers quickly, people at a large event can frequently step in and out of a game and naturally call to their peers to join any time a gamepad is vacant.
Video from the game console is captured and processed by a vision algorithm that stitches it into a continuous, expanding panoramic texture, which is displayed in real time on a 360 degree projection system at a large event space. With this system, side-scrolling games unfold across the walls of the room to encircle a large party, giving the feeling that the entire party is taking place inside of the game's world. When such a display system is not available, we also provide a virtual reality recreation of the experience. We show results of our system for a number of classic console games tested at a large live event. Results indicate that our work provides a successful recipe to create immersive, multiplayer, interactive experiences that leverage the nostalgic appeal of 8-bit games.