If you’ve been jonesing to bring the world of online multiplayer to your stash of old SNES games, a new online service looks to fill the void — at least until Nintendo shuts this thing down with a cease and desist.
The online beta service SNES Party basically allows users to load up a ROM (basically a digital version of an old SNES game) into the service and connect with friends to play multiplayer games together. It basically emulates the feeling of chilling in front of the TV together, except we’re no longer limited by those pesky corded controllers (or geography at all). The whole thing runs in the browser, and players connect and control their characters via an emulator running within the browser. It’s actually pretty brilliant, though (as Nintendo is sure to point out) somewhat legally dubious.
SNES Party doesn’t actually provide ROMs, so users would have to have their own to load in (the service itself is basically just an online SNES emulator with multiplayer tech baked in), and acquiring ROMs has always been in the grey area of the law. But still, this little beta service is a brilliant idea, and one Nintendo will hopefully look to emulate as it prepares to roll out the new online service for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s official service launching in September is set to feature a catalog of classic games with new tweaks, but no word on if we’ll have full, online multiplayer for things like classic Mario Kart or the old Mario titles.
In the meantime, SNES Party looks to fill the void nicely. You know, at least until Nintendo sends its team of lawyers in to take a hard look at it.