Nintendo isn't afraid of a good remaster. It's recent released New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, an update on a Wii U classic, and has regularly revisited its classic Zelda titles. But it's allowing something a little different to happen in China, where it's teamed up with Nvidia and its Shield console to deliver Nintendo games to the masses.
Rather than painstakingly updating older textures to bring them up to date for the Android console's 1080p releases, Nvidia has used Deep Learning techniques to bring greater depth and detail to the Nvidia Shield's version of Gamecube veteran The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
You can see the impressive results in the tweet thread below:
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess gets a graphical update.Nvidia claims that by using deep learning, they have improved the quality of over 4,400 textures in the game. pic.twitter.com/wvyMNttNhd15 January 2019
The difference is night and day, but what's perhaps most interesting is that despite seemingly only having minimal input from artists, the AI remaster appears the most rich of all.
If you take a look at the comparison image in the tweet thread that shows Link's face in close up before and after the remaster, the Shield version easily comes out on top, with crisper work round the hair and warmer skin tones.
While it remains unlikely that western countries will see Shield editions of Nintendo's titles (being simply an easy way for Nintendo to get its software into the difficult to crack, heavily regulated Chinese market), it does bode well for any potential Switch releases. These emulated editions are running on the same chipset as is found in the Nintendo Switch, showing promise for speedy, high-quality remasters of older games in an emulated form, should Nintendo ever see fit to open more of its back catalogue to its transforming handheld.
- Check out our own Nvidia Shield and Nintendo Switch crossover