While retro console emulators over the years have dabbled with online multiplayer features, they’re often convoluted and not exactly easy to setup.
SNES Party, a new unofficial (somewhat illegal, depending on who you ask) way to play Super Nintendo (SNES) games with friends over the internet, aims to solve the above problem.
What makes this emulator stand out from past attempts to facilitate retro console multiplayer gaming over the modern internet, is the fact that the program is all browser-based.
The emulator describes itself as “an experimental way to play SNES games with your friends online all from within your browser using WebRTC.”
Users create a room within NES Party, load in a ROM file found elsewhere on the internet, and then WebRTC streams the video and controls to other users you’re playing with. I booted up a game of Super Bomberman and shared the link with members of the MobileSyrup team. While there were obvious audio glitches, as well as some lag and difficulty figuring out selecting controls, the SNES Party actually seems to work.
If you’re more into official retro ports, a selection of retro Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) are coming to the Switch through the platform’s upcoming online services update that’s set to launch this coming September.
It’s likely that this interesting way to play SNES multiplayer games over the internet won’t be around much longer given Nintendo’s penchant to lawyer-up when projects like this are released. So if you’ve ever dreamed of playing Super Mario Kart over the internet with a group of friends, it’s likely best to take advantage of SNES Party while the platform is still around.